The government is to be asked to scrap seven Cumbria councils and replace them with a single county-wide authority.
County councillors have voted to put forward the bid to replace the county council and six district councils claiming it could save £22m a year.
Supporters of the move also claim it would make local government more efficient and cut bureaucracy.
The vote on Thursday was passed by a majority of 58 votes to 11. The council must submit its bid by 25 January.
Tim Stoddard, leader of Cumbria County Council, said: "This is an historic moment for Cumbria.
"I am proud of all the councillors who voted in favour of this.
"They have shown they have the vision to see what is an excellent outline for a more progressive, more representative and more cost-effective kind of local government for Cumbria."