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What is required to be an Auto Transporter 

Auto transport is growing each day, thousands and thousands of drivers require their vehicles to be transported within the country. It’s not even counting how many dealerships who require transportation services for their vehicles. Auto transport brokers organize everything while the auto transporters are the ones doing actually drive. 

Auto Transporters have many opportunities to work However, if you are seeking to be one and become an auto transportation operator or manage their own business as an owner-operator should be aware of various things. 

Many people drive their vehicles across the nation each day. It doesn’t matter if they’re moving to reasons of work, leaving for college, moving into an entirely new location or travelling during the holiday season, having a vehicle is essential for a lot of people. But, not all are capable of driving yourself and prefer to transfer their keys to an auto transportation company to transport the car securely to its final destination. Auto transporters have several different names, however their ultimate goal is the identical that is to securely and efficiently move vehicles from one place to another. 

The idea of transporting a car sounds easy sufficient on paper however loading, transporting, and loading vehicles is a huge responsibility that can be a liability. This is why it requires special training and certifications in order to perform the job in a safe manner. Professionals must be licensed in a specific manner, like motor carrier permits as well as a Department of Transportation (DOT) number, in order to legally work as an auto-transporter. 

In this post, we’ll go over the necessary licenses, permits, and identification numbers that transporters require prior to launching their business. If you’re looking to hire an auto transporter to transport your vehicle We’ve also offered some suggestions to help you verify the credentials of a transporter. 

Auto Transport Licenses  

You will need to have a variety of licenses, permits, and credentials in order to operate any type of motor vehicle. This is especially true if the vehicle is being used commercially or for transporting personal property. CDLs, DOT numbers and DOT numbers are common terms. However, there is more documentation required to legally run a car transportation company. Below, we’ll discuss each one. Be aware that requirements and terms may differ from one state to the next. 

These are the conditions drivers must meet to be an auto transporter. 

Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)  

A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required for most auto transporters, this license is in addition to the state driver’s permit. There are three types of CDLs available: Class A, B and C. This is determined by the vehicle’s size and type of cargo. An A CDL is the most common type of CDL that auto transporters can use. 

To obtain a CDL, drivers must complete an additional training program and meet the specific requirements for commercial drivers in their state. Read more about how to get a commercial driver’s license

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Registration 

Next on the checklist for auto transporters is registration with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The FMCSA must register commercial vehicles that transport cargo across state lines. Many states also require a USDOT number. (More information in the next section). The FMCSA ensures that motor carrier regulations and safety are adhered to. 

Insurance also plays an important role in these licenses and registrations. “In addition to filing an application for operating authority, all applicants for motor carrier, freight forwarder, and broker authorities must have specific insurance and legal process agent documents on file before the FMCSA will issue the authorities. The required filings vary, based on the types of registrations involved.” ( Motor carriers, for instance, may be required to present public liability insurance before receiving FMCSA authorization. 

United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Number 

FMCSA registration and USDOT numbers often go hand-in-hand. For vehicles exceeding a specified gross vehicle weight and involved in interstate commerce, a USDOT number will be required. These numbers are used to identify a driver or transport company and allow them to collect safety information, audits, compliance reviews, vehicle inspections, and crash investigations. 

47 states require a USDOT Number for both intrastate and interstate commercial vehicles. These requirements are a guarantee that you will need a USDOT number to be a licensed auto transporter. 

Auto Transport Brokers 

After a driver has been registered as an Auto Transporter, they have the option to choose to work with an agent. Auto transport brokers such as Genius Auto Trans can help you find car carriers in your area. Many customers who need to transport their vehicle to another country prefer to work with a broker. This eliminates the hassle of trying to contact carriers and compare multiple rates. A broker will often be able to offer a lower rate because they have multiple carriers competing for your business. 

Auto Transport Brokers, just like individual transport companies and carriers, must also have their own licensing. Reputable Auto Transportation Brokers will have their own USDOT numbers and be registered with the FMCSA and the Department of Transportation. They will often verify that their carriers are licensed and insured to ensure that both the broker as well as the customer have the peace of mind that the vehicles are safe. 

Auto Transport Brokers must be bonded in addition to having their licenses. Bonds are required by law to ensure that car transporters receive their wages. The DOT and FMCSA require bonding and licensing to ensure that all parties involved in the transport of autos are legally operating and can be held responsible for their actions. 

These permits and licenses are designed to ensure that drivers comply with the law and take full responsibility for all vehicles they have. These licenses can be used to monitor and track commercial drivers in the country, as well as verify that they are reliable businesses. It is important to review the licensing of vehicle transportation companies before you choose a reliable auto transport company. 

Tips For Choosing A Reputable Auto Transport Company 

After you have confirmed that the Auto Transport Company is licensed and insured to move your vehicle, you will want to learn more about what type of experience you can expect from them. 


Customer reviews are one of the best ways to find out about a company. Take a look at online reviews to find out more about a company. Keep in mind how many reviews there are and what the average rating is. Also, you should look at reviews about other customers who have done similar moves to yours. Does the company have any experience with moving vehicles like yours? Do they have a track record of successfully transporting specialty vehicles like an ATV or motorcycle? You should ensure that you are satisfied with the company you choose. 

Another great resource is the Better Business Bureau (BBB). It will let you know what customer service experience to expect. The BBB keeps track of reviews and company performance and gives them a rating. The BBB doesn’t usually keep records of licenses and certifications for transport companies, but they can tell if the company is honest and delivers on its promises. 

Ready To Transport Your Vehicle? 

You can now plan your move with confidence knowing how to locate the best Auto Transport Company. Genius Auto Trans has a network of highly vetted carriers that can move your car or truck across state lines or across the nation. 


Get started with a free instant quote Talk to a vehicle transportation advisor 888-910-1799 Learn more 

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