CA Numbers Explained

What is a Motor Carrier Permit?

A motor carrier permit is a document issued by the DMV’s Motor Carrier Permit Branch. The permit is issued to the motor carrier as evidence of the registration with the DMV of their California Identification number (CA#), as required by CVC Section 34620. Additionally, the permit verifies the motor carrier has met all of the statutory requirements to commercially operate motor vehicles on California’s highways. The permit contains 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 regardless of vehicle size or weight (For-hire carrier).
  • Any person or entity operating a motor vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 10,001 pounds or more and which is used in the course of business to transport their own property (Private carrier).

Who will not need a permit?

  • Vehicles operated by household goods and/or passenger carriers as defined in Section 5109 of the Public Utilities Code (those vehicles operate under Public Utilities Commission authority).
  • Vehicles operated by household goods carriers to transport used office, store, and institutional furniture and fixtures when operated under a household goods carrier permit issued pursuant to Section 5137 of the PUC.
  • Pickup trucks with a GVWR of less than 11,500 pounds, an unladen weight of less 8,001 pounds, and equipped with a box-type bed not exceeding 9 feet in length, when operated in a non-commercial manner.
  • 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 GVWR or less.
  • Two-axle daily rental trucks with a GVWR of less than 26,001 pounds when operated in non-commercial use.
  • Vehicles which are exempt from vehicle registration fees.

When should a new carrier apply for a permit?

A permit is required before vehicles can be put on the road. New carriers should apply prior to starting operations. Permits are staggered on a 12-month period from the time of application rather than on a calendar year basis.

How do I obtain a Motor Carrier Permit?

To obtain a permit the following need to be provided to DMV:

  • A completed application form (DMV 706 MCP)
  • Proof of financial responsibility (DMV 65 MCP)
  • Proof of Workers’ Compensation insurance or signed exemption
  • A valid Requestor Code issued by the Employer Pull Notice Program (EPN) if you employ drivers with a Commercial Class A, B, or C driver license with a hazardous materials endorsement. For forms or additional information on EPN, you may contact the EPN Unit at (916) 657-6346 or get more information about the Employer Pull Notice Program.
  • A Carrier Identification number (CA#) issued by the CHP
  • Payment of fees

Starting January 31, 2005, new federal regulations require a person who is applying for a California commercial driver license with an original Hazardous Materials (HazMat) endorsement to undergo a security threat assessment. The USA Patriot Act requires the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to complete a security threat assessment (background records check) before the Department of Motor Vehicles issues a HazMat endorsement.

Excerpt from State of California DMV website.

To get all the information, here is a link to that site: Motor Carrier Permit