MC Number

for trucking company

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Where to get it?

Logistics can bring you a ton of cash, but at the same time you have to keep all the regulations in mind to be truly successful. One of those rules to keep in mind of is your MC authority, which you need to get if you are a law-abiding businessman. In this article, we will tell you how to get your MC authority and about its importance.

What is it?

It is a thing, required by FMCSA to be had by those companies, who are hauling stuff from state to state. It is given by the FMCSA and works as a permit to work as a for-hire transportation venture. Basically, it’s a license that enables you to do your work and comply with federal safety laws. Getting your MC authority should be the first step before even starting to work.

Types of Authority

When you make your application for the MC authority – make a wise choice, because there is a lot of those out there.. The type you need highly relies on the nature of your trucking business and the services you are going to be providing. The type of your trucks also applies to this selection. Here are the main types of MC Authority:

Common Carrier:

The bread and butter of authority. It allows its owner to transport goods for monetary gain and is basically a regular permit for the transportation within the state.

Contract Carrier:

You need this if your trucking business works based on the specific contracts with shippers, according to which you transport their goods. If that is true, you need this type of authority, which allows you to work with particular clients, without transporting general goods.


You need it if you are not a trucking company, but a freight broker. This type of authority allows you to broker trucking services, but not to transport goods.

Exempt For-Hire:

This authority is needed for those companies that provide the usual transportation services, but does not need other types of authority.

Specialized MC Authorities

Besides the main types of authority, there are others, more specialized authorities out there, that work for different niches or specific services in the industry. They allow businesses to deal with more specialized work under different regulations. Here are some examples of such specialized authorities:

Household Goods Authority:

This authority is used for businesses that work within the household goods transportation sphere. Its goal is to protect consumers from bad practices and to ensure the safe transportation of their property.

Refrigerated (Reefer) Authority:

If your business transports some cargo that is sensitive to temperature levels – this authority is for you, It covers the logistics of such perishable items as frozen foods, pharmaceuticals and other cargo that needs temperature control

Hazmat Authority:

If your business deals with materials that present danger, you need to get the Hazmat Authority, which covers the regulations of handling, storing and transportation of dangerous cargo, for the sake of everyone involved.

Livestock and Agricultural Commodities Authority:

This type of authority was created for businesses that work in the sphere of live animal or agricultural goods transportations. It protects the animals and the quality of agricultural products.

Passenger Carrier Authority:

This type of authority is used by businesses dealing with passenger transportation, such as charter bus companies or limousine services.

It is very important to pick the specialized MC Authority that suits your business model the best, because operating with a wrong one, or without it may lead to dire consequences for your business.

Are the MC Number and USDOT Number the Same?

The MC Number and USDOT Number, are two completely different things, despite the fact they are both issued by FMCSA. They serve different purposes and are needed for different things. Let’s get down to the details:

MC Number (Motor Carrier Number):


The MC number is used to identify their holders who take part in transportation within the state. It is used as a unique identifier for looking after the motor carriers and their ability to comply with safety regulations.


Any business that is a motor carrier operating between the states usually needs to have an MC number. It is critical for getting the operating authority and the permits for successful and legal work

Regulatory Focus:

The FMCSA uses the MC to regulate whether their holders comply with safety regulations and also for insurance purposes.

USDOT Number (United States Department of Transportation Number):


the DOT number is a higher-class identifier needed to regulate a broader range of CMVs working in the US.


Being different from MC, the USDOT also applies to a huge variety of CMVs like trucks and buses.

Regulatory Focus:

Just like the MC authority, the USDOT number is very important for the sake of compliance. But the difference here lies in the broader scale of participants.

So, to sum it all up, the MC is only applied to the motor carriers dealing with transportation within the state, while the USDOT number works in “broader strokes”.

Who Needs an Authority?

Not everyone busy transporting goods or passengers needs to have a motor carrier authority, It all depends on the nature of business and its operations. Let’s take a look at those who most often need to have an MC and who don’t.

For-Hire Motor Carriers:

Common carriers need to have it in order to stay compliant to the law, while transporting property or passengers for payment.

Private Carriers:

Such carriers usually don’t need to have such authority. However, if they work for hire, then the rule applies to them too.


Freight brokers who work within the transportation industry do not need to have the MC number. Instead, they register as brokers with the FMCSA.


If your vehicle weighs less than 10,001 pounds or you operate only within a single state you do not need to have an MC.

Passenger Carriers:

If you carry passengers for monetary compensation, you have to get this authority for yourself.

Hazardous Materials:

In this case, the weight of your vehicle does not matter. If you transport hazardous goods – you need to have an MC.

How do I get a Motor Carrier Number?

Getting your Motor Carrier authority is very important to allow your business to work legally in the sphere of transportation within the state. However, getting it is rather easy. Here are the steps:

Determine your motor carrier Authority Type:

Your first step should be to specify the type of authority you need for your operations.

Register for a USDOT Number:

Also, you need to make sure that your business has an active USDOT number. If you do not have it – get it by registering through the FMCSA.

Prepare Financial Responsibility:

The next step depends on the type of your operations. You might need to meet financial requirements.

Access the FMCSA Portal:

After doing all the previous steps, create an account on the FMCSA portal and apply for your motor carrier authority.

Submit the Application:

After being done with the FMCSA Portal account creation, you need to complete the application, by filling out all the required fields.

Pay the Application Fee:

The next step is paying the fee, which varies between every type of application.

Wait for Processing:

Now you play the waiting game, while the FMCSA reviews your case. You can always check its status through their site.

Get the thing you came here for:

When the wait is done, and your application is approved, you will finally get your motor carrier authority. Keep in mind that you should always have a copy of your authority certificate in your commercial vehicles.

Maintain Compliance:

After all this work, you need to do everything you can to stay compliant, or else your authority may be revoked.

Renew Your motor carrier Authority:

Keep in mind the dates of updating and always do it on time to not get fined.

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