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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

FMCSA Issues Final Guidance Clarifying Broker and Bona Fide Agents Definitions 

Friday, June 16, 2023

Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued regulatory guidance clarifying the definitions of “broker” and “bona fide agents.” 

FMCSA issued the guidance in response to a mandate in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriations Act. The guidance clarifies the definitions in the Code of Federal Regulations, with an eye toward efficiency and defining financial responsibilities. FMCSA issued interim guidance in November 2022. 

“This final guidance arms freight brokers and entities operating as bona fide agents or dispatch services in the trucking industry with information needed to help make appropriate decisions for their operations,” said FMCSA Administrator Robin Hutcheson. “It also helps clarify for regulated carriers whether they should work with entities that do not have broker authority and associated financial responsibility.” 
The guidance offers clarification for brokers, dispatch services, trade associations and other stakeholders across the trucking industry. 
FMCSA reviewed more than 130 comments filed during multiple comment periods for this guidance and considered them as part of the agency’s decision-making. FMCSA also sought comment on the guidance at a broker listening session it conducted during a major trucking show earlier this year.  
FMCSA works to give regulated entities the information they need for efficient operations and this guidance helps entities know when operations require broker authority. 

The final guidance can be viewed on the Federal Register

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) mission is to prevent crashes, fatalities, and injuries involving commercial trucks and buses. FMCSA develops safety and regulatory standards for commercial driver’s licenses; analyzes data and sponsors research; and conducts enforcement and education. FMCSA partners with nonprofit organizations, local and State governments, and other stakeholders to support innovative commercial driver training, safety inspections, and enhanced compliance and enforcement initiatives.