Motor Carrier Permit Processing

What is a Motor Carrier Permit (MCP)?

An MCP is a document issued by the DMV’s Registration Operations Division.  The MCP is issued to the motor carrier as evidence the carrier has registered their CA# with the DMV.

Additionally, the MCP verifies the motor carrier has met all requirements to commercially operate motor vehicles on California’s highways. The MCP contains information specific to the motor carrier (e.g., name, mailing address, CA#, and effective/expiration dates of the MCP).

Who needs an MCP?
  • Any person or business entity that is paid to transport property in their motor vehicle regardless of vehicle size, type, or weight. Entities that transport property for compensation are deemed a ‘For-Hire’ motor carrier. 
  • Generally, any person or business entity operating a commercial vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 10,001 pounds or more, either for commercial or private use, hauling their own goods or property. Entities operating such vehicles are deemed a ‘Private’ motor carrier.
  • Operators of any vehicle or a combination of vehicles transporting hazardous materials.
  • Operators of a combination of a motor truck and trailer, semitrailers, pole or pipe dollies, auxiliary dollies, and logging dollies, that exceeds forty feet in length when coupled together.  For the purpose of an MCP, a “trailer” excludes camp trailers, utility trailers, and trailer coaches.
  • Operators of any motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicle and trailer for which the operation requires a commercial driver license, except vehicle combinations including camp trailers, utility trailers, and trailer coaches.
Who does NOT need an MCP?
  • Household goods and/or passenger carriers as defined in Section 5109 of the Public Utilities Code (PUC) (those vehicles operate under Public Utilities Commission authority.)
  • Household goods carriers transporting used office, store, and institutional furniture and fixtures when operated under a household goods carrier permit issued pursuant to Section 5137 of the PUC.
  • Operators of:
    • Pickup trucks with a GVWR of less than 11,500 pounds, an unladen weight of less than 8,001 pounds, and equipped with a box-type bed not exceeding 9 feet in length, when operated in a non-commercial manner.
    • Vehicles providing transportation of passengers only, a passenger stage corporation transporting baggage and express upon a passenger vehicle incidental to the transportation of passengers.
    • Two-axle daily rental trucks with a GVWR of less than 26,001 pounds when operated non-commercially.
    • Vehicles which are exempt from vehicle registration fees.
    • Motor trucks or two-axle truck tractors, with a GVWR of less than 16,001 pounds, operated singly in non-commercial use. (This provision is valid only through December 31, 2015).
    • Motor trucks or two-axle truck tractors, with a GVWR of less than 26,001 pounds, when operated singly, or when used to tow a camp or utility trailer, a trailer coach, a fifth-wheel travel trailer, or a trailer designed to transport a watercraft, and is never operated commercially.  (This provision becomes operative on January 1, 2016.)
How do I obtain an MCP?

You will need to provide the following:

  • A CA# issued by the California Highway Patrol (CHP)
  • A Completed Application for Motor Carrier Permit – MC 706 M
  • Proof of financial responsibility (MCP 65 M)
  • Proof of Workers’ Compensation insurance or signed exemption
  • A valid Requester Code issued by the EPN if you employ drivers with a Commercial Class A, Commercial Class B, or Class C driver license with a hazardous materials or any other applicable endorsement required by CVC Section 15278
  • Payment of fees

(Source: California DMV)

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