California Motor Carrier Permits

From Liability to Cargo, we keep you covered

Photo of a Truck's Dash

When driving trucks, having the right motor carrier permit is essential. Instead of wondering if you’re permitted to operate on California highways, contact Simplex Group and let us handle it all for you.

We have 20 years of experience supporting trucking entrepreneurs to give you an advantage on the road ahead. Simplex Group is the one-stop shop you need to get started on your journey. We help you take care of compliance, permitting, tax reporting, freight planning, and factoring services all through our specialized teams.

Simplex Group is the only company in the U.S. to provide all these services in one convenient place. If you’re focused on achieving success, let us help you get there faster.

What Is the Difference Between MC and MCP?

A motor carrier permit (MCP) is a document that is only issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The motor carrier–or MC—is for national interstate truck drivers.

The motor carrier permit (MCP) provides proof of a motor carrier’s California number for legally operating on the highways of California. A motor carrier permit verifies that this motor carrier is in compliance with all requirements. This motor carrier permit includes verification for registration and insurance

The MCP also provides specific information about the motor carrier in question. This includes the name and mailing address, USDOT number, California number, effective dates, and expiration dates of the permit.

Who Needs an MCP in California?

Any person or entity paid for transporting property will need an MCP permit in California. In other words, if you commercially operate motor vehicles and transport property, you will need an MCP in California.

At Simplex Group, we can handle all your permitting needs. For California, an MCP is required for the following:

  • Any individual or legal entity that operates a motor with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,001 pounds or greater.
  • Operators of motor vehicles transporting hazardous materials
  • Those who operate a combination of motor trucks and trailers, semi-trailers, auxiliary dollies, pole or pipe dollies, or logging dollies that extend beyond forty feet in length when connected together
  • Any operator for which a motor vehicle requires having a commercial driver’s license

Not all motor carriers will need an MCP. Drivers or operators will not need this type of permit in California if:

  • Household goods carriers who transport goods for the home or used office, store, and institutional furniture and fixtures
  • Operators of pickup trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 11,500 pounds. Additionally, the unladen weight must be under 8,001 pounds, and it must have a box-type bed that is shorter than 9 feet in length when not operated commercially
  • Vehicles providing transportation service only for passengers and their luggage, or passenger carriers 
  • Daily rental trucks with two axles and a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 26,001 when not commercially operated
  • Any vehicles exempt from vehicle registration fees
  • Motor trucks or two-axle truck tractors with less than 26,001 GBWR when operated only for towing a camper, utility trailer, or watercraft without ever being used for commercial purposes

How Much is a Motor Carrier Permit in California?

To get a carrier identification number, CA bases the cost on the type of motor carrier operation and the number of power units that are in your motor carrier fleet.

You are also required to have the proper liability insurance Like the fees for the type of motor carrier, levels of liability insurance vary in cost. With Simplex Group, you will have everything taken care of for you, allowing you to have peace of mind as you carry ahead.

What Do You Need to Haul Freight in California?

In California, a new state bill called AB5—or the gig worker bill—imposes restrictions on companies from classifying workers as independent contractors instead of employees. The intent was to provide protection for passenger vehicles that operate as rideshare drivers, however, it affected the commercial vehicle sector as well.

Simplex Group is ready to assist you to ensure you are compliant with California’s vehicle code. You can choose to acquire motor carrier authority and keep your independence as you expand. Another option is to only deliver loads that originate outside of the state rather than picking them up.

California’s new trucking laws are complex, but Simplex Group is here to help make it easier. The experts in our motor carrier services branch are ready to help. Contact us today!

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How Do I Get a Trucking Authority in California?

When you need California intrastate authority, turn to our commercial motor vehicle team at Simplex Group. Our experts will help you with compliance, permitting, taxes, insurance, and financial services. You’ll be able to focus on growing your business without tripping over all the red tape. Simplex Group offers free consultations to help you get on the road. Contact us today to ask about our authority packages.

Do I Need a CA Number If I Have an MC Number?

A motor carrier permit is not enough. You will need a California motor carrier permit number. This number is issued by the California Highway Patrol. Instead of chasing after paperwork, let our team handle it and get you back on the road and running your business.

What Is Interstate Authority?

Interstate authority or interstate operating authority is permitted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This allows your trucking company to work for hire across state borders. This interstate operating authority is linked to your USDOT, but you still need to have the proper authority to run your business.

Make sure you dot all your I’s with the new DOT requirements by contacting our experienced team at Simplex Group. We can help you register and ensure you’ve got the right permits to roam freely across the country in your commercial fleet.