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Auto Transport Licensing Requirements

What's in this article?
  1. Auto Transport Licensing Requirements
  2. United States Dot Numbers And Other Auto Transport Licensing Requirements
  3. Verifying The Certifications And Licenses Of Your Auto Transport Company
Verifying The Certifications And Licenses

Automobile shippers, as well as moving companies, are required to possess a few certifications and licenses to do their business within legal and safe boundaries. Companies that do not meet these requirements may not be trustworthy or safe.

Several state and federal associations are in charge of tracking and monitoring such companies to make sure they meet all auto transport licensing requirements. The purpose of these requirements is to ensure auto transporters do their business legally, and they are responsible for their customers’ goods in case something happens during transportation.

This article will explain some of the auto transport licensing requirements, as well as what you may want to pay attention to when hiring a shipper, to make sure he is trustworthy and will deliver on his promise of safely transporting your vehicle.

Auto Transport Licensing Requirements

First of all, the shipping company you are considering should possess licensing as is required by the U.S. state based on which it operates. For example, if the company’s headquarters is located in New Jersey, it must own an NJPM or an NJPC number, meaning it is legally registered in the New Jersey state, and can perform its activity within state boundaries legally.

The auto transport licensing requirements in each state differ. Some are stricter than others. Kentucky and similar states demand their companies to have several registration numbers and state licenses, while Delaware and states with similar laws ask companies for only a permit which proves the transport vehicle’s registration.

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For the auto transport licensing requirements in the state of California, visit the state of California department of motor vehicles website. Other states should have similar resources.

These are normally just the first part of the licensing requirements moving and automobile shipping companies must possess to operate their businesses legally in their state of origin. However, many shippers also perform their transport services outside state boundaries.

In such cases, other certifications and licenses are needed as well. These auto transport licensing requirements are normally the ones you should look for when speaking to a transport company, and are also necessary when doing a background check on them.

Auto Transport Licensing Requirements

United States DOT Numbers and Other Auto Transport Licensing Requirements

Besides the requirements of the US state, there are other regulations auto shipping companies must respect as well. Companies must be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA for short.

The purpose of the FMCSA is to keep track of shipping companies’ operations by outlining the exact cargo, operation type and area in which carriers can perform their services. The FMCSA also decides what kind of insurance auto transport companies are required to have according to federal regulations.

Shippers must gain, from the U.S. department of transportation, a United States DOT number to operate within the federal state. Although only 28 states obligate shipping companies to have a United States DOT number, countless have it, so it’s a very efficient way to check a shipper’s history/background. Normally, DOT numbers can be found printed on the side of each company truck, being one of the ways our government identifies a certain carrier out of the crowd when gathering info from compliance reviews, audits, inspections, etc.

Verifying the Certifications and Licenses of your Auto Transport Company

To verify if your company meets auto transport licensing requirements, you may want to take the following steps:

  1. Cross check the US DOT number, found normally on the doors of trucks belonging to the company.
  2. If the DOT number is valid, you can check the numbers with the FMCSA website and see if you get a match there as well. This would mean the company is insured and licensed, possessing a valid US DOT number.
  3. Afterwards, visit the Better Business Bureau website to check for negative evaluations or bad remarks regarding the company. Usually, you won’t find mentions about certifications or licensing requirements here. However, it’s a great resource when trying to confirm the ability and reputation of a particular company. You may also be able to pick up on false pretenses or illegal activity if there is any.
  4. Finally, visit the department of transportation in your state to ensure the shipping company possesses all the commercial and required licenses to legally offer its services inside the state.
United States Dot Numbers
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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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