What is a BOC 3

Understand the essentials of a BOC-3 filing for transportation businesses in California, detailing the designation of process agents for FMCSA certification. Learn the requirements, costs, and benefits of choosing the right process agent for your business.

By Brad Nakase, Attorney

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For transportation businesses, what does a BOC-3 filing mean?

Designating a service of process (SOP) agent is a crucial prerequisite for transportation companies to meet when submitting an FMCSA certification application.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which oversees the regulation of the trucking sector in the US, requires identifying a process agent as a condition of granting operating authority, as per federal law. These businesses must submit Form BOC-3 (Designation of Agents for Service of Process) to the FMCSA to be granted and maintain this ability.

This article discusses a BOC-3 filing and explains how transportation firms may choose a service of process or process agent. Transportation companies, including motor brokers, carriers, and freight forwarders, regularly conduct business over state boundaries.

What is a filing for BOC-3?

A transportation or logistics company can designate a process agent to receive legal documents on behalf of the company in each state where it is authorized to do business. This is done by submitting a BOC-3 form, also known as a “Designation of Agents for Service of Process.” Before a logistics or transportation company is permitted to operate, a BOC-3 file is frequently necessary.

Regarding motor carriers, the BOC-3 can only be filed electronically by the process agent. Without using commercial vehicles, a freight forwarder or broker may submit Form BOC-3 independently.

When submitting your BOC-3 form through the FMCSA website, the following details should be included:

  • Complete address and name of the freight forwarder, broker, or carrier
  • The name and title of the person with signing authority
  • For every state, the street address and the SOP agent’s name, either alone or collectively. Identifying a single organization or company on file with the FMCSA to serve as the applicant’s process agent for each state and the District of Colombia is known as a blanket designation.

The Operating Authority application must be submitted, and the BOC-3 form must be received within ninety days of the day the FMCSA Register published the application. The Operating Authority application will be rejected and the application money will be lost if this deadline is not met.

What is an FMCSA agent, or BOC-3 process agent?

You must first choose a service of process agent, or “FMCSA agent,” who resides in each state where you conduct business before you may submit a BOC-3.

In essence, an SOP agent or process agent is a person or company that your company appoints. They are permitted to accept legal paperwork on the principal’s behalf. Every state in which you are permitted to conduct business requires a process agent to be physically present. Also, they must be reachable at that address during regular business hours.

Once assigned, the process agent is permitted to accept and transmit court or legal documents, as well as process serving, on your company’s behalf in the state or states where the agent is assigned. The distribution of papers—usually a summons or complaint—notifying the identified defendant that legal action has been taken against them and outlining the necessary steps for the future is known as “service of process.”

What does it mean to be a blanket process agent?

Businesses can engage with a blanket process firm or designate a process agent for a specific state. A blanket business works with a process agent in each state.

The FMCSA requirements of your business might be consolidated by designating a blanket agent. In every jurisdiction where you conduct business, the agent serves as your BOC-3 blanket process agent. When a single agent sends notifications, it is simpler to keep track of them, and you will be notified as soon as there are any regulatory changes. This helps to minimize potential penalties, including losing your good standing if you violate the FMCSA.

If you decide to use a blanket process agent, you have to pick one from the list of organizations that the FMCSA has authorized as blanket service providers.

What is the price of a BOC-3 agent?

If you would like to designate a professional registered agent, the cost of a BOC-3 agent might be as little as $25 or as much as $100, contingent upon the scope of services selected (many SOP agents provide extra compliance services beyond simply BOC-3 filing services).

Fee schedules are also subject to change. While some professional process agents impose a one-time BOC-3 filing fee, many enforce an annual fee plus additional fees for each document handled. Charges for accelerated BOC-3 filing (frequently requested by entrepreneurs trying to get their enterprises up and running fast) and address change costs may also be additional fees.

What takes place following the filing of Form BOC-3?

The FMCSA will give authority upon the electronic filing of the BOC-3 form and the satisfaction of any outstanding conditions. Operating authority paperwork is typically issued three to four business days following the granting of approval. You can get in touch with the FMCSA if ten business days or more have gone by since the award date and you are still waiting for the operating authority paperwork. You can also go to the FMCSA Licensing and Insurance webpage to see if you have been granted operating authority.

Your BOC-3 could need to be refiled in specific situations, as when you change your name, transfer authority, or get your motor carrier operating authority back.

Is it possible for me to handle BOC-3 as my own process agent?

Only in your base state can you operate as your own process agent. In order to obtain services of process during regular business hours, you must have a physical address.

How can I choose the best process agent?

When choosing a registered agent service provider, seek out experts who can guarantee the timely and secure processing of official documents and who have received training in the transportation industry’s service of process. While there are numerous suppliers to select from, look for a true partner who goes above and beyond legal requirements and offers tools and notifications to assist you in staying on top of crucial compliance obligations—all without charging extra for services.

It also pays to have agents on duty during regular business hours, preferably at a discrete address that keeps process servers away from your establishment and preserves your privacy.

Lastly, search for additional services like annual report filings to ensure that your filings are consistently accurate and submitted by the deadline in the state where they are due.

Have a quick question? We answered nearly 2000 FAQs.

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