BOC-3 Process Agent Designation

How to appoint a blanket process agent and file Form BOC-3 with the FMCSA

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) legally requires motor carriers and freight brokers to appoint a process agent. Process agents are appointed in every state where the company operates. For most interstate companies, a blanket process agent appointment is necessary to obtain operating authority.

You may have discovered the term “process agent” when attempting to fill out Form BOC-3 (Designation of Agents for Service of Process). Please note: only process agents and freight brokers that do not operate commercial motor vehicles may file Form BOC-3. Motor carriers must have a BOC-3 filed by a process agent on their behalf.

This page will explain how to choose a reliable BOC-3 process agent and why the appointment is necessary. You’ll also find information on what to do once you’ve been issued your BOC-3 appointment.

Harbor Compliance can serve as your company’s blanket process agent. We provide annual nationwide representation to cover your company as it grows. We file your BOC-3 with the FMCSA at no additional charge. Once our appointment is confirmed, we provide you with the filed forms for your permanent records.

What Is a BOC-3 Process Agent?

A process agent is a motor carrier’s or freight broker’s legally designated point of contact to receive service of process, transportation violations, and other important legal documents. The process agent maintains a physical address in each state and must be available during regular business hours. The agent is then responsible for forwarding the time-sensitive documents it receives to the company.

Process agents are appointed by filing Form BOC-3 with the FMCSA. This is one of the most important steps to gaining operating authority, or the ability to engage in interstate commerce.

  • Motor carriers (of property or passengers) are required to appoint a process agent in each state where they operate.
  • Freight brokers are required to appoint a process agent in each state in which they have an office or write contracts.
  • Only process agents and freight brokers that do not operate commercial motor vehicles may file Form BOC-3. Motor carriers must have a BOC-3 filed by a process agent on their behalf.

Once Form BOC-3 has been filed, the company is required to retain a copy at its principal place of business. Companies are required to refile BOC-3 if there is a change to their blanket agent or designated process agent in any state.

Form:

Form BOC-3: Designation of Agents for Service of Process

Agency Fee:

There is no application fee.

Notes:
  • An original signed copy should be submitted to the FMCSA Office of Registration and Safety Information and one signed copy should be filed with each state in or through which the operation is conducted; and one copy should be retained by the carrier, broker, or freight forwarder.
  • Motor carriers must have their BOC-3 submitted by a process agent. Freight brokers that do not operate commercial motor vehicles can submit their own BOC-3.
  • Changes in designation may be made only by filing with the FMCSA, a new form BOC-3. Copies of new designations need to be sent only to those states affected by the change or new filing
Fact Checked:3/1/21

What Are the Advantages of Using a Blanket Process Agent?

Companies have the option to appoint an individual process agent in each state. Alternatively, they can appoint a blanket process agent that covers every state. Blanket process agents simplify the process of filing Form BOC-3 and gaining operating authority.

Blanket process agents file an independent listing statement with the FMCSA. On the listing statement, the agent provides its company name and address where service of process can be received in each state. Blanket agents are able to easily inform the FMCSA of changes to its information. When using a blanket agent, the motor carrier or freight broker only has to list the blanket agent’s name on Form BOC-3. This results in fewer clerical errors that may lead to missed document deliveries.

Because blanket process agents provide representation to many companies nationwide, they provide infrastructure to ensure your company reliably receives service of process, whether you’re in the office or on the road.

With offices in each state, blanket agents allow your company to meet requirements nationally as you grow. This results in significant time savings in maintaining individual agents and filing forms to maintain current information with the FMCSA.

Can Harbor Compliance Serve as My Blanket Process Agent?

Harbor Compliance can serve as your company’s blanket process agent. We file Form BOC-3 with the FMCSA on your behalf. Simply provide us your FMCSA and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) numbers when you sign up. We then provide you a filed copy of Form BOC-3 to retain at your principal place of business.

As your blanket process agent, you benefit from our reliable, local presence in every state. Our nationwide offices receive and scan documents electronically and notify you the same day. We eliminate your need to file change paperwork with the FMCSA and state agencies each time you move. BOC-3 process agent service includes complimentary access to our award-winning Entity Manager software.

  • Nationwide Presence: We provide local registered offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. These offices are open during regular business hours to receive legal and government notices.
  • Same-Day Document Delivery: We scan your documents locally and deliver them to you electronically. With customizable notifications, you will never miss a delivery no matter where you are.
  • Secure Client Portal: Manage your process agent service in a secure, cloud-based Client Portal. Easily configure notifications to alert colleagues and legal counsel of service of process.
  • Annual, Flat-Rate Service: Our flat-rate process agent service includes document delivery with no hidden fees. Invoices are accurate and easy to understand.
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