What is the BMC-84 Bond?
The BMC-84 bond is required by the United States Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for all freight forwarders and freight brokers in the United States. The BMC-84 bond is also referred to as the freight broker bond, the freight forwarder bond, and the ICC broker bond.
Who has to get this bond?
Anyone that acts as a freight forwarder or broker in the U.S. must obtain a BMC-84 bond. The FMCSA has established several insurance requirements for this industry, ranging from surety bonds to cargo insurance. Obtaining a surety bond is a requirement you must fulfill before the FMCSA will issue your Authority to Operate (MC number).
The purpose of freight broker bonds
The freight broker bond is a licensing requirement set by the FMCSA. This bond protects the FMCSA and the public from acts committed by freight brokers/forwarders that violate laws or licensing regulations. If a broker/forwarder commits a fraudulent act or doesn’t pay their motor carriers/shippers promptly, any injured party can recover damages via the surety bond.
An injured party can file a claim with the surety company on the broker or forwarder’s bond. The surety will investigate the claim and determine if it is valid. For all valid claims, the surety will pay out damages to the claimant for an amount up to the surety bond limit ($75,000). The broker or forwarder will be responsible for reimbursing the surety for the total claim amount, plus any additional fees and expenses incurred by the surety.
How much does a freight forwarder bond cost?
How much you’ll pay for a BMC-84 bond depends on your credit and the number of years you’ve been in business. Your credit will be the determining factor if you recently started a new business or are new to the industry and don’t have experience.
This type of bond sees some of the most claims in any industry. As such, surety companies are hesitant to quote individuals with nonstandard credit. Don’t let that scare you though, we have several sureties we will contact to try and find you a quote. For individuals with excellent credit who have been in business for several years, we’ve seen this bond quoted for as low as $938.
Bond requirements and obligee information
The BMC-84 bond has a required bond amount of $75,000, with a one-year term.
The obligee for the BMC-84 bond is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Their contact information is listed below.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Contact them via web form
Apply for your freight broker bond
We make applying for surety bonds quick, easy, and free. Simply locate the type of bond you need on our website and fill out the short application form. We’ll typically get back to you with your free quote within 24 hours. Our surety experts are here to answer any questions you may have along the way. So, please reach out to us at email@example.com or call us at 1-866-546-4605.
Frequently asked questions
The cost of a freight broker bond varies depending on your credit and the number of years you have been in business. At EZ Surety, we’ve seen this bond quoted for as low as $938 for individuals with excellent credit and several years in business.
To become a freight broker:
1. Gain experience in the industry
2. Create a business plan
3. Form your business
4. Find reliable carriers
5. Get a US DOT number
6. Post a BMC-84 surety bond
7. Get your broker Authority to Operate (MC Number)
We have a more detailed post on how to become a freight broker here. If you need info on how to become a freight forwarder, you can find that here.
Freight brokers have fewer responsibilities than forwarders because they do not take possession of the goods being transported. Freight brokers negotiate rates for shippers and act as an intermediary between the carriers and shippers.
Freight forwarders have some of the same responsibilities mentioned above and then some. Unlike brokers, forwarders take possession of the cargo being shipped. They also arrange the transportation of the goods and are liable if the cargo gets damaged.
The freight broker/forwarder bond is electronically filed with the obligee. Once you’ve purchased your bond, we work with the surety company to get your bond filed with the FMCSA. When the surety has filed your bond, we will email you a copy of the FMCSA Acceptance for your records. We will not email you a copy of the bond.