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Who Needs an MC Number?

Written by Nick Webster

Published on May 21, 2023, 6 a.m.


“Who needs an MC number?” is an excellent question. Many businesses involved in the transportation of goods and passengers are required to have an MC number. An MC number is a unique identifier issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to businesses that operate commercial vehicles across state lines. This number is necessary for companies that transport goods or passengers for hire, whether it is a for-profit or non-profit organization.

Suppose a business operates a commercial vehicle that weighs more than 10,000 pounds, transports hazardous materials, or carries more than eight passengers, including the driver. In that case, they are required to have an MC number. Even if a business operates solely within one state, it may still need an MC number if it transports goods or passengers that originate or terminate in another state. Depending on individual state regulations, multiple such numbers may be needed for unrestricted travel across all US states. Not having an MC number can result in significant fines and penalties, as well as the suspension or revocation of a business's operating authority.

What Is an MC Number?

An MC Number is a unique identifier the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) assigns to interstate carriers who transport passengers or haul cargo in interstate commerce. It is also known as a Motor Carrier Number.

The MC Number is a carrier license to operate in interstate commerce and is legally required for carriers who meet specific criteria. Know about Starting a Trucking Company Correctly. The FMCSA uses the MC Number to track carriers' safety performance and compliance with federal regulations.

To obtain an MC Number, carriers must register with the FMCSA and provide information such as their business name, address, and type of operation. -The Basics of Farm Exemptions. The FMCSA also requires carriers to have insurance coverage and to meet safety and fitness standards.

Carriers who operate without an MC Number risk facing penalties, fines, and even legal action. Therefore, pages need to ensure they have the proper authority and registration before operating in interstate commerce.

Who Needs an MC Number?

If you are involved in transporting goods or passengers in the United States, you may need to obtain an MC number. An MC number is a unique identifier that is assigned by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to motor carriers, freight forwarders, and brokers. Do you want to know what the DOT SAP Program is? The MC number tracks safety records, compliance with regulations, and financial responsibility.

Motor carriers, interstate commerce, freight brokers.

Motor Carriers

Motor carriers are companies that operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) to transport goods or passengers in interstate commerce. DOT Authority Package: If you own or operate a motor carrier, you must obtain an MC number from the FMCSA. This applies to both for-hire and private carriers. Examples of motor carriers include trucking companies, bus companies, and limousine services.

Freight Forwarders

Freight forwarders are companies that arrange for the transportation of goods on behalf of shippers. They do not own the CMVs that transport the goods, but they coordinate the movement of the goods from one point to another. If you are a freight forwarder and arrange for goods' transportation in interstate commerce, you must obtain an MC number from the FMCSA. Tips to prepare for 2022 DOT Week filings in minutes. How do you get an Oregon Trip And Fuel Permit?


Brokers are companies that arrange for the transportation of goods on behalf of shippers. However, unlike freight forwarders, brokers do not take possession of the goods or arrange for their storage. Instead, they act as intermediaries between shippers and carriers. If you are a broker and arrange for goods' transportation in interstate commerce, you must obtain an MC number from the FMCSA.

What Is Interstate Commerce in Trucking?

  • Interstate commerce involves the transportation of goods across state lines.
  • It is regulated by both federal and state governments, which have the authority to control the movement of goods in their respective jurisdictions.
  • In trucking, interstate commerce includes the movement of goods and services such as freight forwarding, warehousing, and intermodal transport.
  • Trucking companies that participate in interstate commerce must comply with a variety of regulations specific to their industry, including licensing requirements, safety regulations, and insurance requirements.
  • These regulations are designed to ensure public safety, protect the environment, promote competition among carriers and other businesses involved in trucking operations, and reduce costs for shippers while ensuring they receive quality service.

Should I Get an MC Number Before Starting a Trucking Company?

If you are considering starting a trucking company, it's essential to determine if you need an MC (Motor Carrier) number beforehand. The short answer is yes—you'll need an MC number in order to operate a commercial vehicle for interstate transportation legally—the importance of The FMCSA 30-Minute Break Rule. The FMCSA issues this number and identifies your business as a legitimate motor carrier under US law.

An MC number can be obtained through the FMCSA Unified Registration System, which also requires you to provide information about your business, such as the type of operation, insurance coverage, and vehicles owned or leased. Having an MC number may even be beneficial when applying for fuel cards or other forms of credit.

Who Is Exempt From Driving With MC Numbers?

Specific individuals are exempt from having to apply for and possess MC numbers, such as those who:

  • Operate vehicles only in intrastate commerce.
  • Transport their own goods or property (not transporting goods owned by someone else, including working as an independent contractor).
  • Drive recreational vehicles not used in commercial activities.
  • Operate farm vehicles that do not cross state lines.

If you fall into one of these categories, you may be exempt from needing to obtain MC numbers. However, our organization must check with your local Department of Motor Vehicle or other relevant authorities before assuming you are exempt. Then, we can provide more detailed information about exemptions for specific types of drivers and operations.

operating authority, regulatory compliance.

Do MC Numbers Expire?

MC numbers do not expire. They are issued to businesses and remain on record with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration until there is a company registration or ownership change. At this point, an updated MC number may be issued. Maintaining an up-to-date MC number ensures that your business is registered and compliant with all federal regulations.

An MC Number also serves as a unique identifier for your business when working with customers, vendors, and other industry organizations. To keep your MC number up-to-date, make sure you update your contact information regularly with the FMCSA and renew any relevant licenses or permits on time. Doing so will help ensure that you comply with all federal regulations.


In summary, if you are involved in transporting goods or passengers in the United States, you may need to obtain an MC number. FMCSA Hours of Service Suspended topics. Motor carriers, freight forwarders, and brokers must get an MC number from the FMCSA.

Summary: Who Must Have an MC Number?

  • Motor carriers who transport passengers or cargo in interstate commerce and have commercial drivers operating their vehicles.
  • Drivers of these motor carriers must have a valid U.S. DOT number displayed on the side of any vehicle they drive for commercial purposes in interstate commerce.
  • You must obtain an MC number from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) if you are a freight broker, freight forwarder, or hazardous materials transporter involved in interstate commerce.
  • Any company that receives payment for transporting property or individuals across state lines must hold an MC number.

Individuals who move household goods across state borders may also be required to obtain an MC Number if they engage in business as a common carrier.

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