Get Your Trucking Authority and MC Number in 10 Easy Steps

Three-fourths of America’s tonnage is shipped via the trucking industry, employing millions and generating $732.3 billion in gross freight revenues. [1]American Trucking Associations. “Economics and Industry Data“. Accessed May 18, 2022. If you want to start a trucking business, one of the most significant challenges involves obtaining the correct licenses and permits. Industry-specific permits to carry freight throughout the United States are required. Applying for an MC number and trucking authority are two of the first steps you need to take if you plan to have your trucking company operate across state borders. In this guide, we explore the ins and outs of obtaining MC numbers and trucking authority in ten simple steps!

What Is Trucking Authority?

Suppose you want to transport goods throughout the United States. In that case, you will likely need trucking authority, a granted permission by the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) to transport cargo throughout the United States. While there are some exemptions, you will likely need trucking authority if you want to run a large freight company or employ other drivers to provide interstate services.

There are different types of authorities for various purposes. For example, freight forwarders require different authority than motor carriers. While obtaining trucking authority can be a headache for novice and veteran business owners alike, it gives you the opportunity to make more money.

What Is an MC Number?

A Motor Carrier Number (MC Number) is a number that motor carriers receive from the FMCSA upon the granting of trucking authority. This number is proof that you have permission to transport goods, as outlined by your specific authority.

What Are the Different Types of Authority?

Unfortunately, there are many types of authority that you must understand before you begin the application process. There are three primary types of authority: motor carriers, freight forwarders, and brokers.[2]Cottingham & Butler. “Authority Types: Motor Carrier, Freight Forwarder, Broker“. Accessed May 18, 2022.

Let’s explore these authorities in more detail below:

Benefits of Having Your Own Trucking Authority

In many cases, individuals or businesses applying for trucking authority have previous experience in the trucking industry. There are many benefits associated with having your own trucking authority. Let’s explore the primary advantages below:

  • Autonomy: It will give you the power to choose your own loads, hire your own drivers, and more.
  • Interstate Travel: Trucking authority allows you to operate through multiple states.
  • Profit: Having trucking authority allows you to expand your revenue streams and keep more of your income.
  • Flexibility: You can choose which jobs to take or refuse and have more control over the routes you take.

While there’s no doubt about the many upsides associated with applying for your authority, you must remember that it requires more responsibility. Running a trucking company can be difficult, and you must be prepared to seek your own work, hire employees, and follow federal and local guidelines.

How to Get Trucking Authority in 10 Steps

Now that you understand the differences between authorities, it’s time to start the application process. Take a look below for ten simple steps you need to take to obtain authority:

MC and DOT Number Costs

The cost of an MC and DOT number is relatively affordable, given the opportunities these licenses can afford your business. Let’s look at the FMCSA fees for authority below:

  • Permanent Authority: $300
  • Notice of Name Change: $14
  • Reinstate Authority: $80

You do not need to pay a separate fee for a USDOT number.

Trucking Authority & MC Number FAQs

We receive many questions about trucking authority and MC numbers. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular questions and their answers below:

Final Thoughts on Getting Your Trucking Authority and MC Number

Now that you understand how to obtain trucking authority, MC numbers, and other licenses that you need to start a trucking business, it’s time to decide if it’s the correct path for you. While obtaining operating authority can help you scale your business, it does come with added costs. Make sure you’re prepared with commercial truck financing to get you started today.

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