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Freight Broker (BMC-84) Bond Guide
All U.S. freight brokers and forwarders need to file a BMC-84 or ICC surety bond to maintain licensing compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Learn how to become a bonded broker in this guide.
What Is a Freight Broker Bond?
Freight broker bonds, also known as BMC-84 bonds or ICC broker bonds, ensure that licensed freight brokers and forwarders adhere to regulations. Title 49, U.S.C. 13904 requires all freight brokers and freight forwarders to file either a surety bond (BMC-84) or a trust fund agreement (BMC-85) before beginning business operations.
Watch to learn more about how freight broker license bonds work:
How Much Does a Freight Broker Bond Cost?
The cost of a $75,000 freight broker bond starts at $938 for the FMCSA's required 1-year term but varies by state and by applicant. Your exact premium cost will be a percentage of the $75,000 bond amount as determined by a surety underwriter.
Industry-experienced brokers or forwarders may qualify for a lower bond rate. Apply now for your free quote from SuretyBonds.com.
How to Get a Freight Broker Surety Bond
You can apply for your BMC-84 bond 24/7 through our secure online portal.
- If you're starting a new freight brokerage without final company information, you can just enter your personal information to get a free quote.
- If you need a bond for an existing freight company, provide your company information and 6-8 digit motor carrier number as it's currently filed with the FMCSA.
Once you pay your invoice, we’ll electronically file your bond directly with the FMCSA on your behalf.
What Does a Freight Broker Bond Cover?
If freight brokers or forwarders fail to comply with the bond terms, the harmed parties can file a claim. The surety company will settle valid claims up to the total bond amount. The most common reason for claims is motor carriers failing to pay their business partners on time.
Why Choose SuretyBonds.com?
SuretyBonds.com is the nation’s leading surety provider. Our friendly team of experts makes the freight broker bonding process fast, easy and affordable. Unlike other insurance providers, SuretyBonds.com never charges additional or hidden fees.
How to File Your BMC-84 Bond
The FMCSA now requires electronic submission of all information from the surety company. We will electronically file your bond for freight broker license operating authority with the FMCSA on your behalf.
You can verify your FMCSA authority and BMC-84 bond status at any time. Find more information about FMCSA insurance filing requirements here.
How to Update Your Bond Information
If you need to update your BMC-84 surety bond, contact your bond company as they will need to file the change directly with the FMCSA. If you purchased your bond from SuretyBonds.com, email [email protected] to explain the needed change.
How to Renew Your Freight Broker Bond
Freight broker bonds must be renewed annually when the term expires. To renew your bond with SuretyBonds.com, simply pay your emailed invoice and we will verify your active bond status with the FMCSA.
Freight broker license bonds are valid for one year from the filing date. If either the broker or surety company wishes to cancel the bond, the surety company must provide a 30-day notice of cancellation to the FMCSA.
How Do You Get a Freight Broker License?
To obtain freight broker authority, applicants must complete the following steps as required by the FMCSA:
- File an OP-1 Application for Motor Property Carrier and Broker Authority (expect 4-6 weeks for processing).
- Provide a $75,000 BMC-84 surety bond or BMC-85 trust fund agreement.
- Submit BOC-3 (Designation of Process Agent).
- Pay the $300 filing fee.
For more detailed instructions, read our comprehensive guide on how to get a freight broker license.
Additional Freight Forwarder Insurance Requirements
The FMCSA requires some freight forwarders to file additional insurance using the following forms:
- Liability insurance: BMC-91 or BMC-91x (if insurance is provided by multiple companies)
- Proof of cargo insurance (if you are a household goods freight forwarder): BMC-34 or BMC-83
What Is the BMC-85 Trust Fund Agreement?
In place of a bond, brokers can choose to place $75,000 into a trust fund by filing form BMC-85. This option requires full collateral upfront, so often only large and well-established freight brokerages choose this option.
Newer companies and individuals with poor credit typically choose to file a surety bond since it only requires an annual premium rather than $75,000 of collateral.