Understanding your truck’s permit book

Post Date - Dec 5, 2022

So, you’re trying to figure out what documents you need to keep in your permit book? You’ve come to right place! Montgomery Transport wants to take all the extra responsibility off our drivers so that they can do their best behind the wheel. We’ve compiled a list of all the documents you need to keep in your permit book, the reasons behind it all, and a new cloud-based option for storing your documents. First, here’s the documents you need, regardless of where you’re driving or what sort of freight you’re hauling.

  • Truck registration: This confirms that your truck is registered correctly and confirms the VIN, license plate number, make, model and registered owner of the rig. Keep in mind that this expires yearly and only an updated one is valid in case of an inspection.
  • Annual inspection: This confirms that your truck has been assessed by a certified mechanic and given a passing grade in safety of operations as well as being free of any defects. Like your registration, this is an annual document that expires and needs to be kept updated.
  • IFTA Decals/License: IFTA decals need to be posted on the side of your truck and an IFTA license needs to be inside if you’re operating more than 26,000 pounds. These expire annually and need to be updated.
  • Paper logs: You’ll need to keep eight days of blank paper logs in your truck. These allow you to record information manually instead of with your Electronic Logging Device. Blank paper logs can keep you out of sticky situations, like if your ELD malfunctions.
  • Insurance cards: It is illegal to operate a vehicle without proof of insurance. Keep this card handy in your glovebox in case an authority requests to see it. Cards expire annually and will need to be replaced in order to be valid.

We’ve covered the basics of what you need to keep in your truck’s permit book, but there are additional documents needed in order to comply with state regulations and to legally transport specific freight. Let’s get into those now.

  • Lease agreement: This is only applicable to owner-operators. If you’ve leased your rig to another trucking company or directly from a leasing company, you need a copy of the lease agreement in your permit book. It lists equipment ownership as well as the terms of your lease.
  • Hazmat permits: This is only applicable if your company is hauling placardable amounts of Hazmat materials. FMCSA hazmat permits confirm that your company has the right endorsements required for non-high-risk loads. These have varied expiration dates (some are annual, some are every three years) so keep an eye out for when yours expires. Keep in mind that there are federal hazmat permits as well as ones for individual states.
  • ELD instructions: This is a document mandated by the DOT. It includes written instructions on how the electronic logging device in your rig functions. It can be requested by an authority during an inspection.
  • Intra-state authorities: This document permits you to pick up at one location in a state and deliver to a different location in the same state. More information on documents for specific states will follow this list!
  • SCAC Code: This may only be handy on occasion, but always better safe than sorry. Keeping a copy of your carrier SCAC code, which is distributed by National Motor Freight Traffic Association, is needed if you need to enter a military facility.

Additionally, there are several state-based documents you’ll need to keep in your permit book. They include the Kentucky Carriers Vehicle Inventory List, the New Jersey Business Registration Certificate, the New Mexico Weight Distance Tax, and New York’s Highway Use Tax. For more information on these documents, click here.

With all these documents, your permit book could get heavy in no time. Luckily there are cloud-based options for storing all these documents digitally on your phone. Permit Book is an app made for truck drivers that lets you upload all your documents to the cloud, notifies you when an expiration date is approaching, and organizes the documents into categories so they’re easy to locate.

Montgomery Transport cares about our drivers and wants to make their lives on the road easier. Looking for a carrier that prioritizes you? Learn more about the driving opportunities available when you join Montgomery Transport’s winning team!