Frequently Asked Questions

1

Why should I choose Pacific Financial Association, Inc. and Artisan Bonding to fulfill my FMCSA surety requirement?

Pacific Financial Association is by far the largest issuer of broker surety instruments in the United States. In 18 years, we have issued over 12,000 BMC-85 trust fund agreements and we currently have over 3,600 active brokers which is more than 6 times the amount of our nearest competitor. Through PFA’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Artisan Bonding & Insurance Services, we also sell BMC-84 surety bonds. Either instrument satisfies the FMCSA’s surety requirement. PFA offers unparalleled claims knowledge, experience, and service among the entire transportation surety industry. We handle all of our own investigations, communications, and verifications relating to claims against a trust agreement or bond held by us. Through extensive legal expertise in the specifics of freight broker regulations, PFA expedites legitimate claims and quickly identifies non-valid or fraudulent claims thereby minimizing the impact on the trust account or bond. We are the most experienced company in this specialized field and can provide you with the best possible service in the industry!
2

What is required to become a freight broker?

There are three things the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires to become a broker. You must file in the Unified Registration System (URS) with the FMCSA, file a BOC-3, and fulfill the $75,000 surety requirement by filing either a BMC-84 or BMC-85.
3

Do I need $75,000 to start?

Only one (1) of our three (3) plans requires that you put $75,000 cash in your trust fund up front. If you do not have $75,000 in cash, one of our other plans may better fit your needs. Click on our Pricing tab to view all of our plans.
4

How will I decide which surety instrument is best for me, a BMC-84 or BMC-85?

Our extremely knowledgeable sales staff will help you determine which option is best for you. The BMC-84 is a surety bond placed by an insurance company, the BMC-85 is a trust agreement held by PFA. Either one satisfies the FMCSA’s surety requirement. PFA is the only company that can place you in either form!
5

What is the Unified Registration System (URS)?

The Unified Registration System (URS) is a new electronic on-line registration system that will streamline and simplify the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) registration process and serve as a clearinghouse and depository of information on all entities regulated by the Agency, including motor carriers, brokers, freight forwarders, intermodal equipment providers (IEPs), hazardous materials safety permit (HMSP) applicants/holders, and cargo tank manufacturing and repair facilities. The URS will combine multiple registration processes, information technology systems and forms into a single, electronic online registration process. First-time applicants must use the URS. For more information about URS, or to apply for the first time, use the following link: https://cms.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration
6

I want to apply for a BMC-84 or BMC-85, what do I need to do?

Simply fill out our online application and we will have an approval for you within a couple of hours! Or, call us at 800-595-2615 and speak with one of our knowledgeable sales representatives. They will be able to go over our options with you, e-mail or fax our broker information packet which contains our application to you, and then help you fill it out. We are here to assist you every step of the way.
7

I have less than perfect credit, can I still get approved?

We are almost always able to approve you on some basis. We are more than willing to work with you to try to come up with an affordable solution! Being the only company to offer both BMC-84s and BMC-85s, we have unequaled ability to find a solution to get you approved and on your way to being an active freight broker.
8

How long will the various registrations take after applying in the URS? How long does it take to become active to broker?

Applicants will receive an inactive (pending) USDOT number upon submission of an application for registration. Operations are prohibited, however, until the applicant receives an active USDOT number and active registration. Registration will not be granted and the USDOT number will not be active until the FMCSA determines that the applicant meets all requirements for registration, including requirements for BOC-3 and BMC-84 or BMC-85. It is usually 7-10 days after the surety requirement has been filed on your behalf before you will be active to broker.
9

What is a BOC-3?

This is the filing for your agents for service of process. It lists an address within each state where legal paperwork may be served to your brokerage and then forwarded on to you. We can refer you to very reputable companies that can help you with this process.
10

After filing, how much time do I have to file my BOC-3 and my BMC-85 before my URS application is dismissed?

If you have not fulfilled all the broker requirements within 20 days of filing your URS application, the FMCSA will issue you a notice that you have 60 days from the date of the notice in which to meet all the requirements or your application will be dismissed.
11

For how long is my approval good for with PFA?

Your approval from Pacific Financial Association is good for 6 months from your approval date.