All US States Accept Electronic Permits For Truckers & Their Requirements

All US States Accept Electronic Permits For Truckers & Their Requirements

Requirements of Electronic Permits by States for Truckers in the US

It was in 2015 when states in the United States (U.S.) started accepting digital or electronic permits for truckers. The trend picked up momentum gradually as states, one after another, began digitization of their transport and logistics management. That particularly includes regulatory compliance systems via digital or electronic permits. Electronic permits, often referred to as e-permits or electronic logging devices (ELDs), are used to track and manage hours of service for truck drivers. However, a few states are still following paper-based credentials and away from allowing electronic permits for truckers for various reasons. However, the majority of them have approved laws for digital compliance systems and are accepting e-permits with their state-specific requirements.

Electronic Permits for Truckers by States

Electronic permits for truckers ensure statutory requirements are met to commercially operate motor vehicles safely on public roads and highways. The Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) are the key federal agencies playing crucial roles in regulating and overseeing transportation in the United States, as well as registration and permissions to operate the business of trucking carriers. And it is the FMCSA that implemented the ELD mandate, which requires for the use of electronic logging devices and electronic permits for truckers to record hours of service for commercial motor vehicle drivers.

All States Accepts Electronic Permits:

Though in detail, the Digital Permit Book in the last blog reviewed the situation in each of the 48 states pertaining to the acceptance of electronic permits. But in this write-up, all states have implemented the system to accept electronic permits for truckers.

Most of the papers we need, according to the rules in 49 CFR Parts 300-399, can now be kept on a smartphone or an electronic device. This encompasses a wide array of records, such as hours-of-service documents, medical cards, medical waivers/exemptions, shipping documents for non-hazardous materials, lease agreements, daily vehicle inspection reports, and annual vehicle inspection reports. However, it is important to note that in cases where inspection stickers are utilized, the conventional practice of affixing them to vehicles and trailers remains unchanged.

Notably, certain documents are still required to exist in hard copy form. These include driver’s licenses and hazmat shipping papers, both of which necessitate a tangible, paper presence. In contrast, the electronic storage of all other documents is permissible, marking a significant stride in the ongoing digital transformation within the transportation industry. Other than all permits not every state accepts oversized electronic permits.

Regarding Shared Registration and Fuel Tax Responsibilities:

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) helps us understand when we can use electronic papers instead of the regular ones during checks on the road. This helps truck drivers, companies, and officers know which papers can be electronic and which ones still need to be on paper.

Effective January 1, 2019, operators of Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs) are permitted to possess their cab cards for the International Registration Plan (IRP) and licencnses for the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) in electronic form. Meanwhile, IFTA decals must continue to be physically attached to the vehicle. The electronic documentation for both IRP and IFTA should be readily accessible through smartphones or tablets.

It’s essential to note that internet connectivity may not be available or restricted during roadside inspection. Consequently, authorities suggest storing the credentials in PDF rather than relying on a link.

For Unified Carrier Registration (UCR), no paper credential is issued, and roadside enforcement can access registration proof through FMCSA's electronic systems. Regarding Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT) and Form 2290, proof of payment is necessary for vehicle registration, typically provided as a receipt Schedule 1 in electronic or paper form. The IRS issues Schedule 1 after tax payment.

Regarding Insurance Card Responsibilities:

As per research as of  Nov 10, 2022, operators of Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs) are permitted to have Insurance documents in digital format and are accepted in all states.

State-specific Requirements for Truckers to Move in the US

The compliance requirements for truckers to operate in the U.S. can vary state by state. Electronic permits or ELDs should comply with FMCSA regulations, and truckers must use registered and certified copies. Although there are overarching federal regulations set by both DOT and FMCSA, each state may have additional or specific requirements for truckers operating within its borders. Some states may have unique permits or regulations for oversized or overweight vehicles, and hazardous materials.

Here are some common state-specific requirements that truckers may encounter:

1. Weight Limits:

Some states may have unique weight limits for trucks, and truckers must be aware of and adhere to these limits. Truckers need to comply with the weight limits set by each state they operate in. Furthermore, some states may have electronic weigh stations that can provide real-time information on a truck's weight and compliance with regulations.

2. Unified Carrier Registration (UCR):

Truckers operating in interstate commerce are required to register annually with the UCR program. The UCR fees vary based on the number of vehicles a carrier operates.

3.  State Border Inspections:

Some states conduct inspections at their borders. Truckers may need to undergo inspections and provide necessary documentation.

4. Toll Roads and Bridges:

Some states have toll roads, bridges, or tunnels with electronic tolling systems. Truckers may need to obtain and use electronic toll tags or adhere to specific toll payment procedures.

5. Hazardous Materials Endorsement:

States may have specific entry requirements for trucks carrying hazardous materials. Truckers transporting hazardous materials are required to have a Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME) on their commercial driver's licence (CDL) and comply with additional regulations.

6. Hours of Service (HOS) Variations:

While federal HOS regulations apply, some states may have additional restrictions or variations. Truckers should be aware of any state-specific HOS rules.

7. Fuel Tax Reporting:

Truckers operating in multiple states may need to comply with state-specific fuel tax reporting requirements. This is often part of the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA).

8. Chain Laws:

In states with winter weather conditions, chain laws may come into effect. Truckers may need to carry chains and comply with state-specific requirements for their use during adverse weather.

9. International Registration Plan:

For trucks that operate across multiple states, the IRP may be required. This plan allows for the apportioned registration of vehicles based on the distance traveled in each state.

10. Temporary Trip Permits:

Truckers may need temporary permits for specific trips, especially when entering a state where they are not regularly registered.

11. Rest Area Regulations:

Some states have specific regulations regarding where truckers can park and rest. It's important to be aware of state-specific rules related to rest areas and parking facilities.

12. Environmental Regulations:

Some states have additional environmental regulations, such as idling restrictions, emission standards, or other green initiatives. Truckers should be aware of and comply with these state-specific rules.

Final Word:

Notwithstanding, truckers should regularly check with the Department of Transportation or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for updates in regulations. But to ensure compliance with state-specific requirements, it's essential to note that regulations and requirements can change, so it's advisable to check with the relevant state authorities they plan to operate within for the most up-to-date information.

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