Trucking can be a lucrative business, especially if you're able to make deliveries across state lines. It's a stable field that offers a lot of opportunities for growth, and anyone can become involved with a few trucks and drivers. However, before you decide to start a trucking business, you'll want to look into the restrictions and permits necessary to operate in your state. The permits and licenses you need may vary if you plan to deliver in multiple states besides the one you're based in. Here are four things you should about trucking permits:
1. An IFTA license is the most versatile
IFTA stands for International Fuel Tax Agreement, and its purpose is to ensure that large vehicles that travel between the 48 contiguous states are reporting their fuel use. An IFTA license simplifies matters, since you only need the one license, instead of having to get a permit for each individual state you plan to drive through. An IFTA license is the best option if you routinely drive out of state. If your vehicle has three or fewer axles or weighs less than 26,000 pounds, you do not need an IFTA license.
2. A temporary fuel permit is another option.
If you typically operate only in your home state, you don't need to go through the trouble and cost of getting and maintaining an IFTA license. However, if you're planning to make a trip out of state, you will need a temporary fuel permit. A temporary fuel permit serves the same function as an IFTA license, but it's valid for a limited period of time. In order to save money, you should purchase your fuel permit right before your intended trip, so you don't need to maintain it for longer than necessary.
3. A trip permit is useful for short-term registration needs.
Besides carrying a fuel permit, you also need to have your truck registered in the state you're operating in. Obviously you don't want to have to register in more than one state, especially if you don't plan on staying there for an extended period of time. Trip permits act as temporary registration, so you can deliver to other states legally without having to secure additional permits.
4. Trip and fuel permits can be combined.
If you're planning a trip out of state, you will often need both trip and fuel permits. Vendors often offer both, and you can usually purchase them both at the same time to save time and money.