Motor Carrier Information

Explanation and Instructions for the Standard Carrier Apha Code (SCAC) Application

Click here to download the SCAC application form.

Click here to download the SCAC application form in Spanish.

Click here to apply online for SCAC Code.


The Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC) is a unique two to four-letter code assigned to transportation companies for identification purposes. The SCAC is required for Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), intermodal interchange agreements, U.S. Customs entry, when doing business with many shippers, on rate tariffs filed with regulatory agencies, government bills of lading, and on bids for government traffic. SCACs are published in the Directory of Standard Carrier Alpha Codes, NMF 101 Series, copyrighted by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association, Inc. (NMFTA).

The SCAC application fee is $85.00 ($93.00 if payment is made by check in U.S. dollars payable through a Canadian bank). Make checks and money orders payable to NMFTA. The SCAC will remain valid through July 1 of the year following the year of assignment and must be renewed annually thereafter. You will be notified of the SCAC assignment by mail. Applications may be submitted online at https://secure.nmfta.org at a reduced fee of $74.00.

The NMFTA assigns SCACs for all companies except railroads. Railroads should contact Railinc Services, 7001 Weston Parkway, Suite 200, Cary, NC 27513, (919) 651-5077. Companies seeking identification marks for trailers, containers or chassis equipment operating in intermodal service should call NMFTA at (703) 838-1822. All other inquiries should be directed to NMFTA at (703) 838-1831.


1) Applicant/Company Information:

Provide the complete Legal Name and Trade Name (if applicable) of the applicant/company. A Trade Name is sometimes known as the "doing business as", "d/b/a", "trading as", or "t/a name". For motor carriers and freight forwarders, NMFTA will use the Legal Name and/or Trade Name as they have been registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation. If the applicant does not have a Trade Name, leave this space blank.

Provide the complete mailing address — city, state, zip/postal code and country for the main office of the applicant. All correspondence will be directed to the Contact Person unless otherwise specified in the Applicant's Representative section.

Provide the e-mail, telephone and fax information for the carrier contact person. International companies should include the country and city telephone codes.

2) Name Changes: If the company to be assigned a code previously operated under a different name, complete this section.

3) Type of Carrier/Operation: (Check all applicable operations and descriptions of applicant/company.)

Motor carrier is a company or person operating vehicles over the highways. Applicants should identify:

MC#, MX# and U.S. DOT# – If applicable, provide all certificate or docket numbers as issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Interstate Commerce Commission, or U.S. Department of Transportation. If the authority has been applied for, but not yet issued, write "Pending" in this space. NMFTA will validate the company name and registration numbers with these agencies.

Exempt applies to carriers operating in the U.S. and exclusively transporting exempt commodities for compensation.

Private Carrier means a company involved in transportation on a not-for-compensation basis. A company transporting its own goods on its own vehicles without compensation for the transportation service would be a private carrier.

U.S. Government applies to a carrier owned by the U.S. Government.

Air Carrier identifies a company that transports people or goods via air including helicopters.

Broker is a person or company, other than a motor carrier or an employee or agent of a motor carrier that, as a principal or agent sells, offers for sale, negotiates for, or holds itself out by solicitation, advertisement, or otherwise as selling, providing, or arranging for, transportation by a motor carrier for compensation. Brokers operating in the United States are required to obtain a license from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and should include the docket number on the line provided.

Freight Forwarder is a person or company holding itself out to the general public (other than as a pipeline, rail, motor, or water carrier) to provide transportation of property for compensation and, in the ordinary course of its business — (A) assembles and consolidates, or provides for assembling and consolidating, shipments and performs or provides for breakbulk and distribution operations of the shipments; (B) assumes responsibility for the transportation from the place of receipt to the place of destination; and (C) uses for any part of the transportation a carrier subject to jurisdiction of the ICC Termination Act. In the United States, surface freight forwarders, as previously described, are required to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and are issued certificate numbers beginning with "FF." This "FF" number should be included on the line provided. Non-regulated forwarders should leave this line blank.

Tariff Publishing Agent is an individual or company that publishes rates for carriers. Agents for household goods carriers should identify any MC or U.S. DOT numbers they hold in their own name, otherwise select Intrastate or Local Cartage.

Water Carrier is a company engaged in transportation by vessel over a body of water such as a vessel operating common carrier, steamship line, tug boat operation, barge line, ferry, etc.

4) U.S. Border Crossing Requirements:

ACE-lerate is NMFTA's system for expediting electronic manifests to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). NMFTA can also produce barcode labels meeting the requirements of CBP's Pre-Arrival Processing System (PAPS) and Canada Custom's Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS). Check the box in this section to obtain further information or visit NMFTA's website at www.nmfta.org.

5) Applicant's Representative:

If someone other than the applicant is completing this application, complete the representative's information section including the full mailing address, city, state, zip/postal code and country. All correspondence will be directed to the contact person. Provide the e-mail, telephone, and fax information for the applicant's representative. International companies should include the country and city telephone codes. Also indicate if the annual SCAC renewal notice should be mailed to the applicant or the applicant's representative.

6) Credit Card Payment Information:

If payment is to be made by credit card, provide all the requested information. The "Person's Name" is the name of the person to whom the card is issued and is usually embossed on the card. The "Address where you receive your statement" is the address where you receive your monthly statement. NMFTA is required by the credit card companies to provide this information as part of the credit card validation process. Credit card payments cannot be processed unless all information, including signature, has been furnished. Applicants paying by credit card may fax the completed application to (703) 683-6296 or 6046. If paying by check or money order, return the completed application together with payment to NMFTA, 1001 North Fairfax Street, Suite 600, Alexandria, VA 22314.

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