Freight brokering is an excellent career for those interested in logistics, exceptionally organized, and have an innate skill for working with people to solve problems logistically.
It’s relatively easy to become a freight broker in Illinois. The state requires you to hold a high school diploma or equivalent and apply for a state broker’s license in addition to meeting all federal freight broker requirements.
Although it is not required, obtaining specialized Illinois freight brokerage training is a smart move. Freight broker courses are taught across the state of Illinois at various colleges and universities. You can also find classes online. Your course will teach you what you need to know about operating a freight brokerage, including the specific Illinois regulations you must follow, and guide you through getting your state broker’s license.
- With Form OP-1, you can apply for your USDOT number and your motor carrier operating authority (broker authority) at once. Submit this application online rather than by mail to get your USDOT number right away. As of 2022, you’ll pay $300 to broker either household or non-household goods or $600 if you want to broker both.
- A BMC-84 bond, or surety bond, is an FMCSA requirement. You are required to put up $75,000, but not all on your own. Instead, you’ll pay an annual premium (usually between $1,500 and $3,000, based on your credit score) to a surety company, which will put up the bond. As long as you don’t get into trouble, that’s all you will pay.
- Once you have finished the federal process, you must obtain your state license. You’ll fill out an application and pay a filing fee ($50 as of 2022). You will also need to put up a $10,000 state surety bond.
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