Motor Carrier Permit

In California, a motor carrier permit is a legal document that allows a commercial vehicle operator to transport property or passengers for hire. It is issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and is required for all carriers who operate vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,001 pounds or more, or who transport hazardous materials or oversized loads.

The motor carrier permit process requires carriers to demonstrate that they meet certain safety requirements, such as having proper insurance coverage, maintaining a safe driving record, and conducting regular vehicle inspections. Carriers must also register with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and comply with various regulations related to safety, insurance, and other aspects of commercial transportation.

Obtaining a motor carrier permit can be a complex and time-consuming process, but it is essential for commercial carriers operating in California. Failure to obtain a permit can result in fines and penalties, and can even lead to your vehicle being impounded. So, if you’re operating a commercial vehicle in California, it’s important to make sure that you have the necessary permits and are in compliance with all relevant regulations.

MCP Checklist

motor carrier permit checklist

Here’s a quick check-list of things you need to know about MCP

Frequently Asked Questions

Who issues the MCP?

The MCP is issued by the California DMV, however, the CHP has access to the information.

I have a truck I rarely use, do I still need an MCP?

Yes. The fact that you do not use the vehicle regularly doesn't exempt you from the MCP requirements, and the insurance requirements. For this reason, carefully think about owning/purchasing a large commercial truck. Sometimes it's better to rent than own.

What is the turnaround time?

The processed to get an MCP takes roughly 45 days. The steps to get an MCP are to obtain a DOT number that is issued by the Department of Transportation, a CA number that is issued by the CHP, and finally the application is mailed out to the DMV. It is imperative that your insurance company reports the insurance to the DMV otherwise this will cause delays in the issuance of the permit.

I cross state lines, do I still need an MCP?

MCP is largely for operations that operate in California, so determining if you need an MCP is determined by the percentage of time you spend in CA vs other states. If you operate a lot out of state you should consider the IRP program.

What must I display on my vehicles?

You must display your DOT number, and CA/MCP number.

Motor Carrier Permit Pricing

The pricing for a motor carrier permit is transparent and is easy to follow in the chart below. Our service fee is not included.

motor carrier permit pricing

Additional Questions Regarding Motor Carrier Permit

permanent fleet registration questions

Contact our team @ 951-409-9091 or email us at or complete the form below.

Links to Other Commercial DMV