MC Number And A DOT Number - What’s The Difference? - Advanced-Trucking
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MC Number And A DOT Number – What’s The Difference?

Before you can start driving in the trucking industry, you must first fulfill various requirements, ranging from IFTA tax restrictions to obtaining your motor carrier numbers from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). 

The type of operation you are running will mostly determine which you require. This refers to the type of work you will be doing as a trucker, such as whether you plan to transport passengers or solely freight, such as hazardous items, or function as a power unit for private carriers.

MC and USDOT numbers are among them, although many people aren’t clear about what they are or how they differ. Do you require both or simply one? Here, we’ll take a closer look and provide answers to frequently asked topics like, “What is a DOT number?” What exactly is an MC number? 

The main distinction here is the distinction between interstate and intrastate carrier activities. Stay with us and you’ll discover the fundamental differences between an MC number and a DOT number, as well as how to tell if you have either.

What Exactly Is A USDot Number? 

A USDOT number also referred to as a U.S. The Department of Transportation (DOT) number is a one-of-a-kind identifier provided to commercial motor carriers by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This identity is necessary for any commercial motor vehicles that move goods or passengers, weigh more than a certain amount, or carry a certain number of paying passengers. This number is critical for guaranteeing public safety on the roads and compliance with federal rules.

It is vital to understand that a USDOT number is required whether your business works within a single state or crosses state lines. This is due to the FMCSA’s jurisdiction granted by the US to regulate commercial motor vehicles that cross state lines. Transportation Department (DOT). 

To receive a USDOT number, you must first apply through the FMCSA’s Unified Registration System (URS). In addition, if your commercial vehicle weighs more than a specific amount, you must register for a Motor Carrier Identification Report (MCS-150). To guarantee that the information supplied to the FMCSA is correct and up to date, this report must be updated every two years. 

What Exactly Is An MC Number? 

Now that we’ve discussed what a DOT number means for your trucking company, let’s move on to what an MC number is. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) assigns an MC number, also known as a Motor Carrier number, to commercial motor vehicles that transport interstate cargo both within their state and beyond state lines. This number is required for commercial motor carriers to operate legally and ensures that federal requirements are followed. 

Acquiring an MC number, like acquiring a USDOT number, entails registering with the FMCSA using the Unified Registration System (URS). To apply for an MC number, you must first obtain a USDOT number, followed by the application and registration steps. 

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It is crucial to know that an MC number is not required for all commercial motor carriers. If you are merely moving items within your state, for example, you may only need a USDOT number. If you are delivering goods across state borders, you must have an MC identification number to comply with federal laws for Interstate operating authorization.

Certain types of goods necessitate additional driver’s licenses and permits in addition to the MC for trucks utilized in the business. Carriers of dangerous products, for example, must receive a dangerous products Safety Permit, while those transporting domestic items must obtain a domestic items Motor Carrier Permit. 

It is also critical to ensure that your commercial vehicle is fully insured to meet federal and state standards. This includes being financially responsible for your vehicle, which may necessitate additional permits and licenses depending on the type of material you are transporting. 

Understanding The Differences Between MC and DOT Numbers 

As we discussed in the preceding definitions, one of the primary distinctions between the two is whether the requirement is within or outside of the borders of the home state in which your company or for-hire carriers operate. 

A USDOT number is essential for both interstate and intrastate commerce operations inside the United States. However, if you are simply operating within your state lines and not crossing any borders, you can usually get by with just a DOT. An MC number, on the other hand, is only required for interstate operations that cross state lines. 

How To Know Which One You Need

The type of authority you will require is determined by the circumstances of your trucking firm. These specifics will also be available for clients and others to view on websites such as SAFER. You must consider requirements such as your gross vehicle weight rating as well as whether you will operate solely within your home state or if you will be an interstate carrier, such as a moving company or a passenger carrier, in which case you must obtain interstate authority.

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