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Looking Both Ways

What's in Your Permit Book?

By John Mueller, CDS, COSS
Posted Jul 22nd 2013 10:36AM

blog_logo_3.jpgThis post of Look Both Ways will assist you to maintain your trucks permit book in an organized manner.    This is important because Inspectors are less likely to detain and inspect if your permit book and other required documentation are presented in an organized manner.   Emergency personnel will also have access to important contact information immediately.



Begin your permit book with a 12 or 24 page clear view presentation binder.   Make a “Unit Title Page” to insert as the front cover of the book.    Information on this page may include the Unit Number, the name of the owner, the owner’s phone number, the name of the driver, the driver’s phone number, the Year, make and the VIN of the vehicle.   Next name the Carrier the truck is leased to, the Carriers US DOT# and MC# and the Carrier’s phone number.   Finish the Unit Title Page with accident contact information for the Carrier’s insurance company.   This assists emergency responders, or roadside inspectors with vital information at a glance when simply picking up the permit book.




Some permits are required of all vehicles, some are not.   Some permits are maintained electronically and are not required to be carried in a permit pack. I suggest making a copy of these permits and carrying them just in case of any difficulty with the internet at the time of an inspection.   Always better to be safe than sorry.   The permits followed by an asterisk are those that are maintained electronically by state or federal agencies.   Open the book and insert the following permits, or copies of permits:


·          ICC or FMCSA Authorities – this may include Common and Contract Authority

·          Copy of Unified Carrier Registration* or UCR.   You can print this document from the Safer website at at the lower center of the page.

·          A copy of the company’s IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement) license.   Be sure to affix the actual IFTA decals to each side of the truck (Applicable to vehicles weighing 26,001 pounds or more; or three (3) axles or more, that travel interstate).

·          A copy of the Carrier’s Hazardous Materials Registration credential if they are a Hazmat Authorized Carrier which transports placardable quantities of hazardous materials.

·          Begin to insert permits by state in alphabetical order at this point.    This may include copies of Intra-state authorities and the additional permits for such intra-state authorities.   Not every carrier will possess Intra-state authority for any or all states.    Intra-state authority allows you to pick up at a point within a certain state, to deliver to another point within that state – such as Florence, KY to Louisville, KY.

·          If your vehicle if 60,000 pounds or greater GVW then it should be registered in the Carriers Vehicle Inventory List for Kentucky or KYU*  

·          New Jersey has detained vehicles in the past for not having a copy of the Business Registration Certificate in the vehicle.   Good idea to carry a copy should you operate in the state of New Jersey.

·          If your vehicle has GVW greater than 26,000 pounds then your carrier may purchase Weight Distance Tax* permits which will enable you to cross New Mexico without having to pay the mileage (Weight-Distance) tax out of pocket at the time.   The carrier can then report the taxes due on a quarterly basis for all subject vehicles.

·          If your vehicle has GVW greater than 18,001 pounds or more and enters New York you are subject to New York’s Highway Use Tax.   You will need to carry the paper copy of the NY HUT registration for your truck with your permits and also affix a state issued decal to the front of the truck

·          If you will be entering the state of Oregon, please contact your company and request that they purchase a temporary permit for your truck to cover the Ton-Mile tax levied by Oregon.   This state does not collect fuel taxes and receives its tax revenue from this mileage tax.   You will need to know entry, destination and exit points in the state.

·          You may also need on occasion to know the SCAC Code* for your Carrier company.   Carrying copies of your Carrier SCAC Codes from National Motor Freight Traffic Association, Inc. may be beneficial for Customs.

·          After all of the individual state permits I suggest copies of the mandatory Insurance ID card from the Carrier’s primary liability insurance carrier.   Follow this with copies of insurance certificates showing the Carrier’s primary liability and cargo insurance.   Then provide a copy of the truck owner’s insurance certificate.

·          Place an accident reporting kit for drivers use should they be involved in an accident.   A good idea is to also have a Chain of Custody and Control form next in the book should the driver be required to undergo Post Accident Controlled Substance testing.   Carry a disposable camera in the truck to photograph accident scenes.

·          Next a copy of the vehicle’s license plate registration.   This would be an IRP registration for all vehicles exceeding 26,001 pounds or more, or that have three (3) axles or more that travel interstate.   These vehicles may only travel into states listed on the IRP registration.    Should you take a load to states not listed on the IRP registration, please contact your Carrier Company for assistance in obtaining temporary Trip permits for those states.   You also have the option of adding those states to your IRP registration through your IRP office should time allow.

·          Include a copy of the DOT Annual Vehicle Inspection if your vehicle exceeds 10,000 pounds GVW.

·          Keep a copy of the Motor Vehicle Lease Agreement between the Carrier and the truck owner in the permit book.

·          Use the additional pages in the book to keep paperwork such as Detention Approval Forms, Trip Reports, Maintenance Record Reports, or other documents required by your Carrier.




When your Carrier provides you with renewed permits, be sure to remove the expired permit from the permit book and replace it with the new permit.    Law Enforcement Officials are not required to dig through your permits to find a current version.   Having a stack of envelopes containing permits in the back of your permit book is not advisable.    Once an inspector comes upon an expired permit they will write a citation without opening the envelopes to search for a new, current permit.



Attend company meetings, read company newsletters, read company memo’s and visit your company website to keep abreast of changes in permit requirements.   Many carrier companies will make most current permit documents on their website.   Ensure you have the most current permits.   Ask the person in charge of permits at your carrier company to review your permits for accuracy should you have any doubts.


Disclaimer: This blog is NOT intended to give legal advice, nor be a substitute for any training required by the Regulations.

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Till the next blog,  Thank you drivers for all you do!. Please be safe!


John Mueller, CDS, COSS


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