What is a BOC-3 and why do I need one?
The BOC-3 is the form used by the FMCSA to list the "process agents" in all states. A "process agent" acts as a representative to forward legal or court documents in any proceeding that might be brought against your company. Having a process agent listed in all 50 states is known as; a "blanket coverage". Everyone who files for MC Interstate Authority is required to have a BOC-3 on filed with FMCSA.
Authorization granted by the FMCSA to operate as a for-hire carrier, freight forwarder, or broker requires the applicant, as a condition of the authorization, to file with the DOT a “Designation of Agent for Service of Process” (BOC-3) for each state in which operations will be conducted.
The agent for service of process is the carriers “statutory agent,” located in each state of operation, and may receive notice of any actions against the carrier in that state on behalf of the carrier. The process agent functions as a conduit between the legal system and the motor carrier. This enables court actions to be served in the jurisdiction in which the event occurred, and eliminates the need to search for the location of a motor carrier domiciled in another jurisdiction. To locate a carrier’s process agent, the DOT will provide the name and address of the agent from their files.
The carrier may use a “blanket designation” to meet this requirement, rather than contracting with an agent in each state individually.