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Who Needs MC Authority?

Companies need to have interstate Operating Authority (MC Number), in addition to a DOT number, if they do the following:

  • Provide transportation for passengers in interstate commerce for compensation, that can be direct or indirect
  • Transport federally-regulated materials, which are owned by others arranging for their transport


MC, MX and FF are several different types of operating authorities. A company may also need multiple operating authorities for supporting its business operations.

Choose what you need. First of all, you must choose only the types of authority that your business needs. It is not mandatory to have operating authority if you are:

  • a private carrier, meaning you only haul your own cargo
  • a carrier operating only within a federally designated commercial zone that is not subject to interstate authority rules
  • a for-hire carrier that only transports cargo that is not regulated federally

MC Authority Filing

At first, you need the right type of operating authority for making your business legal. Then, what authorities you choose can impact the required type and amount of insurance you need to carry.

You can apply for the following types of authority:

  • Motor Contract Carrier of Property, excluding Household Goods
  • Motor Contract Carrier of Household Goods
  • Broker of Property, excluding Household Goods
  • Motor Passenger Carrier
  • Freight Forwarder
  • Mexican Certificate of Registration for Foreign Motor Carriers and Foreign Motor Private Carriers
  • Non-North America–Domiciled Motor Carrier
  • Mexico-based Carrier for MC Authority to Operate beyond Commercial Zones on the US-Mexico Border and US Municipalities.


How Long Does It Take To Get An MC Number?

In fact, for the new applicant, the process can take 20-25 business days. But, for the existing carriers carrier applications it can take 45-60 business days.