MC Number

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Product Code: 28

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Product Description:

  • Interstate operating authority (MC number) in addition to a DOT
  • MC number identifies a carrier who transports commodities
  • An MC number (Motor Carrier number) is interstate operating auth

Everything You Need to Know About MC Numbers



MC numbers are very important for trucking organizations. An MC number gives many companies the authority to operate. Some say that understanding the basics of MC numbers is a difficult process. But that’s where this article comes into play. It will do more than inform you about who needs an MC number. It will also tell you the type of authority that’s needed, the costs, and what steps you should take. Are you ready to learn all you need to know about MC numbers? Let’s get started. 


What Is an MC Number?



The term MC number stands for Motor Carrier number. Having a number provides a carrier with interstate operating authority. Plus, the MC number serves as a specific identifier for the FMCSA. It helps them recognize moving companies that conduct operations across interstate commerce. This means that the MC number is for businesses that transport cargo across state lines. But keep in mind that some moving companies do not need to have an MC number. Yet, all interstate movers get required by law to have and display their USDOT numbers. This applies to all commercial carriers. Keep in mind that FMCSA operating authority is sometimes not identified as an MC number. Instead, there are also FF and MX numbers. The classification of number depends on the form of authority that gets granted.



Who Needs an MC Number?



There are two main types of organizations that get required to have an MC number. Both types must also have a DOT number. In other words, the following two forms of companies need interstate operating authority. 1. Companies that transport people by way of interstate commerce. Compensation or a fee, whether indirect or direct, applies to this type of company. 2. Companies that transport commodities owned by others and get federally regulated. Or, this type of company arranges the transportation of the commodities. Compensation or a fee with interstate commerce applies to this type of company.



The Specific Types & Classifications of Interstate Carriers That Need MC Numbers



Almost all interstate carriers in the United States need to have an MC number. Otherwise, they're forbidden from operating in a legal manner. When it comes to MC operating authorities, there are different classifications. Choosing a certain operating authority determines the type of operations for each company. The classification also affects the type of cargo that a company’s trucks can carry. Let’s now go over the different types/classifications for MC operating authorities:

-The Motor Carrier of Property needs an MC number. This type excludes household goods. It applies to for-hire motor carriers that get authorized. These carriers transport regulated commodities other than standard household goods. The carriers perform their operations for the general public and receive compensation.

-Moving Companies need an MC number. These are motor carriers of household goods. This type of motor carrier gets authorized as for-hire for transportation services. But nothing other than household goods get transported. This is also for the general public and compensation takes place. Keep in mind that household goods count as personal items that go inside people’s homes.

-The Broker of Property needs an MC number. Household goods get excluded from this classification. This is when a corporation, partnership, or person gets payment. But not for transporting property. Instead, it is for arranging the transportation of someone’s property. But once again, household goods do not apply here. The Broker of Property should serve as an authorized, official Motor Carrier.

-The Broker of Household Goods needs an MC number. This classification is very much like the Broker of Property’s classification. So, what’s the big difference? The Broker of Household Goods arranges the transportation for household goods.

There are some less common authority classifications that need to have an MC number. They include motor passengers carriers and freight forwarders. Most carriers that conduct operations in Mexico should also get an MC number. For example, take Non-North American Domiciled Motor Carriers. They also need to have an MC number.

Keep in mind that requested operating authority classifications affect insurance processes. A unique classification can alter the level and type of insurance for any carrier. Also, the FMCSA requires all carriers to have insurance.



Who Does Not Need to Have an MC Number?



Getting an MC number often comes down to if the carrier’s required to have operating authority. Carriers that aren’t required to have operating authority do not need an MC number. Private carriers do not need an MC number. These are carriers that choose to move their very own cargo. For-hire carriers do not need an MC number if they only transport commodities that are exempt. Exempt commodities are cargo that hasn’t gotten regulated on the federal level. 

Here's another type of carrier that has no use for MC numbers. They are carriers that operate inside commercial zones that are federally-designated. Why? Because interstate authority rules do not affect them at all. What is a commercial zone? It’s a geographic territory where different states border one major city. A great example of a commercial zone is Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland. There is one more type of carrier that does not need any MC numbers. Intrastate carriers. These carriers perform transportation/trade/traffic in the company’s domicile state.



Applying for the MC Number as a First-Time Applicant



The MC number application process is different from the USDOT number application process. Why? Because an organization might need to secure more than one operating authority. Otherwise, there might not be enough support for any planned business operations. All new MC number applicants should register online at the FMCSA website. They can begin the process by using the Unified Registration System. This is where you’ll need to register before proceeding with an application. The site and online portal is very easy to use. You can save your application data if you don't have time to complete the process. 

MC number applicants can return to their applications any time. All they need to do is input their password and applicant ID. Once you finish online registration, you will need to pay some fees. It will then take about 25 business days for the application to get processed. Sometimes it takes longer when FMCSA needs to conduct an evaluation. Also, the FMCSA site is where you can have more than only MC numbers issued. You can also secure a USDOT number, MX number, or FF number.



Applying for a New MC Number as an Existing Carrier



Sometimes existing carriers are in need of securing a new MC number. They have two options. They can either apply online using the FMCSA website or they can use OP-1 series forms. Existing carriers must have a valid USDOT number when they apply for a new MC number. Existing carriers should use the online FMCSA Legacy Registration System. That is where they can pay fees for their new MC numbers. 

Companies can check the status of their new MC number by using the SAFER website. Once they're on that website, they can perform a Licensing and Insurance Search. All they need to do is enter the USDOT/MC number in the box and click Search. Authority History will pop up on the bottom of the page. It will display the date that operating authority has gone into effect. For more information about securing an MC number, use the FMCSA website.



The Fees for Getting an MC Number



Are you considering applying for permanent authority to get an MC number? If so, the fee is $300.00. If you're filing a change-of-name notice, the fee is $14.00. There is an $80.00 fee if you apply to reinstate your authority. Keep in mind that there are separate fees for every type of authority classification. Make sure that you and your team write everything down in a correct manner. Double-check what gets written before sending out an application. Why? Because the FMCSA does not issue refunds for any applications that contain mistakes. In fact, no application fees ever get refunded. 



What Separates MC Numbers From USDOT Numbers?



The difference between MC numbers and USDOT numbers comes down to the type of movers. As mentioned earlier, some movers are exempt from needing an MC number. The USDOT number gets assigned by the FMCSA to every type of interstate mover. This way, all interstate movers have interstate operating authority. The MC number is a second interstate operating authority that the FMCSA issues. Companies that transport passengers need MC numbers. They are also needed by companies that transport regulated commodities over state lines. Are you still confused about whether your organization needs to have an MC number? If so, do not despair. Please contact either our firm or the FMCSA right away.

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