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For-Hire Intrastate Operating Authority

For-hire motor carriers transporting property or passengers only within Virginia may be required to obtain Virginia For-Hire Intrastate Operating Authority. (Va. Code §§ 46.2-2000 and 46.2-2100 et al.)


Depending on the type of transportation service to be provided, an applicant may have to demonstrate fitness to provide the service, that a need for the service exists, and that the service will be convenient for the public. Successful applicants are issued an operating certificate, license, or permit as appropriate for the service provided. An administrative hearing may be required for Certificate and License applicants.

Certificate and license applicants must include the required surety bond or irrevocable letter of credit with their application.

Before an intrastate operating authority certificate or permit is issued, the applicant must have an insurance company provide DMV with proof of liability insurance and, if applicable, proof of cargo insurance. Then the applicant must register all vehicles that will be used under the authority issued as being operated for-hire and obtain for-hire license plates. The operating authority will be indicated on the registration of vehicles that have been issued Virginia registration. The operating authority will not be indicated on the cab cards of vehicles requiring IRP (apportioned) registration. However IRP registration does not exempt the motor carrier from obtaining operating authority if performing transportation within Virginia.

In summary, unless conducting exempt operations, motor carriers operating for-hire intrastate in Virginia must:

  • file a Surety Bond (certificate or license only)
  • provide proof of insurance (certificate or permit only)
  • obtain operating authority
  • title the vehicle in Virginia and obtain for-hire license plates
  • register each vehicle under their operating authority

Additional Information