USDOT Number vs MC Number; What is the difference?


If you are planning to start your own moving or trucking company, then it is important for you to consider the legal paperwork and authorization that comes along with it. Even if you wish to become a broker, having knowledge about MC and USdot numbers is very important and you might need to have both of them too. But what is difference between USdot number and MC number? What makes the two different and do all trucking companies require both of these or just one? Well, let’s dig into the details to help you manage this confusion and see how these two differ.

What is USDot Number?

A USDot or DOT number functions as a driver’s license for your company. DOT number basically verifies your trucking company and starts operating “legally” in your state, under the regulations of the FMCSA. It verifies that you are using a truck or van for commercial purposes.

What is an MC Number?

On the other hand, MC Number is referred to as the trucking authority or operating authority. It is required when you have to function in the interstate commerce industry, hauling materials within the state or outside too. It involves cargo and also helps you perform as a moving company too. The MC number is more costly than the USDot number. The FMCSA has a set fee for the MC Number (that is $300).

The trucking authority or MC Number has different types, which classifies as to what services you are offering and indulging in, as a trucking company:

  • Broker of property
  • Motor Carrier of property
  • Broker of household goods
  • Motor carrier of household goods

Most importantly, you must look into all the types to determine which type your trucking company is classified into. The FMCSA does not refund the fee if you choose the wrong type. You will have to submit the fee again. Thus, knowing your type of authority is very important.

Who must have a USDot Number?

All moving organizations are required to have a USDot number and they must follow the regulations of the Federal. This includes companies that use vehicles for commercial purposes, transport passengers, and haul cargo from one state line to another or even within the state too. Registering with the FMCSA and having a USDot number is crucial. In addition, the FMCSA requires that trucking company owners submit an updated mcs-150 form, including (for example) the miles driven, any additions to your fleet, and related safety information, every two years,

Who must have an MC Number?

If you have the USDot number (which is mandatory in almost all states), you might not need an MC Number. But it really depends on your organization and the type of operations you will be handling as some interstate trucking companies do require an MC number, along with a DOT number.

All companies that function for commodities that are regulated federally across the state lines or work as for-hire carriers, must have an MC Number. If you only haul cargo that is not regulated federally, then you do not need an MC number. However, it is best to check in with your transport laws to see whether you require the trucking authority or not.

How long does it take to obtain a DOT and MC Number?

The first step to obtaining a DOT and an MC number is to fill out all the important paperwork. You must have knowledge about the requirements and what documentation needs to be attached with the forms. Once all the paperwork is completed, the DOT number can be obtained within an hour or two. You also get your MC number within an hour but it takes around 21 days to be activated. It can be active anytime within 21days. However, if it doesn’t activate within this time span, it is important that you get in touch with FMCSA and get the details.


Learning the difference between MC and Dot number is very important, so that you know which regulations your company complies to. Before you start operating as a trucking company, make sure that you get registered legally and obtain your DOT number and MC number (if required).