There are both state and federal regulatory organizations keeping watch over the Auto Transport Service Industry. An Auto Shipping company must be licensed by the state in which it resides. This allows it to operate legally within that state. Although each state will have varying requirements for licensing, most will require background checks, proof of sufficient insurance and certificates for legal and regulatory knowledge.
Should an Auto Transport company wish to operate outside the state in which it is based, it would need to acquire additional federal licenses and certifications. As long-distance haulers and cross-country car transportation companies would need to pass through multiple states, they would need to comply with federal regulations.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) forms part of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). A Shipping Company will be issued with a USDOT number once it is successful in the registration process. It cannot operate without this registration. In order to maintain this status, the company would have to consistently comply with all FMCSA safety and insurance regulations.
The FMCSA has provided a Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) system which allows consumers to access a company snapshot. This snapshot is an electronic record of a company’s basic information, inspection summaries and safety ratings. By simply punching in the company’s name or USDOT number, these snapshots are available free of charge here.
An Information Hotline is also available through the FMCSA. By dialling 1-800-832-5660 you can verify a company’s licensing and safety information. Insurance information can be found via the Insurance Hotline at 1-866-637-0635.