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How to Obtain an MC Number

Written by Nick Webster

Published on May 10, 2023, 11:15 a.m.


Here is how to obtain an mc number:

  • Before applying for a Motor Carrier (MC) number, research the requirements and regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
  • Determine if you need to register as an interstate or intrastate motor carrier.
  • Gather any documents needed to complete your application. These can include proof of insurance, business entity creation documents, financial responsibility forms, and Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) information. Also, visit Check MC Number.
  • Please submit your application to the online portal or call our third-party experts. You can be assigned a unique MC number within five days of submission.
  • Pay any fees associated with obtaining an MC number. Fees vary depending on the type of entity requesting an MC number. Visit MC Number Insurance Requirements.


If you're looking to start and run your own trucking business nationally, acquiring your authority is an absolute must. But for those new to the trucking industry, the process of getting an MC number from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) can be confusing, complicated, and intimidating.

To make things easier, we've compiled this handy step-by-step guide that takes you through all the necessary steps to obtain your MC Authority Number. With these simple steps, you can take control of your truck's future. Let's get started! Read here about Starting a Trucking Company Correctly.

What Does MC Authority Mean?

The FMCSA assigns Motor Carrier (MC) numbers to identify carriers that provide services for hiring and transporting regulated commodities in interstate commerce. This MC number is also known as an operating authority or trucking authority. The MC number is a marker of trustworthiness and reliability, ensuring the carrier complies with all applicable safety regulations. Obtaining an MC number can be lengthy, but it's essential for professional drivers who wish to operate legally and safely on the roads. Must visit Do You Need an MC Number for a Cargo Van?

Is a USDOT Number the Same as an MC Number?

Nope. The USDOT number is distinct from the MC Number, and is a required part of any commercial vehicle transporting passengers or cargo in interstate commerce. This unique identifier is used for:

  • obtaining safety permits for carriers carrying hazardous materials
  • performing safety audits
  • compliance reviews
  • crash investigations
  • safety inspections

It's also one of the prerequisites to getting your MC authority. All in all, having an up-to-date USDOT number helps ensure that your business operates safely and efficiently on the roadways. What is DOT Clearinghouse Enforcement?

Who Must Have Authority in Trucking?

If you're looking to start a trucking business of your own, you'll need an MC Authority. However, that isn't the case if you plan on working as an independent truck driver. As a separate driver, you can operate under the MC authority of another company and don't need to apply for one yourself. How To Request the DOT PIN Number?

Before deciding, it's essential to plan out your business strategy and consider all the risks associated with becoming a full-fledged company or owner-operator versus working as an independent driver under another organization's MC authority. Doing so will help ensure you make the right choice for your career in the trucking industry.

If you choose to venture out on your own as a trucker, it's essential to consider what type of cargo you intend to carry. Generally speaking, MC authority is categorized based on your chosen business model. Below are examples of different kinds of freight that may require distinct types of MC authority. Must visit FMCSA Hours of Service Suspended topics. Also, take a look at the Drug and Alcohol Program policy.

What Are Motor Carriers of Household Goods (Moving Companies)?

Getting MC authority may be the right choice for your business if you're looking to haul only household goods. Per the FMCSA, these goods include items purchased from stores or a factory with the intent of being used in a residence and shipped at the request of the homeowner, who pays for transportation costs. To obtain this authorization, carriers must present proof of liability insurance and cargo coverage to the FMCSA. Visit the DOT Authority Package, which contains tips to prepare for 2022 DOT Week filings in minutes.

What Are Motor Carriers of Property (Except Household Goods)?

This type of MC authority is the most commonly used by carriers to operate professionally. It allows for-hire transportation of regulated commodities in the public sector. While cargo insurance isn't mandatory, you must submit proof of liability coverage for personal injury and property damage with the FMCSA if you wish to obtain this interstate operating authority. California DOT number?

To comply with MC authority requirements, it is essential to be clear about your role in the transport sector. In addition to the two most popular forms, other types of MC authority include those for brokers and cargo shipments that start from or arrive in a foreign nation. Knowing which type applies to your business will help ensure you stay compliant with regulations. How do you get an Oregon Trip And Fuel Permit?

How Can I Secure a Motor Carrier Number?

Getting an MC Authority is a lengthy process. You'll need to adhere to a strict order of nine steps to get it. It also requires setting aside funds for associated costs like insurance and registration fees – nonrefundable ones at that! That's why it's essential to double-check information on the forms before submitting them. Any mistakes can result in lost money since you may have to restart the process and pay all over again. So be diligent when completing these documents! Learn here How to Prepare for a Compliance DOT Audit.

Form a Business Entity Before Getting an MC Number

Before applying for your MC Authority, it is essential to ensure that your trucking business plan meets the criteria set out by the FMCSA. This includes details about the cargo and operation type you're planning on pursuing and a description of the company type. Consult with your FMCSA application for a full list of all applicable criteria. Careful consideration and attention to detail when crafting this plan will be instrumental in ensuring your application goes through smoothly. IFTA Sticker Registration steps.

It is essential to obtain your EIN (Employer Identification Number) through the IRS and be pre-approved for liability and cargo insurance before you apply for MC authority. Without this approval, you may be denied coverage and unable to move forward with your application — wasting both your time and money. Read about Texas DOT Numbers and USDOT Numbers.

It is essential to be prepared for the application period, as it can take up to sixty days to complete. During this time, make sure you have enough cash available to cover your operating costs for an additional 45 to 60 days after you are operational - since payment from the first loads may not arrive immediately. Additionally, setting up a business entity may cost between $50 and $500, depending on the state regulations. Lastly, insurance typically ranges from 9,000-12,000 USD annually based on different factors. Check out The Basics of Farm Exemptions. You will then be able to maintain complete motor carrier authority or broker.

Don't Forget to Apply for the MC Authority

It's now time to submit your application for MC authority. Use your business plan as a reference and double-check the FMCSA registration requirements. Gather all necessary information, like the truck's VIN, year, weight, details about incorporation, license plates (if applicable), and USDOT number. What are the Top 3 DOT paper-appointed Violations?

Do Not Put Off Receiving a USDOT Number

Get your USDOT number through the Unified Registration System portal. The process is simple and free of charge until URS is fully implemented. You won't be able to apply for MC authority until you have obtained a USDOT number, so take care of this step first. Follow the instructions on the portal, and you'll soon have your USDOT number! You will need driver qualification files.

What Is BOC-3?

Filing your BOC-3 paperwork is easy when you have the right process agent. The FMCSA maintains a list of agents who can accurately complete this filing for you. Once in place, they will accept legal documents on behalf of your trucking company and charge anywhere from $10 to $50. Get up to date with your trucking business today by ensuring your BOC-3 paperwork is filed properly. How Much Does a Dot Number Cost?

How Do I File UCR?

Make sure you don't miss out on getting a UCR permit! It's essential to have active insurance coverage in the states where you operate. Before, make sure you have both your MC number and number. The fee is only $69 if you register 0 to 2 vehicles. Don't risk the hefty penalties of not having a UCR - get your permit today and stay safe on the road! Filed out by all employees who drive for you to work. Also, take a look at What Is IRP or Apportioned Registration.

What Is HVUT?

HVUT, or the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax, is a tax levied on all heavy vehicles that traverse public highways. To file your HVUT return, fill out and submit IRS Form 2290 to the Internal Revenue Service. Filing this form isn't optional - you won't be able to register for IRP (International Registration Plan) until you've completed it. The amount of HVUT tax you pay depends on where and how far cargo was transported by your vehicle. Keep up to date with payment deadlines so that you don't incur any penalties! Learn About FMCSA Registration.

What Does the FMCSA Say About MC Numbers & the Authority to Operate?

Companies that transport passengers or commodities across state lines for a fee must have an Operating Authority (MC Number) in addition to their DOT number. This is mandatory if they are providing services such as transporting other people's products between states, or carrying passengers from one state to another and charging them for the service. Visit Broker Authority Package

To ensure compliance with federal regulations, companies must obtain an MC and DOT numbers. Failure to do so may result in fines or penalties. These numbers will help businesses ensure safe operations and provide customers with peace of mind when utilizing their services. It also helps protect the company from potential liabilities resulting from failure to comply with regulations. What is the UCR program?

An FMCSA operating authority is identified by an "MC," "FF," or "MX" number, depending on the type of authority granted. Depending on a company's planned operations, they may need to obtain multiple types of operating rules. These authorities will dictate what kind of activities a business can carry out and what cargo it may transport—starting a Trucking Company Package.

Does Anyone Not Need FMCA Authority for Operating?

That’s correct. If you're a private carrier transporting your own cargo, or a for-hire carrier only operating within the exempt commodities scope, or an organization working exclusively in a federally designated commercial zone – then you don't need to obtain interstate authority. What is MC Number?

A commercial zone is an area that encompasses multiple states bordering on a major city such as Virginia/Maryland. This will also dictate the extent of insurance/financial responsibilities that must be adhered to. Moreover, carriers are advised to regularly verify with their state agency whether any changes have taken place regarding the regulations to remain compliant with local and federal laws. Keeping up-to-date on requirements can help prevent any legal issues down the road—the importance of The FMCSA 30-Minute Break Rule.

    Summary: How Do I Obtain an MC Number?

    • Contact the third-party experts at and apply for an MC Number. You will need to have a USDOT number to apply.
    • We will complete the Unified Registration System (URS) application, available online from the FMCSA. What is Unified Carrier Registration?
    • Our team can submit all required documents and forms, such as proof of insurance, evidence of financial responsibility, and other information about the business you plan to operate under your MC Number. What is the DOT SAP Program?
    • Wait for a response from FMCSA regarding the status of your application. Your MC Number should be issued within 30 days of submitting your application.
    • Once you’ve been granted an MC Number, keeping records of all registration fees paid is essential.

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