FMCSA Definition of For-Hire:
An authorized for-hire motor carrier transports passengers, regulated property or household goods owned by others for compensation. If you are a for-hire carrier, in addition to the USDOT number you will also need to obtain operating authority (MC number).
Simply said if a company is transporting passengers or hauling commodities for monetary gain, that company is considered “for-hire”. Any for-hire carrier MUST have operating authority, a DOT number, a BOC-3 filing and the required insurance filing(s) to operate legally.
A For-Hire carrier is a company that transports cargo or passengers for compensation. For-hire carriers must have a USDOT number as well as operating authority (MC number) to operate.
FMCSA Definition of Private Carrier:
A private motor carrier transports its own cargo, usually as a part of a business that produces, uses, sells and/or buys the cargo that is being hauled. A private motor carrier transports its own goods and is required to have a USDOT number but does not need operating authority (MC number).
Simply said if a company is transporting its own cargo (business or personal) in a not-for-hire operation, operating authority is not required. A DOT number will still be required.