Reading : 2 minutes
Jan 16, 2024

Moving to a new city or country might require you to ship your belongings and this might include your vehicle. Or perhaps you are buying or selling a vehicle and you will need to ship it to a new location. Whatever the reason, there are certain transportation laws and regulations that you will need to be aware of before you arrange for your car to be shipped. It is important to understand the laws that are in place so you can be sure you are in compliance with the Federal Government to ensure your vehicle arrives safely at its destination. Before completing any transportation formalities, familiarize yourself with the following laws and regulations regarding auto shipment. 

Weight Restrictions

According to federal law, auto transport drivers can only carry a specified weight per trip. The weight limit is dependent upon the number of axles in the transporting vehicle. Transport drivers will determine the weight of your vehicle based on the make and model of the car and an additional 100 lbs is added to the estimated weight. This is one reason why it’s important to make sure your car is not loaded with other personal belongings when it is being shipped. You don’t want to add additional weight to your vehicle because the transport drivers are required to weigh their trucks at certain weigh stations to be sure they are in compliance with weight regulations. If a transport vehicle is in violation of the law, they will receive a fine which will then be passed on to you. 

Height Restrictions

Federal law has certain restrictions on the height of the vehicle that is being transported. Standard carriers can carry vehicles up to 7 feet high. If your vehicle is taller than the permissible limit, you will have to arrange to have it transported on a special type of carrier. 

Driving Limitations

Shipping companies might promise a delivery date for your vehicle but this date might get pushed back in certain cases because federal law says drivers can only drive a certain number of hours each day. This means that if your driver gets stuck in traffic jams, it could push your delivery date back. You should never anticipate delivery in just a couple of days. Always plan for at least 7-10 days to transport a vehicle coast to coast. 

Importing a Motor Vehicle

There are special laws and regulations that you must comply with if you are importing a vehicle from another country. You must have the proper paperwork in order to get clearance from Customs and Border Protection including the authentic bill of lading from your carrier, the foreign registration, the bill of sale, and any other documents related to your vehicle. You will also have to declare the proper safety and emissions provisions to ensure your vehicle meets the emission standards of the US. It is important to contact the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency prior to shipment to be sure your vehicle is eligible for shipment to the U.S. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions

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