Starting a new business in the transportation industry is a very wise financial move. The industry is booming and is worth an estimated $1.3 trillion in the United States. This industry, however, is heavily regulated by more than one governing body. That is why before you get underway, you will want to familiarize yourself with these top legal obligations.

Driving Limit Regulations

There are driving limit regulations that are put in place to stop employers from forcing their employees to drive more than 11 hours at a time. Pushing yourself beyond this limit can severely inhibit your driver’s ability to react to dangers on the road, and can even result in them falling asleep at the wheel. A better way to operate is to send two drivers out with every vehicle and have them switch or to give your employees their mandated sleeper break before the 11-hour limit.

DVIR Compliance

A great way to pass and get through roadside inspections easier is through DVIR compliance. By investing in services and electronic tools that make generating the Driver Vehicle Inspection Report easier, your business can easily show that the vehicles you have on the road have been pre-checked and post-checked every time and shown not to have any maintenance issues.

Commercial Driver’s Licenses

Your drivers will need to have the correct license in every state they operate in. Commercial Driver’s Licenses, or CDLs, can be completed on a full-time basis in 7 weeks, though endorsements should be added to train your drivers on how to handle the specific cargo your company processes.

Federal Licensing and Regulations

All transportation businesses must follow federal law, especially in regards to interstate transportation. This will mean you will want to become familiar with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and keep up to date with any changes to their rules and regulations.

State Licensing and Regulations

You will need to adhere to every state’s law that you operate in. If your business intends to ship items from the east coast to the west coast, you will need to adhere to all the rules, regulations, and laws that apply to every single state you go through.

When dealing with state licensing and regulations, the governing bodies you will often need to work with are:

  1. Public Utilities Commission
  2. Department of Motor Vehicles

In particular, your business will need the necessary insurance and intrastate permits that are known colloquially as “Bingo Stamps.”

City Ordinances

Towns and cities might have their own set of rules, which will dictate things like which streets you can drive on. They are particularly strict when it comes to passenger transportation services, so be aware of what you need to do to operate in a city before you begin.

Environmental Regulations

The EPA has set regulations that are put in place to keep air pollution as low as possible. They allow offer grants which to replace polluting vehicles with greener alternatives, so get in touch to see if there is anything that can help your company.

Knowing the laws and legal obligations as a transportation business are critical to your success because unless you operate in one city alone, there will be several legal systems you will need to contend with.


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