The ABCs of Trucking Permits: Types and Application Process

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The ABCs of trucking permits refer to four common types of permits required in the trucking industry, namely Authority, Base Plate, Cab Card, and Single State Registration. Permit services for trucking companies can aid business owners in obtaining the appropriate permits for their operations and the jurisdictions they wish to operate. Here is a brief overview of each permit type and the general application process.

Authority (Motor Carrier Authority)

The Motor Carrier Authority is required for carriers engaged in for-hire transportation of passengers, household goods, or federally regulated commodities in interstate commerce.

The specific type of authority depends on the nature of the operations, such as property, passenger, or broker authority. To apply for motor carrier authority, business owners must complete the motor carrier application process.

Here, they must pay certain fees and provide insurance and financial responsibility documentation. They must also meet specific federal regulations. The application process is usually done through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). 

Base Plate (Apportioned Plates)

Base plate permits are required for vehicles that travel across multiple states or Canadian provinces. Carriers need permits to pay registration fees based on the distance traveled in various jurisdictions rather than obtaining individual registration in each state or province.

The application process for base plate permits varies depending on each jurisdiction. To apply, carriers must provide vehicle and ownership information, pay the required fees, and comply with additional requirements set by each jurisdiction’s motor vehicle department.

Cab Card (Registration Cab Cards)

Cab cards are documents that accompany base plate permits. They provide proof of registration and permit information for vehicles operating in different jurisdictions. Cab cards are typically issued by the same state or province where the plate permit was registered. The process of obtaining a cab card is linked to the base plate permit application process.

Single State Registration (SSR)

Carriers that want to operate their vehicles exclusively within a single state need an SSR permit. The SSR program simplifies the registration process for intrastate carriers by consolidating fees and requirements.

The application process and requirements for SSR permits vary by state. This is why it is crucial to contact the appropriate state transportation department or motor vehicle agency to obtain the necessary application forms and instructions.

Determining The Right Permit

Each permit has its own compliance requirements that must be met before engaging in the application process. Business owners who want to start a trucking company must decide what type of operation they want to engage in and ensure they acquire the proper permits to conduct their business.

Each permit’s requirements and application processes differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. However, you can consult with relevant federal and state agencies or seek assistance from permit and licensing service providers to ensure compliance with all the necessary permits and their respective application process. 

A permit and licensing service provider can help you understand the process from start to finish and help you with other services related to the trucking industry. Choose a permit and licensing service provider in the same state or jurisdiction you want to operate your trucking business.

Also Read: How Technology Can Enhance the Efficiency of Your Trucking Business



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