MC Number / Trucking Authority / Exempt Commodities
I am a retired Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) Investigator with more than 45 years in transportation. For the past 11 years I have been a transportation consultant assisting those who would like to get their own motor carrier or broker authority.
Over the past many months I have enjoyed answering your questions. There have been many questions regarding leasing to a trucking company and who is responsible for what costs and paperwork. There have also been questions regarding getting your own trucking and/or broker authority. Continue sending me your questions regarding any aspect of the trucking/broker industry.
I have a DOT number, but I need to know exactly what an MC number is and if I need one.
The MC (Motor Carrier) number is the number assigned by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for you to transport regulated commodities in interstate transportation for-hire.
I am going to get my own trucking authority. What is the difference between common and contract carrier authority?
In reality, there is no difference since 1996. Brokers who have had their authority prior to 1996 still do not like to do business with common carriers. Common carriers before 1996 had to file their rates in a tariff and place the tariff on file at the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC). Since the ICC does not exist anymore neither do the rules regarding common carriers and tariffs. The U.S. Government, on the other hand, only wants to do business with common carriers. The reason is that common carriers must file their liability and cargo insurance with the FMCSA when contract carriers only file their liability insurance with the FMCSA.
I am thinking about getting my own trucking authority. What is the first thing I should do?
The absolute first thing you should do is have a talk with your insurance agent. Can you afford to get $1 million liability insurance and $100,000 cargo insurance? Don't go any farther until you resolve this issue. Everyday more than 100 individuals apply for their own authority. At least 10 percent never get to use the authority they applied for because they did not check out the insurance requirement first.
I would like to get my brokers authority but I was told I had to be a motor carrier for three years first. Is this true? And do I need a CDL?
NO! NO! You can apply today even if you have never been in the trucking business. Make sure you can obtain your $10,000 surety bond or trust fund before you apply for the authority.
Written By: Rex Evilsizor