Fuel Permits: What All Commercial Carriers Should Know
For fuel transport across state lines, a fuel permit is a piece of documentation that all commercial carriers must have on hand. Fuel permits are the law, so without one on file, your company's operation is considered a violation. Learn some practical tips to help ensure your company complies.
To successfully receive a fuel permit there are specific vehicle regulations that you must keep in mind, and unfortunately, these requirements are not always the same from state-to-state. For instance, the type of permit you receive, as well as its cost, are typically measured based on the gross weight of the vehicle, and the amount of fuel you are transporting. So, the greater the weight and fuel quantity, the higher the cost of the permit.
The most important thing to remember about fuel permits is that they are temporary. For this reason, do not file for your permit until you are ready to use it, as some permits only last for about 30 days. If you are in the middle of transport and the permit expires, you will still be in violation, even if the permit was active when you first initiated the transport.
A somewhat common area of confusion with these permits has to do with the actual transit process. The question some companies have is whether or not they need to provide the driver with the actual permit copy when they are in transport. The answer is a firm and straightforward yes. Many states maintain a digital record of permit files, but just like the driver needs their license on hand, they need a copy of the fuel permit on hand to eliminate any confusion.
If you are a small carrier company and you have several trucks traveling through several different states, it's possible for your fuel permits to become costly. However, you may be able to save money. Always research the specific rules where you need to obtain the fuel permits from as some states have reciprocity. With reciprocity, a permit in one state will also serve as the necessary credential for travel in another state. Save yourself time and money by always inquiring about reciprocity before obtaining your permit.
If you suspect you need a fuel permit, but you are not sure, it's best to inquire about the process. Don't automatically assume you can forgo the permit process and introduce unnecessary stresses. For help with your transport needs, visit a permitting company like Highway Permits.