Agents of Process and Registered Agents (BOC-3)
What’s the difference between Agents of Process for Interstate Carriers and Registered Agents for Intrastate Carriers?
The regulations of the FMCSA (49 USC 13304) require that each interstate motor carrier must designate an Agent of Process as a condition of being granted and maintaining their operating authority. The process agent serves as your statutory agent in each state where you have interstate operating authority; they act on your behalf to receive notice of any legal actions that may be filed against you in the state vis-à-vis the interstate shipments that you transport to, from or via that state. The process agent functions as a channel between you and the legal system and enables court actions to be served in the jurisdiction in which the event occurred.
AMSA has a network of attorneys across the country that fulfills this requirement on your behalf. And as an AMSA member, you are provided with this service free of charge; it is included in you annual dues payment.
Specifically, the provisions provide –
Designation of Agent. - A motor carrier or broker providing transportation subject to jurisdiction under chapter 135, including a motor carrier or broker operating within the United States while providing transportation between places in a foreign country or between a place in one foreign country and a place in another foreign country, shall designate an agent in each State in which it operates by name and post office address on whom process issued by a court with subject matter jurisdiction may be served in an action brought against that carrier or broker.
FMCSA strongly encourages users to submit the Process Agent or Insurance Filing online.
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.
AMSA is a company providing this service for a fee. (Free if the carrier is an AMSA member).
To have AMSA submit your process agent filing, download an interactive BOC-3 form here.