Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Commission
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Commission or WMATC is a regulatory agency established by the Washington Metropolitan Area Regulation Compact, an interstate compact established between the Commonwealth of Virginia, the District of Columbia and the State of Maryland, and consented to by Congress under Public Law 86-794 in 1960 to regulate passenger common carriers operating within the District of Columbia, and the suburbs in Maryland and Virginia. A common carrier desiring to offer passenger carriage for hire within the region must register with the commission and obtain a WMATC number. This includes public bus systems owned by cities and counties within the region if managed and operated by a private company. Carriers operating exclusively within Virginia are exempt from registration with WMATC as they would register with the Virginia Corporation Commission.
Being authorized to operate by the commission and issued a WMATC number means the organization does not have to register as a common carrier with the District of Columbia Public Service Commission, the Virginia Corporation Commission, the Maryland Public Service Commission or the U.S. Department of Transportation. It serves as a single registration point for passenger common carriers operating within the District of Columbia, Prince Georges and Montgomery County in Maryland, and carriers operating in interstate commerce within the region from Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William Counties and Fairfax, Alexandria, Manassas, Manassas Park, Falls Church and Leesburg Cities in Virginia.
The general requirement to obtain a WMATC number is similar to the U.S. Department of Transportation's requirement to obtain a DOT number, or most state Public Utilities Commissions to obtain a state registration number: submit a set of tariffs stating prices for services, pay a fee of about $500, and provide evidence of either a minimum of $1.5 million in insurance for carriers operating vehicles having 15 passengers or less (including the driver), or at least $5 million in insurance for carriers operating vehicles which can carry more than 15 persons.
As with any other registration system, the carrier posts their number on the outside of their vehicles in the form "WMATC 126".
WMATC should not be confused with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) which is the bus and train operator for the City of Washington and suburbs. WMATA is also exempt from regulation by WMATC.
- Jurisdiction of the Commission, http://www.wmatc.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=58&Itemid=27 (Retrieved 2013-04-18.)