Auto Transportation is something nobody thinks about until you need it. Then, the process is typically so quick that you never really understand what just happened. You’re just happy your car arrived. The issue arises when something doesn’t go well. So many obvious questions run through your head that you wouldn’t even have thought to ask a week ago. If you’re planning to ship your car, we’re here to help. We’ll break down the Auto Transport Regulations and Rules you must know when shipping your car. This way, you can arrange auto transportation with confidence and peace of mind.
FMCSA & USDOT Auto Transport Regulations
FMCSA and USDOT are two terms you’ll hear a lot about when you’re trying to book auto transportation. The FMCSA stands for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The USDOT is the United States Department of Transportation. In fact, all states have their own DOT (Department of Transportation). These agencies are the ones who write and enforce the Auto Transport rules and regulations. They actually regulate almost all aspects of commercial trucking. They can do this by issuing companies an “MC Docket” number. Think of this like a trucker’s EIN or Social Security Number. You can find out everything about a trucking company through their MC (Motor Carrier) Docket Number.
With the MC Docket, you can make sure the company is licensed and bonded. You can look this up on your state’s government website. A bond is another tool companies use to show their legitimacy. A bond is like insurance that protects the client rather than the business. To get a bond, you have to submit the proper licenses and documents proving your business is legitimate. This means it’s a quick and easy way to make sure the business you’re working with is following all the rules and regulations.
But what Auto Transport Rules and Regulations do I have to follow?
If the business is following all the rules, that’s a good first step. The second step is to make sure you’re following all the rules. When you get things in writing, you’re essentially creating legal documents that you can use for your defense. You are entitled to demand a copy of a contract in writing. If the company you’re working with doesn’t want to sign contracts and only gives verbal agreements, that is a huge red flag. Make sure you get everything in writing, from the initial contract to the Bill of Lading.
Some auto transportation companies say they can save you tons of money. The secret is that they do this by not issuing insurance. This means if anything happens, you’ll be liable for everything. If the company is bonded, then they must have insurance. However, it’s important to make sure the company has enough insurance to cover your vehicle. This is especially true for exotic and classic cars. If your auto transport company is secretive about their insurance coverage, that’s another red flag. Ask exactly how much they cover and make sure that it covers your vehicle.
Check and then Check again
Remember that Bill of Lading that we mentioned before? That document has all the information about your vehicle and the trip. Make sure you’re clear about the size of your vehicle and any aftermarket parts that may cause extra issues in transport. Then, don’t forget to check your vehicle before and after you ship it. Are there any scratches, dings, or leaks? If it’s not on the Bill of Lading, it’s like it never happened. When you call the insurance company, they’ll look at the Bill of Lading and use that to write their claim. Make sure you know everything that goes in that document.
Knowing what you’re getting into can give you a huge relief when you strap your car onto the trailer. It can be nerve-wracking to watch your car drive off on a shipping trailer. You want to make sure you’re protected. But, if you get everything in writing, have clear insurance, and double check your work and the Bill of Lading, you shouldn’t have any issues when shipping your car. If you need a shipping company that checks all of these boxes, call Boston Car Transport today. They are professionally licensed and bonded, and they include their $1,000,000 insurance coverage right there in their quote. Give them a call today for an instant quote and ship your vehicle knowing it’s covered.