Trucking Licensing & Regulation of the Trucking Industry

Overview

Both federal and state governments have a strong interest in regulating trucking companies and motor carriers. For all businesses in the trucking industry, a great deal of paperwork is required in order to be compliant with all licensing and registration regulations. Depending on whether you will be traveling intrastate or interstate, what type of cargo you will be transporting, and the gross vehicle weight rating (“GVWR”) of your vehicle, requirements may vary greatly. Federal requirements may include a U.S. Department of Transportation (“USDOT”) Number, Operating Authority, and/or Hazardous Materials Registration. Further, each state has its own unique trucking laws and trucking application requirements which may also vary greatly between states. LicenseLogix will help determine what licenses and registrations you may need and streamline the process of obtaining them for you.

Background

For a wide variety of safety reasons, the government has a devoted interest in regulating motor carriers. The federal government primarily regulates the trucking industry through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) of its Department of Transportation. In addition to completing the requisite licensing paperwork, applicants must file specific insurance and legal process agent documents with the FMCSA as well. Interstate companies are generally subject to many more registration requirements than intrastate companies. Almost all states participate in certain agreements, such as the Unified Carrier Registration Agreement (“UCRA”), the International Fuel Tax Agreement (“IFTA”), and the International Registration Plan (“IRP”), to simplify reporting and payment of fees for interstate licensees.

All states further regulate trucking businesses through their own Departments of Transportation, Highway Safety Agencies, and/or Departments of Motor Vehicles. State trucking regulations tend to be geared more toward intrastate/in-state companies but may also affect interstate/out-of-state companies. If a business is operating within a state, in addition to complying with federal regulations, it may be required to obtain a state DOT number, a motor carrier permit, and/or authority from that state. A few states even require motor carriers traveling through their states to obtain certain additional trucking permits if they meet certain weight requirements.

Ramifications of Non-Compliance

Trucks and motor carriers that are not properly registered with all appropriate authorities may be subject to extremely harsh civil and criminal penalties.

How we help your business:

  1. Our licensing specialists will help you get organized, get informed, and get licensed.
  2. We complete trucking license applications efficiently and correctly, allowing you to save valuable time struggling to determine the proper licenses and to obtain them.
  3. Once your trucking license has been issued, we insure that you remain compliant with all licensing laws.

More Resources:

- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
- American Trucking Associations
- America’s Independent Truckers’ Association
- Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association


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