April 8, 2019
Do you use commercial vehicles that transport more than 15 passengers or carry cargo from one state to another as part of your ministry? If so, you are required to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and obtain a USDOT number. This allows the USDOT to monitor the safety and management practices of the organization through safety audits, compliance reviews, and roadside inspections.
Brotherhood Mutual offers additional risk management information regarding ministry vehicles:
When a ministry needs a larger vehicle to do its work—a van, truck, or bus—along with the greater capacity comes greater registration responsibilities and insurance coverage requirements.
Any organization operating a commercial vehicle that transports passengers or carries cargo, including hazardous materials, must have a United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) number. This unique identifier allows the USDOT to monitor the safety and management practices of the organization through safety audits, compliance reviews, and roadside inspections. Organizations that offer “for hire” transport of passengers or cargo across state lines need a Motor Carrier (MC) number.
A USDOT number is needed if the ministry owns a vehicle that will be used to travel across state lines and has at least one of the following characteristics:
Some states require commercial vehicles to have a USDOT number regardless of whether or not they cross state lines. Learn more about the requirements for a USDOT number from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), or contact your state department of motor vehicles for more information. To obtain a USDOT number, visit the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and complete form MCS-150.
An MC number is required on vehicles operated as “for hire” carriers. A “for hire” carrier transports goods or passengers for compensation or for the benefit of a commercial enterprise. For churches, this most likely does not include transporting individuals who contribute money to defer the cost of transportation.
An MC number is obtained by registering a form OP-1 with the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Most states require vehicle operators to provide proof of financial responsibility. Typically, the proof of coverage cards received in an insurance policy satisfy this requirement.
Organizations with vehicles that have an MC number are also required to keep a form MCS-90 in the vehicle. This form is issued by the insurance company. Brotherhood Mutual can provide assistance to any policyholder who needs a copy.
If you have any questions about insurance coverage or requirements for ministry vehicles, please feel free to contact us or reach out to your local agent directly.
With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s wise for ministries to evaluate their fire safety plan. Whether your ministry is hosting a holiday party, prepping treats for charity, or running a community kitchen, make sure you’re well-prepared with these tips.
As school is back in session, it’s important to make sure your school is equipped with the correct safety procedures. Thinking about your school’s physical security as a series of layers can help you find gaps in your plan. Transportation and volunteers are just two important aspects of your school safety plan to think about.
Anyone who turns on the news, flips through a magazine, or browses the web can see that American society and culture are experiencing rapid transitions. Some ministries have valid concerns that issues surrounding societal shifts may expose them to negative publicity, governmental scrutiny, or litigation.
The questions become: when and how can ministries operate within their deeply held religious beliefs when they may conflict with others’ rights?
Cyber security is increasingly crucial in our technologically advanced world. Scammers use many schemes when attempting to steal your data, but you can outsmart them by understanding their methods.
Most ministry leaders don’t realize there is funding available to non-profit employers including churches, schools, colleges, and camps. This post includes some highlights about the credit and guidance on where to start to see if your ministry is eligible.
If your church is anything like mine, Vacation Bible School (VBS) is a big deal. Not just because it is central to our ministry’s outreach to young families, but because of the important role that VBS plays in the spiritual formation of children.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Though child abuse may not be something you could ever imagine happening within your ministry, sexual abuse of a minor is one of the top five reasons churches end up in court, according to Church Law & Tax. Studies also show that a child is much more likely to be sexually abused by a trusted adult than a stranger.
When severe storms strike, they can produce high winds and tornadoes. Damaging winds can wreak havoc on your ministry’s property and to buildings. A high wind event can crash debris through your windows, strip your siding, down trees on your parking lot, peel shingles off your roof, and fling back the flashing.
Thieves are taking advantage of soaring precious metal prices. Take steps to protect your ministry’s vehicles and property.
As the Director of Ministry Safety for our agency, I am dedicated to finding ways to help safeguard ministries like yours.
As temperatures plummet, the risk of freezing pipes soars. Frozen pipes can cause costly messes that could also put your ministry on hold while you clean up.
On behalf of our agency, I recently participated in one such training which focused on strategies and tactics for responding as a single officer to an active safety threat in a school building.
If you’re anything like me (and maybe the rest of the world for that matter), you’re grateful to put the craziness of the past year behind us.
Preparing for this Christmas season may require additional creativity, due to the uncertainty of what COVID-19 may bring in our local community.
A mid-November deadline in the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) bankruptcy proceedings may have you wondering what the organization’s bankruptcy filing means for your ministry if you ever hosted or chartered Boy Scout Troops.
Organizations that obtained Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding through the CARES Act can have their loans forgiven, turning them into grants. To qualify, each borrower must file a forgiveness application with its PPP lender, proving that it followed the rules. If your church, school, college, or camp meets all the criteria, 100% of its loan can be forgiven.
Ministries are creatively scrambling to continue their operations and safely engage their congregations with an array of online technologies during the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, hackers are ready to take advantage of the confusion with scams designed to steal valuable data or siphon funds from your ministry.
Learn about the CARES Act and two loans for which ministries may be eligible, since Congress authorized additional funding April 23.
As concern over the dangers associated with the spread of a new coronavirus, COVID-19, spreads, our agency and Brotherhood Mutual want to keep you informed and provide best practices for managing the spread of this and similar illnesses at your ministry.
The first Sunday in February is a big day for sports fans. In fact, many Americans view Super Bowl Sunday as a national holiday. Friends and families will gather this year to watch the big game, enjoy delicious snacks, and of course, critique the commercials that go along with game day.