How Much Does A SCAC Code Cost?

May 31, 2022

The SCAC code is super important for all carriers and shippers to have and it’s actually mandatory for all types of transportation companies to have one in order for them to legally operate within the United States. 

However, to get a SCAC code, you need to cough up some cash to pay a fee – but just how much? 

How Much Does A SCAC Code Cost

Here we are going to be talking about the SCAC code including what it is, why you need it and how you can apply for one. We will also be covering how much a SCAC code costs so you can put aside the funds for this fee straight away! 

So, let’s jump in! 

What Is A SCAC Code? 

The Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC)  is a mandatory code required for all transportation companies to work within the US. It is unique to every carrier and will vary between two to four letters. 

It is distributed by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (shortened to NMFTA) and was first developed during the 1960s as a way to identify different carriers and the transport companies they work for during the time when most records and information were computerized. 

This means that now, the SCAC code is also used by companies to access the digital copies of most of their documentation including bills, packing lists and purchase orders. Without it, companies cannot access their service registers and they are not allowed to operate within the US.

Every company must also renew their SCAC codes every June as the code will expire on July 1st every year. A reminder is sent at the end of may to every carrier with a SCAC code. 

So, clearly, it’s important that you get one – but how can you apply for one and how much will this cost you? 

How To Apply For A SCAC Code

As we said earlier, SCAC codes are distributed by the NMFTA so to get one, you have to apply for one via the NMFTA’s website. There you can apply for a new SCAC code or renew the one you already have. 

The NMFTA will require certain information from you such as your company’s information, requestor information, and your FMCSA registration. You will also be asked to pay a small fee at the end of your application – this will have to be paid before your application  for a SCAC code can be processed. 

So, it is not free to apply for a SCAC code. You will need to pay a fee of $97 – this fee used to be $84 but it has since risen to $97. If you are paying through a Canadian bank, then the fee will be increased again to $107. 

Once the process is completed, you should receive your SCAC code certificate within twenty four hours in the form of an email. 

Alternatively, you can post your application or in person at the NMFTA office in Alexandria, Virginia. You will still have to pay the processing fee using your credit or debit card. Your SCAC code will either then be emailed or mailed to you. 

How Much Does A SCAC Code Cost?

The cost of a SCAC code is the processing fee which you pay for every application or renewal of a SCAC code. 

There are no extra fees – you only have to pay the processing fee which will be prompted to you at the end of your application online. This means that you cannot apply nor receive a SCAC code without paying this fee. 

The processing fee of a SCAC code is always subject to change so although it is currently set at $97, it could increase or decrease at any time. 

However, this is the only fee that you have to pay to receive a SCAC code. Once it’s paid, you just have to kick back and wait for the NMFTA to pass your application and send you your SCAC code. 

If your application process is asking you to pay more than the $97 processing fee, or if you have received an email or letter from the NMFTA requesting more money, then you will need to contact  the NMFTA separately – this could be some kind of scam or serious error. 

What Are The Benefits Of A SCAC Code? 

So, to get your hands on a SCAC code, you will need to pay nearly a hundred dollars – so is it really worth it? 

Well, yes, because without it, your business can’t operate in the US but there are also plenty of other benefits to using a SCAC code. 

SCAC codes were introduced to help streamline the flow of data within transportation companies, allowing them to access important information and documents on a single digitized system instead of searching through piles and piles of paperwork. 

Having a SCAC code also makes your carrier a lot easier to identify and improves the communication between all the components of your shipping operation. This means it’s way easier for you to track transactions including orders, receipts, invoices, and more. It also leads to a reduction in error because human error is now completely removed along with the need for paperwork. 

Overall, all of this automated handling of your business’s data means that updates happen automatically without the constant need for paperwork or interference. This makes running your business way easier and more efficient so you can focus on other areas of your business. 

So, a SCAC code is definitely worth it. Not only does it allow you to operate within the US, you can kiss goodbye to paperwork and hello to an efficient, automated system that makes a lot of important processes super easy – and all of this for only $97 a year! 


So, it’s mandatory for you to get a SCAC code if you want your transportation business to operate in the US but it’s also not free to get one. 

Currently, you have to pay a fee of $97 and this fee is always subject to change. 

However, there are many benefits to using a SCAC code which makes up for its cost. To get your SCAC code, head over to the NMFTA and apply today!