Truck owners and operators need to understand what their fuel permit requirements are. Whether or not your operation will need a fuel permit will depend on a variety of different factors.
The following are three indications that you're likely to need a trip or fuel permit for your trucking operation.
Your truck has three or more axles
One basic requirement for avoiding the need for a trip permit or fuel permit is a vehicle that has two axles or less. Vehicles with three axles or more tend to have fuel permit needs because of their size and fuel consumption statistics.
Your equipment is not being used in its base state.
Any time a truck and trailer assembly is taken out of its base state, it's possible that there may be some trip permit needs.
If you are handling intrastate deliveries as part of your owner-operator business, it's important to do some research on fuel permit needs. Even if you're only traveling out of your base state a small distance, it's possible that your delivery could require a fuel permit to avoid penalties and fees.
Your truck or tractor exceeds certain weight limitations.
The heavier your load is, the more likely it is that you'll be required to get the appropriate permit to handle the job. It's especially likely that your trucking job will require a fuel permit if you'll be transporting loads of greater than 26,000 pounds.
Your vehicle is not owned by the government.
Generally speaking, any government-owned vehicle will be exempt from fuel permit requirements. However, most privately owned owner-operator businesses are not government-owned and therefore cannot get out of the permit requirement on this basis.
You're not working within a state that's listed on your Apportioned Registration CAB card.
One of the most important factors to examine in deciding whether or not you require a permit is your Apportioned Registration CAB card.
If your owner-operator business has an Apportioned Registration CAB card, you should consult this card for designations regarding which states your business will require a fuel permit to operate in.
Your vehicle is used for commercial rather than recreational purposes.
A vehicle used for recreational purposes should never require a fuel permit. However, any commercial operation involving tractor trailers is subject to fuel permit requirements.
If you use a vehicle for entirely recreational purposes, you shouldn't require a fuel permit even if the characteristics mentioned above don't apply to you.