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.
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.
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.
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.
Chat with our dedicated team of trucking experts today to learn more!