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Frequently Asked Questions by Subject


graphic of licenseMotor carriers transporting persons or property for hire in Oregon must have operating authority. Carriers operating vehicles with a declared weight more than 26,000 pounds transporting persons or property incidental to a primary business are considered private carriers and must also have operating authority. The Motor Carrier Transportation Division issues authority in the form of a permit or, in the case of household goods movers and regular route passenger carriers, in the form of a certificate. It can be complicated, so the Division has staff available at all hours and in several field offices around the state. Check a list of motor carrier services / offices and staff.

Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about operating authority, with answers on a separate FAQ page:

What are the requirements to start a trucking company in Oregon?
What do I need to haul property for-hire within Oregon?
Does it matter if I want to haul property in a light truck?
What authority do I need to deliver furniture in Oregon?
What's needed to be an irregular route passenger carrier?
What's needed to be regular route passenger carriers?
Who regulates brokers?
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graphic of officer issuing citationMotor carrier enforcement officers issue citations and warnings for truck size and weight violations, as well as safety and other credentials-related violations. In the course of a year, they issue more than 14,000 citations for weight violations, more than 8,000 weight-related warnings, more than 1,000 citations for size violations, and more than 11,000 citations for safety and other credentials-related violations. They also issue more than 20,000 other warnings for less-than-critical violations and require more than 4,000 vehicles to legalize (correct a problem) before proceeding.

Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions, with answers on a separate FAQ page:

Does the Oregon DOT get to keep the fines paid for citations?
Why is an overweight citation issued to the truck driver?
Why do many out-of-state IFTA-registered carriers get citations?
Why is there a $435 fine for No Oregon Weight Receipt?
Is it a violation if a truck weighs heavy because of snow or ice?
Who can motor carriers contact with questions about enforcement?
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Farm Trucks

pic of Farm license plateFarm trucking in Oregon can be a regulated activity. Some farmers use their trucks for more than just their own farm use, including some who haul for-hire. Also, regardless of how the truck is used, safety regulations may apply. It's so common for farmers to have questions about regulations that the Motor Carrier Transportation Division has produced a brochure entitled Guide to Farm Trucking in Oregon. It also staffs a Farm Certification Unit and anyone may call 503-378-5203 for help answering a question.

Visit the Farm Trucking in Oregon page for more about this subject.

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Green Light

pic of Green Light logoGreen Light is a way for truckers to save the time and money they waste stopping at Oregon weigh stations. It´s a truck weigh station "preclearance" system that´s just like systems in many other states. But the Oregon Green Light system is better than most — it´s free!

Visit the Green Light Web site for a list of Frequently Asked Questions about this time- and money-saving program.

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Household Goods Moving

pic of moving vanThousands of people move from one home to another in Oregon every year and many of them have no experience working with movers. They usually have questions about the process. It's not surprising that the Motor Carrier Division's Consumer Guide to Moving Web page is one of the most frequently visited pages on the Division's site.

Individuals who want to start a moving company or offer pack and load services also usually have plenty of questions. Moving household goods from point to point within Oregon is a regulated service. Only certain companies have ODOT authority to provide the service to the public at approved rates.

Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions, with answers on a separate FAQ page:

What does it mean when a mover says he's regulated by ODOT? 
What's in the General Information guide that movers must provide?
What are some good tips to preparing for a trouble-free move?
What are some tips to avoiding trouble during a move?
How can I avoid problems with loss and damage claims?  
Who can help resolve a problem with an interstate move? 
How can I verify the moving van's weight after it's loaded?
Where can I get answers to other questions?

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pic of insurance formWhether they're operating in intrastate or interstate commerce, motor carriers will need liability insurance and they may need cargo insurance. Oregon intrastate carriers are subject to state filing requirements.

Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about insurance requirements, with answers on a separate FAQ page:

How can I check if a person has insurance on file in Oregon? 
How can I check if a company is registered to operate in Oregon?
What are the insurance requirements for intrastate carriers?
What basic insurance is required for interstate operators?
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Over-Dimension Trucks

pic of oversize truckTrucking is big business and sometimes it's literally BIG business. It's routine for trucks to need single-trip and continuous operation (annual) variance permits for oversize, overweight, or unusual loads. Staff in one section of the Motor Carrier Transportation Division maintains road and bridge restriction information and issues over-dimension permits that give truckers safe routing instructions for their trips. They commonly field questions from truckers and members of the public.

Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about over-dimension movements, with answers on a separate FAQ page:

Who needs an over-dimension permit?
What does it mean to say a truck is operating at "legal" weight?
What's Oregon's policy for enforcement of over-dimension permits?
What are the regulations governing oversize load signs?
Do pilot car operators have to be certified in Oregon? 
What are the pilot car requirements for oversize loads?
Can trucks with triple trailers be on the road in bad weather? 
Who's qualified to drive a truck with triple trailers? 
Are there any exclusions to trailer length and width limits?
Are there size and weight exemptions for fire trucks?
What does a person need to tow an 11-foot wide boat? 
What's a person allowed to tow behind a pickup truck?
Who can carriers contact with truck size and weight questions?
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graphic of truckTrucks must be registered, permanently or temporarily, with the state or province in which the motor carrier’s fleet is based. Each state or province has its own rules about vehicle registration and title.

Motor carriers must register their trucks for identification and ownership purposes. Registration is an annual, fixed fee based on the highest loaded weight of the vehicle. Upon registration, a unique license plate (or pair of plates) is issued. These plates are vehicle specific and may not be transferred from one vehicle to another.

Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about registration, with answers on a separate FAQ page:

What are the requirements to start a trucking company in Oregon?
What's DMV's responsibility vs. the Motor Carrier Division?
What are the different types of truck registration?
What is GVW, GCVW, and registration weight?
How does a motor carrier determine truck registration weight?
What's Oregon's credentials-related enforcement policy?
How can a motor carrier become suspended in Oregon?
How can a carrier reinstate an account?
What's involved in changing a company name or changing ownership?
What does a company do when it has a change of address?
How does a company close an Oregon account? 

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pic of inspector checking truckThe Motor Carrier Transportation Division administers and enforces Oregon motor carrier-related laws and rules, including regulations related to commercial vehicle safety. Most federal safety regulations adopted by the U.S. Department of Transportation in Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations apply to motor carriers operating in Oregon. It's a daunting list of laws and rules so the Motor Carrier Division invites carriers to get to know staff in the nearest Oregon Safety Office.

Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about truck safety, with answers on a separate FAQ page:

How can a motorist report a safety problem on the road?
How can truck drivers report safety problems?
After a safety inspection, what are the follow-up requirements?
Is there an easy way for a company to check inspection records?
Are dump trucks required to tarp their loads?
What are the hours-of-service rules for intrastate truck drivers? 
What are the hours-of-service rules for interstate drivers? 
When do trucks need to carry and use chains in Oregon?
Who qualifies to be an Oregon Trusted Carrier Partner? 
Does the Oregon DOT help enforce truck speeds on highways?
Who's available to answer safety questions?
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Taxes and Fees

pic of person with paperworkTrucking companies operating in Oregon are subject to registration fees or trip permit fees, license plate fees (intrastate trucks only), the IRS Heavy Vehicle Use Tax, temporary pass fees (if applicable), weight-mile taxes, flat fees (if hauling certain commodities and selected in lieu of weight-mile), intrastate for-hire hauling permit fees, over-dimension permit fees and road use assessment fees (if applicable), International Registration Plan (IRP) and International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) fees (if applicable), and use fuel fees (if applicable). It's no wonder companies often have questions about all that.

Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about Oregon taxes and fees, with answers on a separate FAQ page:

Why do I need both a registration weight and declared weight?
Who qualifies to pay weight-mile taxes on a quarterly basis?
What are the requirements regarding bonds and cash deposits?
How does a carrier claim credit for fuel taxes paid in Oregon?
What are the record keeping requirements for weight-mile taxes? 
What are the record keeping requirements for IRP? 
What are the record keeping requirements for IFTA?
What's the history of Oregon's truck tax system?
Why is "cost responsibility" such a key concept in Oregon?
What's a Highway Cost Allocation Study?
What's the history of cost allocation studies in Oregon?

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Trucking Online

Trucking Online logoTrucking Online is the most efficient way to conduct trucking-related business with the Oregon Department of Transportation´s Motor Carrier Division. It´s an Internet-based service that allows a trucking company to use a home or office computer to connect with computers in Salem and complete various transactions electronically. It´s a fast, convenient way for a company to obtain credentials, file reports, and look up information about its account, all intended to make it easier to keep on truckin´ in Oregon.

Visit the Trucking Online Web site for a list of Frequently Asked Questions about this time- and money-saving program.

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