Motor Carrier Permits

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Drivers who transport property, operate large commercial vehicles, transport hazardous materials, or operate vehicles requiring a commercial driver license need a motor carrier permit (MCP) as evidence they have registered their California Carrier Identification number (CA#) with DMV.

Drivers Who Need an MCP

The following types of drivers and/or vehicle operation require an MCP:

  • Any person or business entity that is paid to transport property in their motor vehicle regardless of vehicle size, type, or weight.
    • Entities that transport property for compensation are deemed a ‘for-hire’ motor carrier.
    • If you are a courier service and your vehicle is a motorcycle, you are required to have an MCP.
  • Generally, any person or business entity operating a commercial vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 10,001 pounds or more.
    • This includes commercial and private use.
    • Entities operating vehicles hauling personal goods or property are deemed a ‘private’ motor carrier.
  • Operators of any vehicle or a combination of vehicles transporting hazardous materials.
  • Operators of a combination of a motor truck and trailer, semitrailers, pole or pipe dollies, auxiliary dollies, and logging dollies, that exceeds 40 ft in length when coupled together.*
  • Operators of any motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicle and trailer for which the operation requires a commercial driver license.*

*Operators pulling camp trailers, utility trailers, and trailer coaches do not need an MCP.

Drivers Who Do Not Need an MCP

The following types of drivers and/or vehicle operation do not require an MCP:

  • Household goods and/or passenger carriers as defined in §5109 of the Public Utilities Code (PUC) (these vehicles operate under Public Utilities Commission authority).
  • Household goods carriers transporting used office, store, and institutional furniture and fixtures when operated under a household goods carrier permit issued pursuant to §5137 of the PUC.
  • Operators of:
    • Pickup trucks with a GVWR of less than 11,500 pounds, an unladen weight of less than 8,001 pounds, and equipped with a box-type bed not exceeding nine ft in length, when operated in a non-commercial manner.
    • Vehicles providing transportation for passengers and their baggage only.
    • Two-axle daily rental trucks with a GVWR of less than 26,001 pounds, when operated non-commercially.
    • Vehicles which are exempt from vehicle registration fees.
    • Motor trucks or two-axle truck tractors with a GVWR of less than 26,001 pounds, when operated singly or when used to tow a camp or utility trailer, a trailer coach, a fifth-wheel travel trailer, or a trailer designed to transport a watercraft, and is never operated commercially.

How to Apply for an MCP

New carriers must apply for an MCP before they begin operations. You can apply online or by mail.

To apply online: Complete and submit the online MCP application.

To apply by mail:

  • Get a CA# from the California Highway Patrol (CHP) (see the FAQs for more information).
  • Complete an Application for Motor Carrier Permit (MC 706 M).
  • Provide proof of insurance (see “Insurance Requirements” below).
  • Provide proof of Workers’ Compensation insurance or signed exemption.
  • Get a valid Requester Code issued by the Employer Pull Notice (EPN) Program if you employ drivers with a Commercial Class A, Commercial Class B, or Class C driver license with a hazardous materials or any other applicable endorsement (required by California Vehicle Code (CVC) §15278).
  • Pay applicable fees.

Make a copy of your application for your records, then mail your application, documentation, and fees to:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Registration Operations Division
PO Box 932370 – MS H875
Sacramento, CA 94232-3700

Overnight delivery:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Registration Operations Division
2415 1st Avenue – MS H875
Sacramento, CA 95818

MCP drop box:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Building West Lobby
2570 24th Street
Sacramento, CA 95818

You cannot submit your application at a DMV office. An MCP term is the 12-month period beginning on the first day of the month of the initial application and expiring on the last day of the 12th month. The MCP will not be issued until all requirements are met.

Fees

Permit fees are based on the type of motor carrier operation (for-hire or private) and the number of power units in the motor carrier fleet. See the MCP Handbook to find your fees.

Insurance Requirements

Levels of liability insurance vary from $300,000 to $5,000,000 combined single-limit coverage, depending on the type of vehicles and the property transported. Proof of insurance must be submitted on one of the following forms (CVC §34631, California Code of Regulation (CCR) §220.06):

  • Certificate of Insurance (MC 65 M) from your insurance provider.
  • Certificate of Self Insurance (MC 131 M).

To apply for a Certificate of Self Insurance, a motor carrier must meet the following requirements:

  • The motor carrier fleet is comprised of 25 or more commercial vehicles registered in the motor carrier name.
  • The required level of liability insurance does not exceed $750,000.
  • There are no unsatisfied judgment(s) against the motor carrier name or the “doing business as” (DBA) or trade names resulting from property damages and/or bodily injury (including death) caused by a motor vehicle accident listed on the application

How to Renew an MCP

You can renew an MCP when you:

  • Have a valid permit on active status and are renewing the permit for the next term.
  • Are renewing a permit that has been expired less than a year.
  • Are renewing a permit with minimal changes.
  • Are requesting a voluntary withdrawal of the permit, in lieu of the Request for Voluntary Withdrawal Motor Carrier Permit (MC 716 M) form.

To renew your permit online: Complete and submit the online MCP application.

To renew your permit by mail: complete an MCP Renewal Application (MC 134 M).

Mail the form and applicable fees to:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Registration Operations Division
PO Box 932370 – MS H875
Sacramento, CA 94232-3700

Overnight delivery:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Registration Operations Division
2415 1st Avenue – MS H875
Sacramento, CA 95818

MCP drop box:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Building West Lobby
2570 24th Street
Sacramento, CA 95818

How to modify an MCP

Complete and submit a Motor Carrier Permit Notice of Change (MC 152 M) to:

  • Make a name change.
  • Make an address and/or phone number change.
  • Add or delete a DBA name.

If the business entity has changed in anyway, you must obtain a new CA# from the CHP and file a new MCP application. A Fictitious Business Name Statement is required when adding a DBA name.

Mail the form to:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Registration Operations Division
PO Box 932370 – MS H875
Sacramento, CA 94232-3700

Overnight delivery:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Registration Operations Division
2415 1st Avenue – MS H875
Sacramento, CA 95818

MCP drop box:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Building West Lobby
2570 24th Street
Sacramento, CA 95818

How to withdraw an MCP

If you wish to cease operations as a permitted motor carrier before you cancel/terminate liability insurance and/or before your permit expires, complete and submit a Request for Voluntary Withdrawal Motor Carrier Permit (MC 716 M).

You can also complete a voluntary withdrawal with a MCP Renewal Application (MC 134 M) (with certification).

If you fail to submit a completed and signed MC 716 M or MC 134 M at the time of discontinuation of operations, you may incur delinquency fees upon your return to the program.

Mail your completed form(s) to:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Registration Operations Division
PO Box 932370 – MS H875
Sacramento, CA 94232-3700

Overnight delivery:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Registration Operations Division
2415 1st Avenue – MS H875
Sacramento, CA 95818

MCP drop box:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Building West Lobby
2570 24th Street
Sacramento, CA 95818

Refunds

To request a fee refund, complete and submit an Application for Refund (ADM 399) after you complete your MC 716 M. A refund will only be issued when the vehicle will not be operated intrastate in California during the next term and the new permit term has not begun.

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