Commercial Motor Vehicles: Registration and Insurance Requirements

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is responsible for setting the standards and regulations for the trucking industry in the United States. The administration is tasked with setting regulations to promote motorists’ safety on the road. As the trucking industry is highly regulated, there are also many state requirements that must be followed by trucking companies and drivers in order to operate a commercial motor vehicle adequately and safely. If drivers and trucking companies fail to follow proper insurance and registration regulations, then trucking accidents are more complex.

Attorney Brian Steed Tatum has years of experience in helping North Carolina and South Carolina’s injured drivers and their families in dealing with the devastating consequences of commercial trucking accidents. No matter what the circumstances are, his experience is put to work for each client in order to ensure that injured clients receive the compensation they deserve.

Insurance Requirements

Before their vehicles can be registered, each motor carrier regulated by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) must have Motor Carrier Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability Certificate of Insurance on file with the Division of Motor Vehicles.

The proper limits of insurance coverage must be in place at all times: commercial motor vehicles that weigh more than 10,000 pounds and that transport property or household goods must have insurance coverage of $750,000. If a commercial motor vehicle carries hazardous materials, then the amount of insurance coverage can be up to $5 million, depending on the type of hazardous substances.

Registration Requirements

The International Registration Plan (IPR) is an agreement among the states of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the provinces in Canada. The IPR provides payment of commercial motor carrier registration fees when a commercial motor vehicle operates in more than one state.

For a commercial motor vehicle to operate in more than one state, motor carriers have to register their trucks in their home state where their primary place of business is located. The IPR allows licenses and fees to be paid to various states where the trucks are operated, and it allows the vehicles to have only one license plate and one cab card. To be properly registered in a state, commercial motor vehicles must carry the proper insurance.

Moreover, the FMCSA requires that trucking companies that operate a commercial motor vehicle transporting passengers or hauling cargo to be registered with the FMCSA. These vehicles and commercial hazardous material carriers that require a safety permit must also register for a USDOT number. This number is a unique identifier that is used when collecting and monitoring a company’s safety information during audits, compliance reviews, crash investigations, and inspections.

Consult an Experienced North Carolina and South Carolina Truck Accident Attorney

Accidents involving semi-trucks can be a long, arduous, and complex process. Trucking company’s insurance adjusters may urge injured victims to settle their cases early before they have had the opportunity to seek out an experienced attorney or before they have discovered the extent of their injuries. Settling early can undercompensate victims for their losses because sometimes long-term injuries emerge after months.

Working with experienced truck accident attorney Brian Steed Tatum, you can rest assured that with his years of experience, we will manage your case with you from beginning to end. At the Tatum Law Firm, we are available to discuss the merits of your claim and offer guidance in order to pursue legal recourse. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a semi-truck collision, contact our office at (704) 307-4350, or reach out to us online for a free case evaluation.

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