Checklist for New Carriers

Shown below is a list of items that you need to review to insure that you have everything in place that you need to operate legally. 

To get started, the most important fact you need to know in order to know exactly what requirements apply to your situation is what the Combined Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is for your equipment. To establish this number, you need to know what the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is for your truck and the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of your trailer and then add these two numbers together. If the total is 26,000 pounds or less your driver and truck requirements are significantly different than if this total is over 26,000 pounds. If your CGVWR is less than 10001 pounds your company requirements are also different.

Once you know what your CGVWR is, you can then determine what the requirements are for your company, your driver(s) and your trucks and shown below is a chart that outlines these requirements.

It should be noted that many hotshot operators register their truck at 26,000 pounds even though the actual CGVWR is over this weight and it normally is not a problem. However, be aware that there is a bit of a risk of being fined and possibly being shut down if you don't have a Class A CDL and you sure don't want to cross a scale weighing more than 26,000 pounds.

Company Requirements

                                                                              GVWR 0 to 10,000 Pds         GVWR Over 10,000 Pds
USDOT Number Required                                                NO                                        YES
MC Number Required                                                       YES                                        YES
UCR - Unified Carrier Registration                                  YES                                        YES
Typical Liability Insurance Required                          $300,000                             $1,000,000
Note:  Typical Cargo Insurance - $100,000

Driver Requirements

DRIVERS                                                                           Up to 26,000 Pounds            Over 26,000 Pounds
Class A CDL Required                                                                 NO                                              YES
Join Drug Consortium Required                                               NO                                               YES

Truck Requirements

TRUCKS                                                                                 When Required
IRP Apportioned Plate                                                     Over 26,000 Pounds
IFTA Fuel Decal                                                                 Over 26,000 Pounds
A DOT Vehicle Inspection Report                                  Before starting operations  and annually thereafter
HVUT, the Federal Heavy Vehicle Use Tax,                  Over 55,000 Pounds
is an annual fee assessed on heavy vehicles.
Cost is $100 plus $22 per 1,000 pounds over
55,000 lbs

Special State Requirements

  • Kentucky KYU Highway Use Tax License for Trucks with a CGVWR over 55,000 Pounds
  • Oregon
  • New Mexico
  • New York Highway Use Tax required for vehicles with a CGVWR of 18,000 Pounds or more.

Permits to be carried in trucks.

  • FMCSA Motor Carrier Authority License.
  • Process Agents Form BOC-3
  • Insurance Card
  • HAZMAT Certificate (only required if hauling as a HAZMAT carrier)
  • Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) This is due each year and should be paid in November or December for the coming year.
  • Intrastate Authority from your state. Be sure to check your state's requirement for the pickup an delivery of loads intrastate loads.
  • Base IFTA License and Decals if required. (if applicable)(expires 12/31 annually)
  • Apportion Plate Cab Card for the apportioned plate on your truck. (if applicable)
  • IRS 2290 Heavy Highway Use Tax
  • Kentucky KYU Account (GVW over 55,000 only)
  • New York HUT (expires every 3 years)
  • Oregon Mileage Tax Account and Bond (expires 12/31 annually)
  • Oversize/Overweight Permits (if applicable) The permits listed here may or may not be required for your type of operations depending on the gross vehicle weight of your vehicle.
    • You may be required to furnish this information to the state officials when traveling through each state. Be sure all permits are current and valid.
  • If you get Stopped for Inspection by a Motor Carrier Inspector who has been certified by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). You will be asked to produce certain documents during the inspection which includes:
    •     Your driver’s license
    •     Your medical examiner’s certificate
    •     Your medical waiver, if applicable
    •     Your record of duty status (logbook)
    •     Your trip receipts
    •     Your shipping/delivery papers or manifest
    •     A vehicle registration for each unit
    •     Current annual inspections for each unit