Motor Carrier Permit Requirements at a Glance

Who Needs A Motor Carrier Permit (MCP) Issued by DMV? California Vehicle Code (CVC) §34601(c)(1) and §34601(d).

Any person who operates any commercial motor vehicle on public highways is required to obtain a Motor Carrier Permit.

What is a Commercial Motor Vehicle?

As it pertains to the Motor Carrier Permit Program, a commercial motor vehicle is defined as:

  • Any self–propelled vehicle listed in subdivisions (a), (b), (f), (g), and (k) of CVC §34500.
  • Any motor truck of two or more axles that is more than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR).
  • Any other motor vehicle used to transport property for compensation (for–hire).

Commercial Motor Vehicles – Exemptions and Exceptions:

Effective January 1, 2007, motor carriers who operate interstate are not required to annually renew their Motor Carrier Permit (MCP) under the authority of the Unified Carrier Registration Act of 2005 (UCR). Valid proof of Financial Responsibility and Workers’ Compensation Insurance shall be maintained on file with DMV and any changes effecting proof of insurance filings must be submitted.

"Commercial Motor Vehicle" does not include:

  • Vehicles operated by a household goods carrier as defined in §5109 of the Public Utilities Code (PUC).
  • Vehicles operated by a household goods carrier to transport used office, store, and institutional furniture and fixtures when operated under a permit issued by the PUC.
  • Pickup trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of less than 11,500 lbs. and unladen weight of less than 8,001 lbs. and are equipped with an open box–type bed not exceeding nine feet in length when operated in non–commercial use.
  • Two–axle daily rental trucks with gross vehicle weight rating less than 26,001 pounds when operated in non–commercial use
  • Utility trailers, camp trailers, trailer coaches, or trailers designed to transport watercraft.
  • Vehicles providing transportation of passengers only, a passenger stage corporation transporting baggage, and express upon a passenger vehicle incidental to the transportation of passengers.
  • Motortrucks or two–axle truck tractors, with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 16,001 pounds, operated singly in noncommercial use (this provision is valid until January 1, 2016).

How Do I Obtain a Motor Carrier Permit?

Submit the following to the DMV Registration Operations Division. The address is located on the back page.

  • The application for Motor Carrier Permit (MC 706 M) completed and signed. The application must include a valid Carrier Identification Number (CA#) issued by the CHP and your Employer Pull Notice requester code if you employ drivers with a commercial Class A or Class B driver license or a Class C driver license with a hazardous materials endorsement.
  • A check or money order for the fee that is due.
  • Acceptable proof of liability insurance coverage at the required level. This document may be submitted by the insurance provider or by the motor carrier.
  • Acceptable proof of Workers’ Compensation Insurance coverage or if exempt from Workers’ Compensation, the exemption on the MCP application form completed and signed.

Carrier Identification Number (CA#)–(CVC §34507.5):

All motor carriers and motor carriers of property are required to obtain a CA# issued by the CHP. For more information regarding CA#’s contact your local California Highway Patrol office or visit their website at: www.chp.ca.gov.

Employer Pull Notice (EPN) (CVC §1808.1):

You are required to enroll in the EPN Program if you employ any drivers with a commercial Class A or Class B driver license or a Class C driver license with a hazardous materials endorsement. The Department will enroll Owner/Operators in the EPN program under the Department’s requester code number.

Fees: (Intrastate carriers, operating in California only)

Motor carrier permit fees are based on the size of the motor vehicle (power unit) fleet during the last permit year and on whether the permit is required for a Private or For–Hire operation.

Proof of Liability Insurance (CVC §34631):

Levels of liability insurance coverage vary from $300,000 to $5,000,000 (combined single limit) depending on the type of activities performed. Proof in the form of one of the following documents must be submitted to DMV:

  • A Certificate of Insurance (MC 65 M) completed by the insurance provider.
  • A Surety Bond (MC 55 M).
  • A Certificate of Self Insurance (MC 131 M).

Valid proof of Financial Responsibility and Workers’ Compensation Insurance shall be maintained on file with DMV and any changes effecting proof of insurance filings must be submitted or the permit shall be suspended. Should there be a lapse between policy effective dates a $150 reinstatement fee will be required before the permit is reinstated.

Proof of Workers’ Compensation Insurance (CVC §34640):

If you employ drivers who are subject to the Workers’ Compensation laws of the State of California, proof in the form of one of the following documents must be submitted to DMV:

  • A Certificate of Insurance (MC 65 M) completed by the insurance provider.
  • A Certificate of Insurance (SCIF10262, SCIF10262e, or SCIF10265) if coverage is provided by the State Compensation Insurance Fund. This information is submitted electronically by State Fund to DMV.
  • If you are self insured, a Certificate of Consent to Self–Insure issued by the Director of Industrial Relations.

Valid proof of Financial Responsibility and Workers’ Compensation Insurance shall be maintained on file with DMV and any changes effecting proof of insurance filings must be submitted or the permit shall be suspended. Should there be a lapse between policy effective dates a $150 reinstatement fee will be required before the permit is reinstated.

How Long Is the Permit Valid?

The permit is normally valid for one year from the date the application is received. The department may also issue a Seasonal MCP to carriers. Seasonal MCPs are valid for a minimum of six months, but not more than 11 months within a 12–month term.

Interstate motor carriers will be issued a ‘NONEXPIRING’ permit. The ‘NON–EXPIRING’ permit will remain valid for as long as the motor carrier continues interstate operations and maintains required insurance filings.

Controlled Substance and Alcohol Testing (CSAT) (CVC §34520):

Motor carriers and drivers shall comply with CSAT requirements as described in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 382, §382.101, §392.5(a)(1), and §392.5(a)(3). Motor carriers may self–certify as to enrollment on the Motor Carrier Permit Application. For more information regarding CSAT requirements, contact your local California Highway Patrol office or visit their website at: www.chp.ca.gov.

Biennial Inspection of Terminals (BIT) Program (CVC §34501.12):

Any motor truck with three or more axles, truck tractors, trailers or semi–trailers used with motor trucks with three or more axles, trucks transporting hazardous materials requiring the display of a placard, and truck–trailer combinations which exceed 40 ft. in length are required to be enrolled in the BIT program. Motor carriers may self–certify as to enrollment on the Motor Carrier Permit Application. For more information contact your local California Highway Patrol office or visit their website at: www.chp.ca.gov.

Further Assistance:

If you need additional information or MCP forms, please contact us at:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Registration Operations Division–G875
P.O. Box 932370
Sacramento, CA 94232–3700
916–657–8153

Or

dmv.ca.gov

For questions concerning other DMV programs, please contact:

Commercial Driver License.........................(916) 657–5771

Or.....................................................(916) 657–5772

Employer Pull Notice Program...................(916) 657–6346

Employer Testing Program.........................(916) 229–4404

International Registration Plan....................(916) 657–7971

Unified Carrier Registration Act of 2005.......(916) 657–8153

For additional motor carrier information please contact:

California Highway Patrol......................................www.chp.ca.gov

CALTRANS.........................................................www.dot.ca.gov

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
(FMCSA)............................................................(800) 832–5660

Or................................................................www.fmcsa.dot.gov

Public Utilities Commission..................................(415) 703–2062

Or................................................................www.cpuc.ca.gov

This handout contains general information on the Motor Carrier Permit (MCP) Program. The information in this handout does not in any way supersede the laws and regulations governing this program as specified in the California Vehicle Code, Revenue & Taxation Code, and the California Code of Regulations.

FFMCP 1 (REV. 12/2013)