Trucking Licenses & the Holiday Season 

As the holidays approach, online purchases soar and the amount of consumer goods in transit across the United States peaks. According to survey data from the National Retail Federation, we can expect to see holiday retail sales in November and December increase between 3.6 and 4 percent for a total of $678.75 billion to $682 billion. [1] With the demand for fast shipping, retailers rely on trucking and logistics companies to move their goods at an increasingly rapid pace.

Before fueling up, licensure is a critical step.  Trucking companies may be subject to both state and federal regulation and licensure.  Interstate truckers must comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s regulations, which may require these companies to obtain a US Department of Transportation Number, a Unified Carrier Registration and, if transporting federally regulated commodities, an Operating Authority.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enforces their requirements via compliance reviews, complaint investigations, terminal audits, roadside inspections, or other investigations.  Fines can be significant and operational shut downs can have devastating impacts on client rosters and the bottom line. 

Interstate taxation can also weigh down trucking companies.  Fortunately, reciprocal agreements for the collection of taxes help streamline interstate commerce activities but not every state is a willing participant.   The International Registration Plan (IRP) “is a registration reciprocity agreement among states of the United States, the District of Columbia and provinces of Canada providing for payment of apportionable fees on the basis of total distance operated in all jurisdictions.”[3]  The International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) allows for consolidation of fuel tax returns into a central repository, but not all states are members. 

Truckers conducting intrastate hauls may be subject to a host of state level licensing regimes.  In California, a motor carrier who operates only within the state of California must obtain a "motor carrier of property" permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. [3]  Across the country in Maine, close to 90 percent of Maine's freight tonnage is carried by commercial vehicles on the roads.[4]  Maine offers intrastate only carriers some exemptions from registration; however, Maine-based intrastate commercial vehicle operators must license for fuel tax reporting.  Many states are now requiring their intrastate commercial motor vehicle registrants to obtain a USDOT Number.  Furthermore, in most states, additional licenses are triggered for the transportation of people, household goods, and hazardous materials. 

The road map to licensure in the trucking industry is complex.  If you own or operate a trucking company, learn more about how LicenseLogix can assist to ensure you are complaint.  Our industry knowledge, along with our compliance tools, offers full service license assistance to our fleet of transportation clients.    Let us help you get on the road and keep driving!

[1] 2017: Holiday Sales Expected to Grow Between 3.6 and 4 Percent 

[2] International Registration Plan, Inc.

[3] California Department of Transportation

[4] Maine Department of Transportation