What is the Difference Between a DOT Number and MC Number?

Entering into the trucking industry, there are several requirements that you need to take care of as a motor carrier with the FMCSA before you can hit the road. The determination of which you need can largely depend on the type of operation you are running. This is referring to the type of work you will be taking on such as if you intend to transport passengers or strictly cargo, be it hazardous materials or acting as a power unit for private carriers. MC and USDOT numbers are among those but many are not entirely sure what these are or the difference between them. Do you need both of them, or just one? Here we will be taking a closer look and putting some answers to these popular questions such as, what is a DOT number? And, What is an MC number? The big difference here is a determination between interstate and intrastate carrier operations. Stick with us and you will learn the key differences between the two and how to know when you know either of them.

What is a USDot Number?

So just what is this USDOT number for trucking we keep hearing about? Also known as a Department of Transportation (DOT) number, this is a number assigned to you by the FMCSA operating authority. All commercial motor vehicles that weigh more than a certain amount or carry specific amounts of paying passengers require DOT numbers. One major thing to consider is that a DOT number is needed no matter if your company operates within a single state or traveling between state lines.

What is an MC number?

Now that we have covered what a DOT number means for your trucking company, now it’s time to jump ahead to what an MC number is. So, an MC number (Motor Carrier number) is a unique identifier assigned by the FMCSA to commercial motor vehicles that transport interstate cargo both inside their state and crossing over state lines as well.

Understanding the Differences Between the Two

If you are still a bit confused on which operating authority is right for you from the federal motor carrier safety administration, or if you need both we will focus on the differences between the two here. As we touched upon in the above definitions, one of the major differences between the two are the need in or outside of the confines of the home state that your company, or for hire carriers operates in. A USDOT number is required both with interstate commerce and intrastate operations within the United States. However if you are only operating within your state lines without crossing any borders, you can usually get away with only having a DOT. On the other hand, an MC number is only needed for interstate operations in which you will be crossing borders from one state to another.

How Do to Know Which One You Need

To know which type of authority you are going to need really depends on the specifics of your trucking company. These specifics will also be listed out for clients and others to access on sites such as SAFER. You will need to factor in the requirements on items such as your gross vehicle weight rating as well as if you are going to operate specifically within your home state or if you will be an interstate carrier such as moving companies or a passenger carrier, in which case you would need to acquire interstate authority.

For more information be sure to check directly with the source such as the motor carrier authority that can be found online at fmcsa.dot.gov as well for additional details. Another great source of information could be your insurance company as they will know the requirements you need to also meet the requirements to be properly insured.

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