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For-Hire Intrastate Operating Authority Frequently Asked Questions


What is Operating Authority?
For-Hire Intrastate Operating Authority is an insurance monitoring program for carriers who operate for-hire in Virginia. Some carriers may be required to demonstrate that there is a public need for the operation, and/or demonstrate their fitness to perform the operation depending on the operating authority required.
What is a Form E and a Form H and where can they be obtained?
A Form E is proof of bodily injury and property damage liability insurance. Form H is proof of cargo insurance. Both are filed with DMV by a motor carrier's insurance company.
What do I need to do to operate a limousine and/or executive sedan for compensation within Virginia?
You must obtain a Contract Passenger Carrier operating authority certificate. To obtain the authority, you must submit an Operating Authority Certificate or License Application (form OA-150) with all of the required documentation.
How long does it take to obtain the different types of intrastate operating authority?
Factors that may delay processing time are usually current application backlog and incomplete applications. You can do your part to insure 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.
  • Transportation of Passengers Broker
  • Transportation Network Company (TNC) Broker
  • Common Carrier - Irregular Routes
  • Common Carrier - Regular Routes
  • Contract Passenger Carrier
  • Sight Seeing
  • Household Goods Carrier
  • Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Carrier
If you apply for any other type of operating authority and you already have proof of insurance on file with DMV's Motor Carrier Services, the authority will usually be issued the same day that you apply.
  • Employee Hauler Carrier
  • Non-Profit/Tax-Exempt Passenger Carrier
  • Property Carrier
  • Taxicab
Who needs intrastate operating authority?
Any person who wishes to transport passengers or property for-hire from point to point in Virginia needs to obtain Virginia operating authority, unless the person will be conducting exempt operations.
If I am leasing a vehicle to a motor carrier, who must obtain the operating authority?
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. Registration for leased vehicles which must display for-hire license plates can only be obtained through the Motor Carrier Services department at DMV Headquarters.
Why must I notify DMV's Motor Carrier Services when I sell a vehicle that is used in my operation?
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: 1) IRP VEHICLES - surrender the vehicle registration receipt (cab card) OR 2) NON-IRP VEHICLES - surrender your for-hire license plates and vehicle registration.
How much does operating authority cost?
There are two main costs:
  1. 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 (refer to Applying for a TNC Certificate of Fitness for an explanation of the fee options for a TNC).
  2. 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, 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. Note: Effective 01/01/2018, 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.
Can intrastate operating authority be obtained at any DMV office?
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. Types of operating authority requiring a permit are:
  • Employee Hauler
  • Non-profit/Tax-Exempt Passenger Carrier
  • Property Carrier
  • Taxicab
Types of operating authority requiring a certificate are:
  • Transportation of Passengers Broker
  • Transportation Network Company (TNC) Broker
  • Common Carrier - Irregular Routes
  • Common Carrier - Regular Routes
  • Contract Passenger Carrier
  • Non-emergency Medical Transportation Carrier
  • Sight Seeing Carrier
  • Household Goods Carrier
If I want to operate for-hire within Virginia and the vehicle is registered in another state, do I have to have Virginia operating authority?
Yes. You must comply with all of Virginia's for-hire operating authority requirements.
What is required to operate under Medicaid reimbursement?
This program is managed by the Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS). Please contact DMAS for information.
Do I need operating authority from the Virginia DMV to operate as a local household goods mover?
Yes. 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.
Is the Notary Public required to place their seal on the Information Release Authorization in my application for a certificate/license?
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.

Changes Mandated by HB2026 Effective Jan. 1, 2018

Who is impacted by HB2026?
This bill impacts only those who use motor vehicles to transport property for compensation (“property carriers”). No changes have been made to passenger carriers.
When does the law become effective?
The law takes effect on January 1, 2018.
What are the key changes to for-hire operating authority?
  • The Property Bulk (PB) authority type has been eliminated. Current PB authority holders will be converted to a Property Carrier (PR) authority effective 01/01/2018.
  • If you are providing property carriage exclusively in passenger cars, motorcycles, autocycles, mopeds, and vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds or less, you are no longer required to obtain operating authority from DMV.
  • Property brokers are no longer required to obtain a license from DMV.
  • The statutory definition of “household goods” has been amended, resulting in a change in what it means to be a household goods carrier. Under the new law, the only carriers who are required to obtain a certificate of fitness to carry household goods are those who transport the property over distances of 31 miles or more either between residences or between a residence and a storage facility with the intent to later transport to a residence.
What are the key changes to vehicle registration and fees for property carriers?
  • If you are providing property carriage exclusively in passenger cars, motorcycles, autocycles, mopeds, and vehicles with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less, you may register your vehicles for either private or for-hire use. In all other cases, you must declare for-hire use when registering a vehicle you will be using as a property carrier.
  • Property-carrying vehicles are no longer required to display for-hire plates. Instead, vehicles may use either standard license plates or—depending on the particular type of vehicle—a truck, tractor, tractor/truck, or tow truck plate that has not been marked as for hire. While DMV has stopped producing for-hire plates for property-carrying vehicles, those plates are still valid; accordingly, the agency does not intend to recall any of the for-hire plates currently in use, and will continue to offer the plates to vehicle registrants until current inventory has been depleted.
  • The $10 annual fee for property-carrying vehicles will no longer apply to passenger cars, motorcycles, autocycles, mopeds, or vehicles with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less.
What are the key changes to insurance for property carriers?
There have been a number of changes to insurance requirements for property carriers, particularly those who operate smaller vehicles.
If your vehicle has:
  • A GVWR of 7,500 pounds or less: once you have made yourself available to transport property for compensation the minimum required insurance coverage is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident for bodily injury and death and $20,000 per incident for property damage; once you have accepted a request to transport property for compensation and until the package is removed from the vehicle, these liability limits increase to $100,000/$300,000/$50,000. You are not required to file evidence of your insurance with DMV.
  • A GVWR of 7,501 – 10,000 pounds: a commercial policy providing liability coverage of at least $300,000 is required all the time. You are not required to file evidence of your insurance with DMV.
  • A GVWR of 10,001 pounds or more: a commercial policy providing liability coverage of at least $750,000 is required all the time, along with the applicable operating authority unless you are exempt. Additionally, if you are transporting household goods for a distance of less than 31 miles then you must have at least $50,000 in cargo insurance. You are required to file evidence of your insurance with DMV.
In addition to the above changes, all carriers providing courier services are now required to meet the same insurance requirements as other property carriers.
How will I be notified of these changes?
All current property carriers will receive correspondence that outlines all the changes. Additionally, updated information can be found on our website, forms and informational documentation.
Will I receive an updated certificate, license, or permit (CLP) for my operating authority or updated registration cards for my vehicle immediately after the law goes into effect?
Only those holding a bulk property carrier permit will have any change to their CLP. As noted above, all PB permits will automatically be converted to PR permits effective January 1, 2018. The new PR permits will be mailed immediately following the conversion. New vehicle registration cards reflecting the change from PB to PR will not be issued, however, until you renew your vehicle’s registration. Therefore, there may be a time period during which the operating authority indicated on your registration card does not match the operating authority listed on your CLP or in DMV’s records. This should not pose a problem since the DMV record, not the registration card, is the authoritative source for operating authority information.
Is Law Enforcement (LE) aware of these changes?
Yes. LE was notified by electronic bulletin (VCIN message) as well as through other means deemed appropriate by the department.
What forms or publications have been updated?
The forms that have been updated are:
  • VSA17A – Application for Certificate of Title and Registration
  • VSA14 – Application for Registration
  • OA 150 – Operating Authority Certificate and License Application
  • OA 142 – For-Hire Intrastate Operating Authority Permit Application
  • OA 144M – For-Hire Intrastate Operating Authority Certificate, License, Permit Renewal Application
  • OA 456 – For-Hire Intrastate Operating Authority Certificate or License Irrevocable Letter of Credit
  • MCS115 – For-Hire Vehicle Registration Request
The publications that have been updated are:
  • MCTS 247 – Motor Carrier Guidelines
  • DMV248 - Motor Carrier Manual
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