Required Paperwork for All Truck Drivers

Paperwork all truck drivers should have with them in the cab.

Don’t Be Caught Without Your Required Paperwork!

Have you had an inspection turn south because of missing paperwork? Whether you call it a permit book, a paperwork binder or a document folder you need to keep one in your truck. Here is a list of 8 important pieces of paperwork a truck driver should always have in their permit folder.

  1. MC Authority – MC Authority shows your company’s registration with the DOT and authorizes you to transport freight. It lists your company name and motor carrier number.
  2. Certificate of Insurance – The title says it all; it lists your insurance company and policy numbers along with contacts for your agent. Keep in mind there are several policies on the same sheet. They may have different expiration dates, so be sure to check them all.
  3. Truck Registration – This paperwork lists your rig’s VIN, license plate, make and model as well as info on the registered owner. States issues IRP registrations annually, and they can be valid for single or multiple states. Just like with insurance, expiration dates are critical.
  4. Annual Inspection – Certified mechanics fill out these checklists and confirm your equipment is operational and defect free. Annual means dates are important, be sure to check for expiration dates. Yearly inspection stickers go on the side of your truck, but you also need the paper inside your binder.
  5. Lease Agreement – If you are an owner operator or drive a truck not registered under your company’s name, you need a lease agreement. These vary between a single page or multipage contracts, this document lists equipment ownership and lease terms.
  6. IFTA – You need both stickers and a cab card. Both need annual updates and show company information and expiration dates, IFTA stickers change colors annually making it easy to spot outdated ones.
  7. ELD Instructions –Paperwork that explains how to operate your electronic logging device. The DOT mandates that these must be kept inside your truck and presented during an inspection.
  8. Backup Paper Logs – Again, mandated by the DOT in case of ELD failure, you need at least one week’s worth of driver logs or minimum of seven sheets.

While truck drivers need trailer registration and annual inspections during DOT inspections, we advise against keeping this paperwork inside the cab. These go inside a box mounted on the nose of the trailer. Drivers tend to keep them inside the cab for easy access, but this can lead to problems. If you swap trailers, this paperwork stays with you and hence leaves the other driver without the documents. An excellent tip to keep your papers organized is a ringed binder with clear plastic sleeves, protecting your paperwork against rips and spills and keeping everything within reach.

As always, we’re here to keep your fleet compliant and on the road with all your registration and titling needs. Head over to the contact form to get started today.

Should You Hire a Fleet Management Company?

3 benefits of outsourcing to a fleet management company

Benefits of Outsourcing Fleet Management Services

Should you hire a fleet management company? A large or small fleet can increase revenue and make your business more productive, but it can also increase the amount of paperwork. As your fleet expands you will become responsible for the licensing and registration for each vehicle among other things. Obtaining the initial title and registration for a new fleet of vehicles, trucks or equipment can be an involved, confusing and overwhelming process in many states.

Paperwork can easily slip through the cracks if you don’t have someone solely dedicated to properly managing your fleet. Many companies prefer to partner with an outside fleet management company so they can focus on their core business.

ABS Tag and Title has been providing fleet management services over the past three decades. You can trust us to handle your vehicle registration renewals and other important paperwork. We are unique in that we partner with small, medium size and Fortune 500 companies. Regardless of the fleet’s scale or complexity, we have the knowledge, staff and expertise to improve productivity and optimize performance.

Here are three benefits your company can benefit from when you decide to outsource your vehicle licensing and registration to another company.

1. We Know Current State and Federal Regulations

ABS Tag & Title can professionally register and title your fleet in all 50 states and 1400 jurisdictions; our team also stays on top of current government and state regulations that may affect company vehicles. We’ve found that when companies try and keep track of this on their own, they can easily get confused. There are different licensing and tax rules in every state. Another issue is a lost, unreadable or destroyed title which takes multiple steps to resolve. We provide safe and secure storage of your important documents to ensure they are never lost and that your fleet registration documents are organized and easy to access. We are also proficient with state and provincial laws and requirements and can easily keep track of your fleet’s licensing and registration due dates.

2. We Can Save You Valuable Time

Managing fleet license and title services can be time consuming, overwhelming and complicated. Mistakes can result in tickets, tows or fines if any of your vehicles have expired or missing tags. ABS Tag and Title is the perfect fleet management company to partner with. Why? Because our team of 125+ professionals can save you time by managing all the administrative work associated with titling, licensing and registration for your commercial fleet and so much more. We leverage our expertise and infrastructure to reduce and streamline your administrative work. Our #1 priority is to fully remove the burden from fleet managers and operators and save you valuable time and numerous headaches.

3. We Will Actively Work to Solve Your Fleet Issues

Another benefit of hiring our fleet management company is that our team will actively work to resolve any issues that may come up to make sure your fleet successfully receives their title and registration. We work directly with your fleet managers or with your drivers to ensure necessary paperwork is completed and your fleet is on the road and moving your business forward. Our #1 goal is to provide expert solutions for all your fleet management needs along with superior support to our clients.

Hire An Experienced Fleet Management Company

For over 30 years we have helped countless companies with their vehicle registration and licensing, fleet management solutions, renewals, duplicate titles, out of stock vehicle locating and more. We operate under the founding principle that the only way to do business is with integrity. Thus, we are dedicated to improving efficiency and operating processes for fleet owners, managers and operators. No more burdens for you, no more wait times for your drivers. We keep your business moving and the money coming in.

To find out more about how our fleet management services can benefit your company, please contact us online or call (877) 914-7973.

Playing by the Rules: How to Keep Your Business Vehicles DOT Compliant

How to keep your business vehicles DOT compliant



Does Your Business Vehicles Fall Within DOT Compliance?

When managing a fleet of vehicles there are many things that can fall through the cracks. Here’s how to ensure your fleet vehicles fall within DOT compliance

A lot can happen on the road, especially to a fleet of vehicles carrying delicate cargo over state lines. If you’re responsible for managing a fleet as such, you’ll want to make sure that your company, drivers, and vehicles fall within DOT compliance regulations.

If you don’t keep everything within DOT compliance regulations, you run the risk of getting audited and having your business shut down for good. If you want to know how to remain compliant and avoid future audits—and what to do if you get audited—then keep reading.

DOT Compliance 101

DOT or Department of Transportation compliance refers to a set of rules and regulations governing all aspects of commercial vehicles. Whether you employ commercial fleet vehicles or corporate vehicles, it’s mandatory to ensure the safety of your workers, drivers, and of course, the general public.

DOT compliance regulations don’t apply to all commercial vehicles, however. Regulations only apply to the following:

  • Vehicles transporting hazardous waste and other materials
  • Vehicles that transport eight or more passengers, including a driver—for compensation
  • Vehicles that transport 15 passengers or more, including a driver—for no compensation
  • Vehicles with a gross weight rating or combination of 10,001 pounds or more

These types of vehicles, in particular, must be registered with the United States Department of transportation. They must also have a visible USDOT number to show that they are registered and compliant.

DOT compliance requirements pertain mainly to vehicles that travel between states. Of course, laws and regulations vary from state to state, so it’s important to check with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to see if your vehicles are expected to maintain compliance during their travels.

Understanding the Rules

DOT compliance comes with a long list of rules and regulations. Companies that employ drivers that cross state lines are expected to know all of those rules and regulations from the inside out. To understand the rules of DOT compliance, you must first learn the differences between fleet and driver compliance.

Driver Compliance

Driver compliance applies to every single driver of DOT-registered vehicles that have received a USDOT number. Here’s what you need to ensure that your drivers meet DOT compliance regulations:

  • Each driver must have a copy of the FMCSA rules
  • You must collect all drivers’ signed agreements stating that they’ve read and understood FMCSA rules
  • A record of each driver’s qualifications
  • A record of each driver’s safety history
  • A record of each driver’s hours of service (HOS)
  • You must carry out pre-employee drug testing of each driver, keeping their results on record as well. You must also have records of any known previous drug or alcohol abuse
  • Carry out random drug testing of all drivers regularly. These need to be kept in your records as well
  • Ensure that all trainers and supervisors have gone through drug and alcohol testing and are periodically tested as well

Keep in mind that this is a basic list, and should be customized to fit your specific operations and company regulations.

Fleet Compliance

Fleet compliance applies to all vehicles in your fleet that fall under DOT registration. To ensure that your fleet of vehicles meets compliance requirements, here’s what you need:

  • Your entire fleet must keep a copy of the FMCSA rules at all times
  • All vehicles must be inspected before and after each trip. All findings must be well documented
  • You must have a routine vehicle maintenance program, with all activities documented
  • Each vehicle must be marked with a USDOT registration number
  • You must keep a detailed record of any accidents or incidents that have occurred during a trip

Just as the driver’s compliance list, this fleet compliance list is general. Be sure to customize it accordingly.

Preparing for a DOT Compliance Audit

There’s a reason that you must keep records of everything including employed drivers’ signatures. Every so often, the US Department of Transportation carries out a compliance audit. This is to ensure that every company is meeting the DOT Compliance regulations.

It’s important to know that audits may be carried out for different reasons. As an employer, you have the right to inquire as to why you’re being audited. If your company is being audited, you’ll receive a notice in the mail at least two weeks ahead of time. This notice is to alert you of your upcoming audit as well as to gather information from you.

The information that the USDOT wants may have to do with your list of drivers, a list of your vehicles, drug and alcohol testing records, your corporate offices, proof of incoming revenue, and other information. It’s in your best interest to respond to your audit letter as soon as possible.

When preparing for a DOT audit, there’s plenty of room for error. This is because the USDOT requires that you provide a minimum of six months of your previous logs and Driver-Vehicle Inspections Reports (DVIRs). A bad audit can lead to fines for both your company and your drivers. In the most extreme cases, a bad DOT audit can result in your business closing down for good.

Keeping in mind the above lists you must follow to remain DOT compliant, here’s a checklist to help you prepare for an audit:

  • Documentation of proper insurance for your fleet’s carrier and cargo being transported
  • Documentation of the correct licensing for all drivers within your fleet
  • The maintained records of drug and alcohol testing for all company drivers
  • A minimum of six months of DVIRs. The DOT will examine these logs thoroughly for any violations in HOS (Hours of Service), and any errors or falsifications
  • Your records of vehicle maintenance and inspection—of at least 12 months. These records should include the model, year, identification number, and tire size
  • A record of any hazardous materials. These records should include licenses, storage information, labels, and placards. This documentation must also include proof of the required training for the transport of hazardous materials
  • A record of all driver accidents and injuries

This is where having organized records comes in handy. Just be sure that everything is well documented and completed.

Keep Your Fleet Moving

Now that you have an idea of DOT compliance regulations and how to remain within those regulations, you’ll want to make sure that you have the proper licensing and paperwork.

We can help you with that. To find out more, request a free quote today.