March 31, 2022

MC Number Requirements – How Getting Your Trucking Authority or ICC Number Can Be Simplified

There are a few names that are given to your trucking authority. These are MC number, motor carrier number, ICC number, trucking authority, and interstate authority. All of these terms mean the same thing and if you are working as a “for hire” carrier, and intend to cross state lines, you are going to need this document. The feds in Washington are going to grant you this authority. Some types of loads might also be exempt from this authority and the most common examples of the same include wooden logs, livestock, and bulk grain. If you want to haul these goods across state lines, you will not need any authority from Washington. 

You might still need to check with your home state for any registration requirements that you might have to fulfill if you want to transport these loads into other states.

You must have an IRP plate and IFTA stickers to transport these loads. Then you will also have to register for a unified carrier registration program if you want to cross state lines with these exempt loads. Now let’s have a look at a few related terminologies and definitions that you must be aware of:

Understanding Authority Requirements

You want to get your motor carrier authority and for that, you will need to have a US DOT number. The next step is to register for your BOC-3 list of process agents. You must also carry A personal injury insurance cover on you including property damage liability insurance as well. The latter should be on each of the power units (attached) that you are carrying across state lines. Once you are able to procure your trucking authority or MC number, you will have to file for your unified carrier registration right away.

Defining The Timeline

The process of getting your trucking authority or MC number is very simple. It is going to take somewhere between 21 and 24 days. It might take you a little longer to obtain your trucking authority if you delay the submission of important documentation. Using a credit card or debit card is a good option because that speeds up the process. You will also have to provide them with proof of liability insurance and the BOC-3 list of process agents. If you have used a check to pay for this application, the process might get delayed by several weeks.

Docket Number or MC Number

You will be given a docket number. This is going to become your MC number eventually and will also be used as a reference number when you are applying for the MC authority. Once you are able to procure your authority, the docket number will be used as your motor carrier operating authority number. All the documentation for the application process must be submitted without any delay if you want to procure your operating authority within 24 days. 

You cannot start hauling any loads until you have obtained this authority. Once you are granted the MC number, you will also be issued a letter of authority. You must carry this in your vehicle. You will also get a certificate for common authority in addition to a permit that is issued for contract authority. It will take at least 7 to 10 days for you to receive the letter once you are granted the authority. In order to start running with loads, you must have that letter in your vehicle at all times.

What Are Your Liability Insurance Requirements?

You must pay attention to the load of the vehicle and the combined weight (the load in addition to that of the vehicle) which can be the truck or the trailer. If it is 10,000 LBS or more than that, you must carry at least $750,000 in liability insurance. This applies to non-hazardous loads. If you are carrying any hazardous loads regardless of the weight, the requirement is going to increase to 1 million dollars. It may increase to 5 million dollars in liability insurance in some cases. This depends entirely on the type of hazardous loads that you are hauling across state lines. 

Pay attention to the weight of the loaded truck and the attached trailer or any other combined apparatuses again. If it is under 10,000 lbs, you are only required to carry a minimum of $300,000 in liability insurance.

Cargo Insurance – Is It Necessary?

Coming to cargo insurance, you must understand that you will have to carry at least $5,000 in cargo insurance with your common authority. If you are carrying contract authority, you do not need to show proof of cargo insurance. If you do not have any cargo insurance cover, get in touch with the shipping company for which you are hauling loads. They will be in a position to provide you with adequate cargo insurance. If the loads that you haul include sand or gravel, there should be no problem at all. For any regular loads, your shipment company might be a little hesitant in providing cargo insurance.

When Can You Become A Corporate?

You can use your personal name for your trucking authority. You can also attach a “doing business as” with your personal name. In case you decide to use a DBA name, you can put the same name on your truck signs. This name does not have to include your personal name. You can also use the limited liability company name or the incorporated name in this case. For that, you will have to register your LLC or incorporate your trucking company. 

Get in touch with the secretary of state of your home state. Make sure that the name with which you register your company is completely unique. This is going to make sure that no other company has been registered with the same name with the secretary of state of your home state.

Employment Identification Number

If you are an owner-operator, and you drive vehicles with plates of more than 54,000 lbs, you must already have a federal ID number. In such a case, if your employer identification number is in your personal name and if you want to establish an LLC, you are also going to need a new employer identification number. This is because the LLC or the corporation you are trying to incorporate will become a distinct legal entity. When you are about to apply for your MC authority and if you also intend to incorporate a company or become an LLC, you will need a new employer identification number.

Importance Of License Plates And Fuel Tax For Your Trucking Authority

When you are finally able to procure your ICC or MC authority number, you will have become a carrier. If you haven’t done that already, you will require an IRP license plate. You will also have to register for IFTA fuel tax

This applies to your trucks and tractors, trailers, and other vehicles whose weight is above 26,000 LBS. If you operate 3 or 4 axle trucks, regardless of whether the weight is 26,000 lbs or below that, if you intend to cross state lines, you must have an IRP license plate for each one of your vehicles. After getting registered for IFTA fuel tax, you must submit your quarterly IFTA fuel tax reports regularly.

Weight Distance Tax 

You must be aware of the 4 weight distance tax states that are New York, Kentucky, New Mexico, and Oregon.

  1. If you want to enter New York, the gross vehicle weight of your truck or trailer or any other combined apparatuses being above 18,000 lbs, you must register for the New York Highway use tax number.
  2. If you want to enter Kentucky, you will have to apply for a Kentucky KYU number. This applies to you if your plate is 60,000 lbs or more. 
  3. If you want to enter New Mexico, you must pay at the port of entry. You can also pre-register with New Mexico before you cross the state lines. 
  4. Oregon does not have a fuel tax. There is just one weight distance tax which you can either pay at the border or register with the state for a monthly tax charge.


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