An MC Number is mandatory if you engage in inter-state commerce (i.e., crossing state lines and transporting property). The following are required to have inter-state operating authority (an MC Number) in addition to a DOT Number:
An MC Number identifies a carrier transporting regulated commodities for hire in inter-state commerce. This number is mandatory and relates to items changed from their natural state and/or are regulated commodities by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Mexican Certificate Registration allows every Mexico-domiciled public motor carrier and private motor carrier to transport freight in commerce from Mexico within a 20-mile radius of the U.S. border.
Below are the forms to be completed to obtain the U.S. DOT Number and operating authority registration:
Note: This form is not to be filed if a business is domiciled in the U.S. and the owner or person who controls the business is a Mexican citizen.
"MX" is a prefix for a motor carrier that is owned or controlled by a citizen of Mexico. Specifically, this number refers to a person domiciled in Mexico.
The operating authority (MC/FF/MX Number) is also known as docket numbers.
According to the FMCSA, "Mexico-domiciled motor carrier that enters the U.S. must have an FMCSA-assigned MX Number, a valid FMCSA Certificate of Registration for commercial-zone operations, or long-haul Provisional or Standard Operating Authority Registration, and a U.S. DOT Number regardless of the distance traveled into the U.S."
The MX Number is also assigned to brokers and inter-state for-hire motor carriers that apply for operating authority. The time it takes to obtain an MX Number varies depending on when the application is submitted. It also depends on how the application originated. Be sure to refer to the guidelines enlisted per the Unified Registration System (URS) under Commercial Zone Authority.
An FF Number is issued to Freight Forwarders, whereas brokers and carriers are issued MC Numbers. Since Freight Forwarders cannot transport freight from one state to another, there is no provision for Freight Forwarders to obtain single state registration.
Freight forwarders are responsible for arranging the transportation of goods by FMCSA-licensed carriers. Therefore, Freight forwarders issue bills of lading to shippers and are accountable for the loss of or damage to the goods. Freight Forwarders are required to register with FMCSA. When the FMCSA Operating Authority grants permission to a Freight Forwarder to arrange for inter-state or foreign commerce, an FF Number is issued. Forwarders must register with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) by filing a Form OP-1 (FF).