Vehicle Industry Registration Procedures Manual

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Section 14 of 38

Chapter 13: Commercial Vehicles

13.075 Motor Carrier Permit Program (VC §34601)

The Motor Carrier Permit program is administered jointly by DMV and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to promote and ensure the public safety of all users of California highways.

DMV is responsible for ensuring that motor carriers are in compliance with liability and worker’s compensation insurance requirements and enrollment in the Employer Pull Notice program before granting intrastate operating authority.

CHP regulates compliance and safe operation of vehicles through the Biennial Inspection of Terminals (BIT) program and roadside enforcement.

  • A Carrier Identification Number (CA number) must be obtained from the CHP prior to applying for the permit from DMV.

The Motor Carrier Permit which is issued by DMV grants operating authority to motor carriers on California highways.

Motor trucks with two or more axles and a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds and other motor vehicles used to transport property for compensation are required to obtain a motor carrier permit.

Motor carriers do not include:

  • Household goods carriers.
  • Vehicles providing transportation of passengers only.
  • Pickup trucks.
  • Two-axle daily rental trucks with a GVWR less than 26,001 pounds if operated in noncommercial use.
  • Motor trucks with a GVWR less than 26,001 pounds when used solely to tow a camp trailer, trailer coach, fifth-wheel travel trailer, or utility trailer.

For more information or to obtain forms, call Motor Carrier Permit Operations at (916) 657-8153 or write to:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Motor Carrier Services Branch, MS H875
P.O. Box 932370
Sacramento, CA 94232-3700