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What is a Motor Carrier Permit (MCP)?

A motor carrier permit is a document the DMV’s Motor Carrier Permit Branch issues. The permit is proof of registration for the motor carrier with the DMV of their California Identification Number. Furthermore, the permit verifies the motor carrier has met all of the official requirements to commercially operate motor vehicles on California’s highways. The permit has information specific to the motor carrier (e.g., name, mailing address, CA#, and effective/expiration dates of the permit).


Who needs a permit?

  • Any person or entity who is paid to transport property in their motor vehicle not taking into account the vehicle size or weight (For-hire carrier).
  • Any person or entity operating a motor vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 10,001 pounds or more. Also,  for business purposes to transport their own property (Private carrier).


Who will not need a permit?

  • Vehicles operated by household goods and/or passenger carriers.
  • Vehicles operated by household goods carriers to transport used office, store, and institutional furniture and fixtures when operated under a household goods carrier permit.
  • Pickup trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 11,500 pounds, a removed weight of less than 8,001 pounds, and equipped with a box-type bed not going over 9 feet in length when operated in non-commercial circumstances.
  • Utility trailers, camp trailers, or trailer coaches.
  • Vehicles providing transportation of passengers only, a passenger stage corporation transporting baggage and express upon a passenger vehicles incidental to the transportation of passengers.
  • Vehicles used only for personal use and are 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating or less.
  • Two-axle daily rental trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 26,001 pounds when operated in non-commercial use.
  • Vehicles which are exempt from vehicle registration fees.

Can the DMV suspend an MCP? 

  • Failure to comply with CSAT requirements of federal law.
  • Failure to make copies of CSAT results and other records available to CHP.
  • Knowingly leasing, operating, dispatching, or otherwise utilizing vehicles from a carrier whose motor carrier permit is in suspension. Also, when the suspension deals with mostly or in part on the failure of the motor carrier to maintain any vehicle in safe operating condition.
  • Failure to be registered in the EPN program.
  • Suspension and/or revocation of an owner-operator’s driver license.
  • Failure to maintain liability and/or worker’s’ compensation insurance.

What happens if I operate as a motor carrier of property without an MCP?

Operating as a motor carrier of property without an MCP is a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500, or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than three months, or both. CHP may also confiscate and impound your vehicles.

Contact us today and let us help you obtain your Motor Carrier Permit!

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