The FMCSA requires trucking companies to fulfill various requirements before they’re allowed to legally operate. The conditions that exist for the trucking industry vary depending on the type of work you do.

For example, you could be a trucker operating a passenger vehicle carrying 30 plus people or be transporting strictly cargo. With that being said, the two requirements you probably hear about the most are a DOT and MC number.

It’s understandable if you’re still unsure what these numbers are and how they impact your trucking company.

Let’s discuss them in more detail below for your understanding and reference.

What’s a DOT Number?

A DOT number is assigned to you by the FMCSA if you meet the following criteria:

  • You transport hazardous material
  • Your vehicle’s GVWR is 10,001 pounds or more
  • You transport 8 or more paying passengers (15 for non-paying)
  • You participate in interstate commerce

Essentially, this number is used to verify that you’re operating your vehicle for commercial purposes. You’ve probably spotted this number listed on the side of buses, tow trucks, and trucks before.

What’s an MC Number?

An MC number is needed if you plan to conduct interstate commerce. Specifically, you’re transporting people across state lines. You’ll also need this if you’re planning to haul federally regulated cargo.

How Are DOT and MC Numbers Different?

We understand that regulations and laws surrounding the trucking industry can get a bit complicated. Ultimately, these requirements serve different purposes despite having some similarities.

The major difference between the two is whether or not you conduct business in multiple states. If you transport goods only in your home state and don’t haul hazardous materials you won’t need an MC number.

However, regardless of where you conduct business if your truck weighs more than 10,001 pounds a DOT number is required.

Which One Do I Need?

Both an MC and DOT number are essential in their regard. The question is, which one do you need for your trucking operations?

It’s a question that’s baffled several new professionals in the trucking industry. However, whether you need a DOT number or MC number depends on the type of vehicle you drive, what you haul, and where you’re traveling to.

Check your state’s Department of Transportation website and for more information.


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Need help getting your DOT and MC number? We can help.