Home | Contact Us
Texas Department of Motor Vehicles

Motor Carrier Registration (Operating Authority)

As a commercial motor vehicle operator, you may be required to register your vehicle as a motor carrier. Read the information below for more details.

You can register online, print cab cards and more using our Online Credentialing (MCCS). For help with the online process, call us at 1 (888) 368-4689, option 3, 1, or send us an e-mail.

There are different registration requirements for household goods movers.

For further information, read our FAQs or view our important notices.

Registration Requirements

Registration required. Operators of commercial motor vehicles that meet the following criteria must register with TxDMV as motor carriers:

  • Vehicle (or combination of vehicles) with a gross weight, registered weight, or gross weight rating exceeding 26,000 pounds, that is designed or used for transportation of cargo in furtherance of any commercial enterprise
  • For-hire vehicle used to transport household goods, regardless of gross weight rating
  • Vehicle, including a bus, designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver
  • Vehicle used to transport hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placarding under the regulations issued under the Federal Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (49 USC, § 5101-5127)
  • Vehicle defined by 49 CFR §390.5, owned or controlled by someone domiciled in, or a citizen of, a country other than the United States

Registration not required. For motor carrier registration purposes, operators of the following types of vehicles are not required to register with TxDMV:

  • Farm vehicle with a gross weight, registered weight, and gross weight rating of less than 48,000 pounds
  • Cotton vehicle registered under Texas Transportation Code (TRC),§504.505
  • Vehicle registered with the Texas Railroad Commission under Texas Natural Resources Code, §113.131 and §116.072
  • Vehicle used to transport liquor under a private carrier permit issued under Alcoholic Beverage Code, Chapter 42
  • Vehicle used to transport passengers and operated by an entity whose primary function is not to transport passengers, such as a vehicle operated by a hotel, day-care center, nursing home, etc.
  • Vehicle operated by a governmental entity.
Preparing the Application

Household goods carriers have different application requirements.

To register as a motor carrier, an applicant must file with TxDMV:

  • An Original Texas Motor Carrier Application (Form 1899)
  • An Additional Motor Carrier Equipment Report (Form 1900)
  • The appropriate fees
  • Proof of insurance.
Registration Fees
Fee Type Motor Carrier Registration
7-Day 90-Day 1-Year
Application $5 $25 $100 $100
Vehicle (per vehicle) $10 $10 $10 $20*
Auto Liability Insurance
(Form E)**
$100 $100 $100 $100

* Additional vehicle (biennial registration). The fee to add a vehicle is $20 per vehicle during the first year and $10 per vehicle during the second year.

** These fees are to be paid by the carrier.

Replacement Vehicle

A motor carrier is not required to pay the $10 registration fee for a vehicle used to replace another vehicle whose registration is current. The motor carrier must give TxDMV the identities of the vehicle taken out of service and the replacement vehicle before the replacement vehicle is put into operation.

Fees may be paid by:

  • Personal, business, or cashier's check or money order made out to Texas Department of Motor Vehicles
  • MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and VISA (A $1 service charge is applied to each credit card transaction)
  • FirstPay (only when using online registration)
  • Electronic funds transfer
  • MCD pre-established escrow account.
Proof of Insurance

A household goods carrier has different insurance coverage requirements.

A motor carrier must file proof of insurance for each vehicle required to be registered.

A motor carrier's insurance company maintains proof of insurance with TxDMV by filing the appropriate insurance form(s) on behalf of the motor carrier.

The motor carrier is ultimately responsible for making sure the proper form(s) are filed with TxDMV on a timely basis.

Automobile Liability Insurance Requirements

  Vehicle Type Minimum Coverage
1 Bus - designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers (including driver), but less than 26 (excluding driver) $500,000
2 Bus - seating capacity of 15 passengers or less (including driver) operated by a foreign motor carrier and foreign motor private carrier defined in 49 USC §13102 $1,500,000
3 Bus - designed or used to transport 26 passengers or more (excluding driver) $5,000,000
4 Bus - seating capacity of 16 passengers or more (including driver) operated by a foreign motor or private carrier defined in 49 USC §13102 $5,000,000
5 Farm truck - gross vehicle weight 48,000 pounds or more $500,000
6 Commercial motor vehicles (gross vehicle weight in excess of 26,000 lbs) $500,000
7 Commercial motor vehicle - defined in 49 CFR §390.5, operated by a foreign motor or private carrier defined in 49 USC §13102 $750,000
8 Commercial motor vehicle - oil listed in 49 CFR §172.101; hazardous waste, materials, and substances defined in 49 CFR §171.8 and listed in 49 CFR §172.101, but not mentioned in item #10 below $1,000,000
9 Commercial motor vehicle - hazardous substances, as defined in 49 CFR §171.8, transported in cargo tanks, portable tanks, or hopper-type vehicles with capacities in excess of 3,500 water gallons; or any quantity of Division 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3 materials, any quantity of Division 2.3, Hazard Zone A material; in bulk Division 2.1 of 2.2; or highway route controlled quantities of a Class 7 material, as defined in 49 CFR §173.403. $5,000,000

Workers' Compensation or accidental insurance. A motor carrier whose primary business is transportation for compensation or hire and who operates between two or more incorporated cities, towns, or villages is required to provide for all of its employees either Workers' Compensation insurance or accidental insurance. Accidental insurance requirements are described on the following table.

Accidental Insurance Requirements

Type of coverage

Medical expenses and coverage for at least 104 week $ 300,000
Accidental death and dismemberment, 70 percent of employee's pre-injury income for not less than 104 weeks when compensating for loss of income $100,000
Maximum weekly benefit $500

Proof of Workers' Compensation or accidental insurance is not filed with TxDMV.

Self-insurance. To qualify as self-insured, a motor carrier must file with TxDMV an "Application for Qualification as a Self-Insurer" containing a true and accurate statement of the motor carrier's financial condition and other evidence that establishes its ability to satisfy obligations for bodily injury and property damage liability without affecting the stability or permanency of its business. To obtain an application, call 1 (888) 368-4689 (option 3, then 1).

TxDMV may accept United States Department of Transportation evidence of the motor carrier's qualifications as a self-insured.

Contact TxDMV at 1 (888) 368-4689 (option 3, then 1) for additional criteria needed to qualify as self-insured.

Drug-Testing Certification

All motor carriers registered with TxDMV must certify as part of the application process that they are in compliance with the drug-testing requirements of 49 CFR Part 382.

Motor carriers that belong to a drug-testing consortium, as defined by 49 CFR Part 382, must also provide the names of the persons operating the consortium.

Motor carriers must report a valid positive controlled substance test result to the Department of Public Safety (DPS), in the manner required by the DPS, when performed as part of the carrier's drug-testing program on an employee of the carrier who holds a commercial driver's license under Transportation Code, Chapter 522. The term "employee" as used in this paragraph includes all employees as defined in Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 40.3.

For further information about this requirement, call DPS at (512) 424-2052.

Submitting the Application

Submit your application by mail to the address on the form or by fax to (512) 465-3521. Faxed applications must include payment information.

An improperly filed application. An application that contains any misrepresentation, mis-statement, or omission of required information, or that is not accompanied by the appropriate fees and proof of insurance will not be processed until all requirements are fulfilled.

Supplemental Application

A motor carrier is required to file a supplemental application (Form 1910) with TxDMV:

  • To change cargo type
  • To change motor carrier name, address, and/or legal agent for service of process
  • To change drug-testing consortium status
  • To change principal officers or titles within a corporation
  • After successful conversion of corporate structure (registered corporations must have the conversion approved by the Texas Secretary of State before filing a supplemental application with TxDMV)
  • To retain a revoked or suspended certificate of registration number instead of filing an original application (the carrier must submit a motor carrier equipment report, pay insurance filing fee, pay all vehicle fees, and satisfactorily address the reasons for suspension or revocation under 43 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §218.72.

Change of ownership. A carrier must file an Original Texas Motor Carrier Application (Form 1899) when there is a corporate merger or a change of ownership of a sole proprietorship or partnership.

Registration Renewal

Renewal notice. TxDMV mails a renewal notice to a registered motor carrier's last-known address approximately 60 days before the expiration date. If you do not receive the renewal notice, you are still responsible for renewing your registration before its expiration date.

Seven-day and 90-day certificates of registration cannot be renewed.

Return the renewal notice to TxDMV at least 15 days before the expiration date. When returning the renewal notice, supply any new information that has not been supplied to TxDMV, along with:

  • $10 for each vehicle being registered for one year
  • $20 for each vehicle being registered for two years

Expired registration. To renew a registration that has expired, submit the vehicle(s) on a Motor Carrier Equipment Report (Form 1899) or an Additional Motor Carrier Equipment Report (Form 1900), pay all appropriate fees, and meet all insurance requirements.

Online Motor Carrier Registration

At MCCS online, motor carriers can self-register and access motor carrier operating credentials 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Online motor carrier registration helps eliminate telephone hold time, filling out forms, and possible delays in receiving your motor carrier certificate and insurance cab card.

Interstate Motor Carriers
Registration Payment Information
  OS/OW Load Permits