Considering becoming a freight broker in Texas because of the high demand, the salary, or simply to be your own boss? While all of those are great reasons to step into this lucrative career, you’ll need a freight broker license before you can get this show on the road—or rather, cargo on the road!
Getting a freight broker license in Texas is similar to many other states. For instance, you will need a freight broker bond, FMCSA approval, insurance, and a processing agent. Dive into our freight broker licensing guide below where we lay out the specifics. We cover FAQs, Texas freight broker salaries, and much more.
What Do Freight Brokers in Texas Do?
Freight brokers are independent contractors who oversee shipments from the moment they leave the warehouse until they reach their destination. They are contracted by companies with cargo to ship (shippers) to find transporters with the means to take on the shipment (transports, planes, trains. etc.).
Note that freight brokers never physically take possession of the freight—much of their work is done on the phone and computer. Other key tasks freight brokers must perform include:
- Tracking shipments and ensuring they get to their destination safely and without delay.
- Acting as the middle person and communication line between the shipper and transporter.
- Building a list of reliable transporters and thoroughly vetting all new ones.
- Negotiating the best price with both the shipper and the transportation company.
- Processing the paperwork related to the shipments.
- Understanding the freight broker market, shipping and transportation industry, and transportation laws.
For more information, see What Does a Freight Broker Do?
What Are The Steps For Becoming a Freight Broker in Texas?
In short, to become a freight broker in Texas you will need:
- An EIN
- A USDOT Number
- An MC Number
- A Freight Broker Bond (BMC-84)
- Process Agent
We cover each of these licensing requirements in detail below.
Step 1: Get Educated
If you want to become a freight broker with no experience, knowing the industry and profession can be pivotal for starting your career. Therefore, you may want to consider:
- A job in the same sector to help you make contacts and learn the ropes of the shipping industry. This may include dispatching, working as a freight broker agent, driving trucks, working at a shipping logistics firm, etc.
- Freight broker training school. There are no formal education requirements to become a freight broker in Texas. However, a program from a freight broker training school can help you get a feel for the field, get your foot in the door, and teach you how to be a successful freight broker.
Scroll down to Freight Broker Courses and Programs in Texas for recommended training programs.
Step 2: Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Register your business with the IRS to obtain an EIN. To register your brokerage as an LLC or corporation, you must file a Certificate of Formation with the Texas Secretary of State.
Step 3: Get a USDOT Number
A United States Department of Transportation Number (USDOT Number) is needed to complete your registration in the next step. Use the Unified Registration on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website to obtain one.
Step 4: Register for Your Broker Authority
Every freight broker in Texas needs a Motor Carrier Number (MC Number) from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). To start the process, get a USDOT PIN from the website. Note that this will require a valid credit card—although no charges will be made. The cost for the pin is $0.
Once you receive this PIN, you can submit an online OP-1 application. There is a $300 non-refundable fee for this application. Be sure to triple-check this application before submitting it—if you make a mistake you will have to re-submit the forms and repay the fee.
- If applying online, you will get your MC Number immediately and the confirmation grant letter will arrive via mail.
- If applying by mail, you will receive both your grant letter and MC number in 4 - 6 weeks.
Step 5: Get Insured
You can apply for insurance as soon as you receive your MC number from the FMCSA. Your insurance company must file the appropriate forms on your behalf within 90 days of your Operating Authority being published in the FMCSA Register.
Note: If you fail to file within this timeframe, your FMCSA application will become void and no refund will be given.
While your insurance takes care of filing at this step, you should still be aware of the process. Forms they may have to file include:
- Form BMC-91 or BMC-91X for proof of bodily injury and property damage (BI & PD) insurance.
- Form BMC-34 for proof of cargo liability insurance.
- Form BMC-85 for broker trust fund agreement.
Step 6: Get a Freight Broker Bond
Find a good surety company and apply for a Freight Broker Bond.
The total surety bond amount required is $75,000. However, you will only have to pay a fraction of this amount—generally between 1%-5%, granted you have a good credit score. This translates to a cost of approximately $750 - $3,750 for most bond applicants.
- Get a free quote for your freight broker bond to see what rate you qualify for.
Step 7: Find a Process Agent
You are required to get a process agent (also commonly called a processing agent) that is licensed to work in Texas. This individual will provide legal representation in the state you operate if a claim is filed against your brokerage.
- Submit form BOC-3 (Designation of Processing Agents) to both the FMCSA and to each state in which you’ll be operating.
Step 8: Wait for Registration Approval
Wait until all your filings have cleared with the FMCSA before beginning operations at your freight brokerage. You are not legally eligible to perform freight broker services before an official record of Operating Authority is issued and published in the FMCSA Register with an ACTIVE status.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Freight Broker in Texas?
You can become a freight broker in Texas in 2 - 3 months.
If you opt to enroll in a freight broker training course, they are generally 30-45 days. However, nothing says that you can’t apply for your license before finishing your training—the course is a recommendation, not a requirement.
How Much Do Freight Brokers Make in Texas?
On average, a freight broker in Texas makes $45,000+ annually.
According to Zippia, the state is also home to three of the most common cities for freight brokers to operate in the US: Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston.
How Much Does It Cost to Become a Freight Broker in Texas?
The cost to become a freight broker generally ranges anywhere from $8,000 to $15,000+. See a breakdown of costs below.
Freight Broker Training School
$1000 - $3,000
$100 - $300
$400 - $2,000
Freight Broker Bond
$750 - $3,750
Computer & Software Cost
$2,000 - $6,000
$1,000 -$2,000 monthly
Marketing & Miscellaneous
Freight Broker Courses and Programs in Texas
Offers course delivery to suit every schedule, including live training in El Paso, home study, telephone, and internet.
Hands-on training in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas.
This online freight broker course covers both freight broker training and freight agent training.
Offers a continuing education course (no prerequisites) that is 100% online and at your own pace.