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Intrastate vs Interstate CDL The Basics of Trucking Registration

Written by Nick Webster

Published on Dec. 11, 2023, 2:10 p.m.


Intrastate vs interstate trucks CDL is a crucial issue in the US trucking industry. Every new driver must decide which type of licensing to pursue. This way, garbage trucks and trucking professionals can follow all DOT and FMCSA regulations. These encompass a variety of vehicles, namely school buses, garbage trucks, fire trucks, dump trucks, water trucks, gas trucks, cement trucks, and other similar vehicles. So, what are the biggest differences between intrastate and interstate CDLs? Let’s find out. As a result, you can have the ability to secure an ideal trucking authority package. check out BOC-3.

The Main Differences Between Intrastate & Interstate

Here’s how the FMCSA defines “intrastate.” It means that a carrier can move goods only in a single state. Meanwhile, “interstate” refers to carriers delivering loads in multiple states. Some interstate carriers even drive into other countries like Mexico. The regulatory requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) pertain to both interstate and intrastate commerce, specifically to commercial fleets operating in interstate commerce and the regulations governing commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). Say that a driver travels from one place to another in the same state. But he or she must drive through a separate state to get there.

These categories significantly impact the routes, vehicles, and drivers' qualifications, highlighting the intricate balance between interstate and intrastate trucking within the trucking industry.

That is an example of how interstate registration works. Crossing state lines means it’s an interstate process. But staying in one state at all times refers to intrastate trucking. It’s that simple. Now, keep in mind that laws will vary based on the type of transportation you pursue. Check out the Motor Carrier Authority. Let’s say that you perform interstate commerce CDL jobs for work. This means you must adhere to all the rules that the FMCSA puts in place. Why? Because you're traveling through more than one state. This way, you have to abide by federal regulations and rules. But say you only perform intrastate commerce duties. In that case, you only have to adhere to the rules within a specific state. Whether intrastate or interstate, garbage trucks are the key is to following all rules to avoid penalties. Otherwise, you could lose your CDL and other trucking licensing. Visit Starting a Trucking Company Package.

Why Intrastate vs Interstate in Trucking Matters

So, is it that important to know the distinction between intrastate and interstate? Yes, it is. That's because the laws for drivers, carriers, tanker trucks, and vehicles differ. Read here about Starting a Trucking Company Correctly. There are even different regulatory bodies within intrastate and interstate trucking. Every truck driver must adhere to federal and state laws. But that cannot happen unless the drivers know which laws apply. Say that you take part in interstate trucking once you have a commercial driver’s clines. This means that you become subject to FMCSR federal regulations.

These regulations are set up by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA). What is MC Number? Now, let's that you only use your CDL for intrastate trucking. You then become subject to the rules and regulations of a specific state. Let's use the state of Texas as an example. Say that you're working as a CDL commercial driver in Texas. This means you must abide by two state agencies. First, there's the Texas Department of Public Safety. Then you've got the TMCSR. It stands for the Texas Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Once again, you could lose your CDL and other licensing if you ignore these agencies. Also, Visit Driver Qualification Files.

The Types of Intrastate & Interstate Trucks

Let’s now go over the common types of vehicles used in intrastate and interstate trucking. Starting with intrastate commerce, you've got bucket trucks, tanker trucks, and tow trucks. Other intrastate vehicles include \flatbed trucks, tanker trucks, garbage trucks, tanker trucks, and concrete mixing trucks. Your average interstate commerce vehicle features semi-trucks and 18-wheelers. But many interstate drivers also use tractor-trailers, flatbed trucks, and reefers. Plus, there are interstate professionals who decide to operate tanker trucks and tow trucks. Visit DOT Authority Package, Tips to prepare for 2022 DOT Week filings in minutes.
In the realm of trucking registration, the distinctions between intrastate and interstate operations constitute a pivotal aspect that truck drivers, trucking companies, and legal experts must understand.

Interstate Motor Carrier Insurance Requirements

You must understand the insurance requirements that interstate motor carriers have. These requirements are based on Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. A for-hire general freight carrier has to have a minimum liability insurance coverage. It is $750,000. Say that you work for a private or for-hire carrier of hazardous wastes. (Or some oils.) These differences encompass a mix of various critical factors, particularly when it comes to the types of trucks employed. For instance, flatbed trucks and tanker trucks serve distinct purposes within the industry, and comprehending the differences between these vehicles is essential for adherence to relevant laws. You'll need at least one million dollars in liability coverage. You’ll also need to have a BOC-3 on file through the FMCSA. Other hazmat carriers need five million dollars of liability insurance coverage. Now, say that you drive a private bus capable of carrying no more than fifteen people.

You must have 1.5 million dollars of liability coverage. The insurance coverage number goes up when driving buses carrying more people. A bus that carries over fifteen people needs five million dollars in coverage. Again, these terms refer to official FMCSA federal policies for CDL drivers. Check this also: Unified Carrier Registration, UCR filing.

Do Interstate CDL Drivers Need DOT Numbers?

Yes. Almost every interstate CDL driver in the country must have an active DOT number. (Some refer to this number as a USDOT number.) So, what is a DOT number? It is a special identifier that the US government uses. The main purpose of each number is to assess the safety information of carriers. Once again, do not put off securing proper interstate registration at your business. Failing to follow FMCSA safety requirements will lead to major problems. Let’s go over the exact types of interstate commerce vehicles needing DOT numbers. Say that your vehicle weighs more than 10,0001 pounds. (Via the GVW, GCW, GVWR, or GCWR.) This means you must secure a DOT number for interstate transportation.

That's also the case if your vehicle can move more than eight passengers. Or if your vehicle can transport at least fifteen drivers. Compensation must take place in the previous two situations with passengers. Interstate drivers moving hazardous materials also use DOT numbers. In fact, in intrastate commerce, tow trucks are also the case for CDL hazmat drivers. Why? Because these drivers need safety permits to operate their vehicles. Some states will even force most intrastate vehicle drivers to use DOT numbers. Please contact our organization if you're unsure if you need a DOT number. Our experts can reach out to your state licensing agency about registration. If you do end up needing a number, our team can supply one for you right away. For additional programs, check out MCS-150, Must visit FMCSA Hours of Service Suspended topics.

What Is an Operating Authority?

Many interstate business professionals must secure interstate operating authority. The authority gets granted by way of an MC number. But an MC number will not replace your DOT number. Most interstate drivers must register both an MC and DOT number. Written below are some common situations where CDL operators use MC numbers. Say that you operate for compensation as a for-hire carrier. This means you need to register an MC number with the FMCSA. That's also the case if you transport people via interstate commerce. In fact, tow trucks even arrange to transport passengers, which leads to needing an MC number.

Transporting regulated commodities is another MC number situation. Plus, so is arranging for the commodities to get transported through interstate commerce. Operating authority functions as registration with the US federal government. With this authority, you'll know what kind of business you can operate. Also, you can understand the type of cargo that you have a right to carry. Having operating authority also leads to realizing your insurance limits. Of course, you've got to carry the right amount of insurance. Otherwise, you cannot protect yourself or your business. Say that you're a new applicant for FMCSA operating authority. You can register online through URS: the Unified Registration System. As a new applicant, you can also secure a DOT number. Also, take a look at the Drug and Alcohol Program policy. What is DOT Clearinghouse Enforcement?

How Do I Change From Interstate to Intrastate?

Every driver has the right to change registration from interstate to intrastate. Or vice versa. The key is to fill out a self-certification form. Then, you can provide documents to the DMV in your state. Many drivers will also need to file medical examiner's certificates.

Can Two Companies Use the Same DOT Number?

Most of the time, the answer is no. Why? Because the FMCSA has a policy to assign one DOT number for every person. This legal concept refers to 49 U.S.C. 13902, 31134, and 49 C.F.R. 390.19T. No one has the right to transfer a DOT number to another person. Tow trucks and, Instead, a DOT number stays assigned to an individual forever. Read about Texas DOT Numbers and USDOT Numbers. Learn here How to Prepare for a Compliance DOT Audit.

What Are the Benefits of Having a DOT Number?

The biggest benefit is staying in compliance with the DOT and FMCSA. After all, every DOT number functions as an official identifier by the government. The FMCSA uses each number to assess safety information. That information comes from inspections and audits. Plus, the DOT also performs compliance reviews and investigations. Check out The Basics of Farm Exemptions. You will then have the ability to maintain complete motor carrier authority or broker. What are the Top 3 DOT paper-appointed Violations? This designation is essential for intrastate drivers as they navigate the confines of their home state without crossing state or international borders in the course of their duties. The key here is recognizing that "intrastate" primarily pertains to a specific geographic route, limiting the scope to within the state. In contrast, an "interstate" carrier operates on a broader spectrum, legally permitted to traverse multiple states or even national borders, thereby dealing with interstate traffic and transportation.

Can You Have a DOT Number Without an MC Number?

Many intrastate carriers can use USDOT numbers without MC numbers. That's because these carriers do not cross any state lines or borders. But that is not the case for most interstate trucking companies. The majority will need to register both MC and USDOT numbers. That's because an MC number provides official interstate operating authority. You need that authority to cross from one state into another. You will need driver qualification files filed out by all employees who drive for you working. Also, take a look at What Is IRP or Apportioned Registration.

In Summary: Intrastate vs Interstate Commerce for CDL Drivers

You should now have a basic understanding of intrastate vs interstate CDL trucking. Interstate refers to traveling into more than one state. Meanwhile, tow trucks, flatbed trucks, and intrastate means that you do not leave your base state. The key is to receive the right trucking registration. For example, the average interstate CDL driver will need both a USDOT and MC number. Of course, tow trucks and intrastate drivers must take care of their local/state registration needs.

Questions About Intrastate & Interstate Trucking Registration? Call Us Now

Many US carriers must complete Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) registration. News organizations that report on news pertaining to multiple states are required to adhere to federal regulations, whereas news organizations that report on news within a single state are obligated to comply with state regulations. If you have questions about any information on this page, do not hesitate to contact us. Our organization is standing by to answer your questions about trucking registration. So, please pick up the phone and give our experts a phone call at any time. Fmcsa regulatory requirements interstate commerce intrastate commerce commercial fleets in interstate commerce commercial motor vehicles regulations cmv cmv. This category encompasses a range of vehicles, such as tow trucks, dump trucks, concrete mixing trucks, garbage trucks, and bucket trucks.

The significance of differentiating between interstate and intrastate trucking lies in the fact that the regulations pertaining to the driver, vehicle, and company vary, as do the governing bodies responsible for enforcing these regulations in each respective category of trucking. Furthermore, specialized categories such as concrete mixing trucks and dump trucks underscore the intricacies of trucking registration, especially concerning concrete mixing and hauling. Whether you're a truck driver or a lawyer specializing in transportation law, grasping the legal nuances surrounding semi-trailers and interstate trucking is crucial for ensuring compliance and the smooth operation of your trucking company.

The following categories of vehicles are exempted: farm trucks, farm truck tractors, motor vehicles used in farm areas, emergency vehicles, vehicles primarily transporting money or commercial paper, vehicles owned or operated by the state or local government, and vehicles that have been purchased within the last 15 days. We can walk you through the registration you or your carrier need. Our team looks forward to helping you get on the road ASAP. Give us a call.

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