Apply to be a passenger carrier in Massachusetts

Do you wish to operate a vehicle for-hire that carries 10 or more people including the driver within Massachusetts? First, you will need to get operating authority from the Department of Public Utilities (DPU).
All applications received by the first Friday of each month will be scheduled for a public hearing on the second Tuesday of the next month.

Department of Public Utilities Transportation Oversight Division

The Details of Apply to be a passenger carrier in Massachusetts

What you need for Apply to be a passenger carrier in Massachusetts

Type of business Document(s) you will need to submit
An individual proprietorship None
An individual proprietorship operating under a d/b/a A certified copy of the business certificate filed with the city or town clerk
A partnership A certified copy of the business certificate filed with the city or town clerk
A corporation incorporated in Massachusetts A certified copy of the articles of incorporation from the Massachusetts Secretary of State
A foreign corporation incorporated under the law of another state A certified copy of foreign corporation approval to do business in Massachusetts from the Secretary of State and a certified copy of corporation papers from the home state

Fees for Apply to be a passenger carrier in Massachusetts

The Department now accepts online payments through nCourt or by mail.

  • $100 filing fee for the application
  • $60 for each initial bus decal
    • This fee includes Department inspection
  • $40 for each bus decal renewal

How to apply Apply to be a passenger carrier in Massachusetts

You can fill and submit your passenger carrier application online and pay fees through nCourt.  Forms can be found in the Downloads section below.

To submit an online application, you will need to fill out the form using Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat, include what attachments you have available, and submit the form using the red button at the bottom of the form.  You will also need to pay required fees through nCourt or by check or money order mailed to the Department.  Please note that paying fees by mail will delay processing.

You can fill out the application form and submit it to the Department along with a check or money order payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Forms can be found in the Downloads section below.

More info about Apply to be a passenger carrier in Massachusetts

  • All applications received by the first Friday of each month will be scheduled for a public hearing on the second Tuesday of the next month.
    • You will be notified by email the date and time of your hearing.
    • The principal owner of the business is required to attend the hearing.
    • You have 60 days following the date of the hearing to supply all of the documents needed to get Department operating authority.
      • The required documents are provided below in the Required Documents section.
      • A Department Inspector will contact you to set a date to meet and review all of the requirements and documents to obtain authority from the Department.
  • When DPU operating authority is issued, you will be required to schedule vehicle inspections with your Department Inspector.
  • You will also be required to submit road test applications with a DOT physical for each driver driving a regulated vehicle.
    • ​​​​​​​A DOT physical for drivers is only required if your vehicles seat 14 passengers or fewer.
    • Road tests are coordinated by the RMV unless your vehicles seat 14 passengers or fewer.
  • Every year, you must submit current proof of insurance and an application for decal renewal.

Required Documents

Along with your application, you are required to submit the following documents before the Department can grant operating authority.  You can attach them to your application or provide them to the Department inspector during your meeting:

  • Proof of registered business
  • Balance sheet
  • Preventative maintenance plan
  • Safety management plan
  • Lease agreement for garaging point of vehicles
    • This is only required if the garaging point is not owned by the business owner
  • Certificate of insurance
  • Certified mechanic statement regarding maintenance
  • Backup service agreement
    • This is only required if your company is operating only one vehicle
  • Department bus decal application
    • There is a $60 fee per vehicle
  • Documentation of street rights from local towns and municipalities
    • For sightseeing and fixed route service companies only

Note on Forms

Be sure to save and open Division forms using Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat.  Opening forms directly in your browser disables form features like adding attachments, digital signatures, and submitting by email.

Downloads for Apply to be a passenger carrier in Massachusetts

Contact for Apply to be a passenger carrier in Massachusetts

Address
Department of Public Utilities Transportation Oversight Division
One South Station, 5th floor, Boston, MA 02110
Fax
(617) 478-2598

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