What is a Process Agent?
A process agent is a representative upon whom court papers may be served in any proceeding brought against a motor carrier, broker, or freight forwarder. Every motor carrier (of property or passengers) shall make a designation for each State in which it is authorized to operate and for each State traversed during such operations. Brokers are required to list process agents in each state in which they have an office and in which they write contracts. FMCSA Regulation 49 CFR Part 366 details more about the Designation of Process Agents by Motor Carriers and Brokers.
Do I Need One?
Many commercial firms will arrange process agents in any state for a fee. Below is a list of some of the companies providing this service.
How Do I Designate a Process Agent?
Either the applicant or process agent, on behalf of the applicant, can file Form BOC-3 (Designation of Process Agents) with the FMCSA. Only one completed form may be on file. It must include all states for which agency designations are required. One copy must be retained by the carrier or broker at its principal place of business.
About this Form
Only a process agent, on behalf of the applicant (carrier), can file Form BOC-3 (Designation of Process Agents) with the FMCSA. A broker or freight forwarder applicant, without CMVs, can file Form BOC-3 on their own behalf. Only one completed form may be on file. It must include all states for which agency designations are required. One copy must be retained by the carrier or broker at its principal place of business.
Regulations governing the designation of persons upon whom process may be served are prescribed at 49 CFR 366, as amended. An agent must be designated for each state in or through which the carrier, broker, or freight forwarder operates; each person, association or corporation designated must reside in the state for which designated; a carrier, broker or freight forwarder may designate himself/herself for the state in which he/she resides; and state officials may be designated only if such official’s agreement to so act is furnished with this designation. Note: a post office box is NOT ACCEPTABLE as an agent’s address.
Where to File
File the original signed copy with:
1200 New Jersey Ave., S.E. (W63-105)
Washington, DC 20590.
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. 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. Either INDIVIDUAL or BLANKET designations may be made.
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