How to get your trucking authority in Canada
Obtaining your trucking authority in Canada is a great way to get more load opportunities and a diverse set of customers in the Great White North. We will outline in this blog post what steps you need to take to get your Canadian operating authority and tips on how to operate your trucking business in Canada so you are set up for success.
What is trucking authority?
Transporting goods requires a permit called a trucking authority. There are two types of trucking authority you can apply for: common and contract. If you haul freight for specific companies and have a contractual agreement with them, then you will want to apply for a contract. For common these are carriers that hire themselves out to any company that needs freight transported.
If you already have a trucking authority in the U.S. you will still need to apply for one if you plan to operate in Canada.
Luckily most load and vehicle requirements between Canada and the U.S. are quite similar. However, there are some other key differences that may affect you getting approved. The general freight liability insurance in Canada must be a minimum of $1,000,000 instead of FMCSA’s $750,000 minimum. Truck cargo coverage is also dependent on gross vehicle weight.
How much does it cost to get your trucking authority?
It costs around $700 to $900 dollars to get your trucking authority in Canada.
Steps to getting your trucking authority in Canada
1. Gather Important Documents
Before you begin the application process make sure you have all of your required documents ready. You will need all of the information below to complete your application:
- Corporation Papers
- Copy of Driver’s License
- Copy of Truck Registration
- Copy of Certificate of Insurance
- Copy of IFTA Certificate for all vehicles with GVWR 26,000 lbs or over
If your trucking business is operating in either Ontario or Quebec you will need to also obtain provincial safety registrations.
For businesses operating in Ontario, you will need to apply for an Ontario Commercial Vehicle Operator Registration.
For businesses operating in Quebec, you need a Registration Identification Number.
2. Obtain a CBSA Code
Before entering Canada your trucking company must be set up with the CBSA (Canadian Border Service Agency) and obtain a four-digit code which will serve as your main unique carrier identifier.
Remember this code as it will be necessary for all the paperwork that you fill out when crossing the border and will be referenced by the CBSA.
3. Create an eManifest account
Once you receive your trucking authority you will also need to send your pre-arrival data through eManifest at least an hour before the shipment arrives at the border.
Sign in to this online portal to get important updates from the CBSA, notifications about cross-border activities and access to online help. From there you can describe the contents of the cargo, your arrival time, and submit other paperwork electronically for review.
To access the eManifest Portal click here.
4. Print out PARS Stickers
Your PARS (Pre-Arrival Review System) stickers should be attached to all your paperwork including BOLs and sent to the CBSA for custom clearance.
Failure to complete these steps may result in a delay in crossing the border.
5. Apply for the FAST Program
Apply for the FAST (Free and Secure Trade) program which allows your trucks to use dedicated lanes in Canada and the United States. This is not a requirement but benefits you greatly. A FAST membership card reduces the amount of time spent on clearing customs and you can process cargo faster without any headaches. This membership is valid for 5 years and comes with a $50 processing fee.
How Do I Grow My Trucking Business?
Once you’re done setting up your business, it’s time to grow and scale your operations.
Managing a fleet of drivers, a growing number of customers and piles of paperwork due to cross border activities can feel like a lot.
A cloud-based transportation management system can help streamline all your information into one place and make it easier to stay organized, allowing your team to communicate efficiently and quickly without any costly delays or interruptions.
Getting your Canadian authority can be accomplished by following the guide above. Make sure to download this trucking authority checklist so you don’t miss out on these steps. Expanding your business operations is an exciting time and getting your Canadian trucking authority can mean more customers down the road.
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