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What Is MCP and How Can You Get One

Being the owner of a commercial truck is not that simple as it used to be. Today, it comes with plenty of interaction with the DMV that goes far beyond just paying your tags. If you are operating a motor vehicle with a GVWR of 10,001 pounds or more, you will have to get yourself an MCP, or otherwise, you will have to deal with California Highway Police.

The procedure is not that complicated but might be pretty time-consuming and, of course, be ready to get through some red tape. The more commercial vehicles you own, the more the paperwork is waiting for you. But since you can’t make it without a carrier permit, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of the subject. Here you have it – a comprehensive guide on MCP. Keep reading to find all the details on what it is and how you can get one.

What Is An MCP?

Short for motor carrier permit, an MCP is a document issued by the DMV’s Registration Operations Division. The DMV’s MCP Branch issues these permits to motor carriers as proof of the registration with the DMV of their California Identification number (CA#), in compliance with CVC Section 34620. In addition to that, the permit serves as verification of the fact that the motor carries has succeeded to meet all of the numerous statutory requirements and can commercially operate motor vehicles on California’s highways. The permit contains the following info: name and mailing address of the carrier, CA#, and effective and expiration dates of the permit.

Who Needs A Permit?

Generally speaking, any person or business entity that transports property in their motor vehicle for money will have to get an MCP. Despite what many people think. The size of the vehicle doesn’t really matter – even if you deliver pizza with a motorcycle, you are required to obtain a motor carrier permit, no exceptions. All entities that are involved in transportation property as a paid service are considered “For-Hire” motor carriers, regardless of their vehicle type, weight, or as already mentioned, size.

Another category that is subject to MCP includes commercial vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 10,001 pounds or more. It doesn’t matter whether you are plotting to use such a vehicle for your private needs or transport property for others, you are deemed as a “Private” carrier and as such have to make sure the CHP can see your MCP.

Moving forward, there are certain categories of operators that are also obliged to get an MCP for various reasons, with transporting hazardous materials being one of them. Here are also all kinds of combos of a motor truck and trailer, semi-trailers, pole or pipe dollies, auxiliary dollies, and logging dollies, that exceed forty feet in length when coupled together. Just a heads up, when it comes to an MCP, the term “trailer” doesn’t cover camp trailers, utility trailers, and trailer coaches.

Last but not least, all entities that operate any type of motor vehicle (including trailer) with the need for a commercial driver’s license are also on the list of those who require an MCP. Similar to the previous para, camp trailers, utility trailers, and trailer coaches are excluded from the roster.

How To Obtain A Permit

Needless to say, you have to obtain a permit before starting your operations, keep in mind that permit terms are one year that begins on the date of initial application and expires on the last day of the twelfth month.

When it comes to the place where you can get your permit, this is something you most probably won’t like as you can’t just pay a visit to your local DMV field office. As mentioned above, the Motor Carrier Services Branch is in charge of issuing MCPs and it’s located at DMV Headquarters in Sacramento, California.

Check out the list of documents you will have to provide to the DMV:

– Filled out application form
– Proof of financial responsibility
– Proof of Workers’ Compensation insurance or signed exemption
– A valid Requester Code issued by the Employer Pull Notice Program (EPN) if you employ drivers with a Commercial Class A, Class B, or Class C driver license with a hazardous materials endorsement.
– A Carrier Identification number (CA#) issued by the CHP
– Payment of fees

If you want to operate your motor vehicles on California roads, MCP is something you can’t make it without. In case you think that the whole procedure sounds like a lot of hassle and wasted time, you can simply use the services of one of the licensed DMV agencies and get the desired permit quickly and easily.


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