For-hire intrastate operating authority is a certificate, permit or license issued by DMV that authorizes a motor carrier or broker to provide service in Virginia. Motor carriers transport passengers or property for compensation. Brokers arrange for the transportation of passengers by motor carriers, but do not provide the transportation themselves. Along with proof of insurance, motor carriers and brokers may be required to demonstrate that there is a public need for their services, and/or demonstrate their fitness to provide service.
Any person who wishes to transport passengers or property for hire (or, in the case of a broker, who wishes to arrange for the transportation of passengers for hire) from point to point within Virginia needs to obtain operating authority, unless the person will be conducting exempt operations (see Va. Code § 46.2-2000.1 for exemptions in carrying passengers and Va. Code § 46.2-2101 for exemptions in carrying property).
No, DMV Customer Service Centers can only assist you with operating authority types which require a permit. Operating authority types requiring a certificate must be processed in the Motor Carrier Services department of DMV Headquarters. Applications for certificates cannot be faxed to the Motor Carrier Services department. Only original certificate applications submitted with the required surety bond or irrevocable letter of credit are accepted for processing.
There are two main costs:
- Filing Fees: Generally, motor carriers and brokers must pay a fee of $50 for a certificate, permit, or license. The only exceptions are for non-profit/tax-exempt passenger carriers (who pay no filing fee) and transportation network companies (see Applying for a TNC Certificate of Fitness for an explanation of the fee options for a TNC).
- Annual Vehicle Fees: An annual fee of $3 applies to for-hire passenger carrier vehicles, and an annual fee of $10 applies to for-hire property carrier vehicles. These annual fees are not assessed for vehicles that are registered under the International Registration Plan (IRP), or that have been issued identification markers in accordance with the International Fuel Tax Agreement, or that have been registered under the Unified Carrier Registration Plan. Also, the $10 annual fee does not apply to passenger cars, motorcycles, autocycles, mopeds or vehicles with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less that are used to transport property for hire.
The time required depends on the type of operating authority sought and the types of documentation required from the applicant. You can do your part to ensure timely processing by reading and following the instructions available for the various operating authority applications, completing all applicable parts of the application, and submitting all documents required.
Operating authority that involves issuance of a certificate or license requires the most effort on the part of the applicant as well as for DMV. Processing of an application for a license or certificate generally takes several weeks. Licenses are required for brokers, while a certificate is required for the following types of motor carrier operations:
- Common Carrier - Irregular Routes
- Common Carrier - Regular Routes
- Contract Passenger Carrier
- Sight Seeing Carrier
- Household Goods Carrier
- Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Carrier
If you are a motor carrier whose services require DMV to issue a permit rather than a certificate, and you already have proof of insurance on file with DMV's Motor Carrier Services administration, then the operating authority will usually be issued the same day that you apply. Carriers who are required to obtain a permit include:
- Employee Hauler Carrier
- Non-Profit/Tax-Exempt Passenger Carrier
- Property Carrier
A Form E is proof of liability insurance covering bodily injury and property damage. Form H is proof of cargo insurance. Both are filed with DMV by a motor carrier's insurance company.
You must obtain a Contract Passenger Carrier certificate. To obtain the authority, you must submit an Operating Authority Certificate or License Application (OA-150) with all of the required documentation.
The motor carrier must apply for and obtain the operating authority. The motor carrier is the person or company who has operational control of the vehicle including, but not limited to, insuring the vehicle, contracting, and advertising services performed with the vehicle. Leased vehicles that must display for-hire license plates can only be registered through the Motor Carrier Services department at DMV headquarters.
It is important to have the vehicle removed from your account so that your insurance company will be given a correct count of your operating authority vehicles. The vehicle can not be removed from your operating authority account until you
- Surrender the vehicle registration receipt (cab card), if your vehicle is registered under IRP or
- Surrender your for-hire license plates and vehicle registration, if your vehicle is not registered under IRP.
Yes. You must comply with all of Virginia's for-hire operating authority requirements.
Yes, unless you are exempt under Va. Code § 46.2-2101. If you do not transport household goods for more than 30 miles from where the move started, you must obtain Property Carrier authority. If you transport household goods further than 30 miles from where the move started, you must obtain Household Goods Carrier authority. The property carrier authority for moves of 30 miles or less is not required if you have household goods authority and you only transport household goods. Household Goods Carrier authority. The property carrier authority for moves of 30 miles or less is not required if you have household goods authority and you only transport household goods.
The seal is not required if the Notary Public was commissioned by a Virginia jurisdiction. The seal is required if the Notary Public was commissioned by a jurisdiction outside Virginia.
With safety as its top priority, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offers the following recommendations:
- Have a maintenance plan in place for your fleet.
- Verify your drivers have the correct types of licenses.
- Require your employees to take driver training courses.
- Have your insurance company review the driving records of drivers you are considering hiring.
- Require potential employees to provide past work experience and professional references.
- Require new driver applicants to take a road test with an experienced driver.
- Require new hires to operate under direct supervision of experienced drivers.
- Monitor your employees’ driving records through DMV’s Driver Alert program.
- Have an action plan in place in the event that a driver is convicted of a traffic violation or is involved in a crash.
- Have a full-time safety manager.
- Hold routine meetings with employees to discuss safety issues, materials and information.
- Confirm that the driver has the appropriate job specific skills as required (e.g. CPR certified, trained to transport disabled passengers, etc.).
Remember, Virginia law requires for-hire passenger carriers to obtain licensing in the form of a permit or certificate from DMV.