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Understanding the Legalities of Car Shipping

Are you a car enthusiast with a growing collection of automobiles that need to be shipped from one location to another? If so, then you’re probably wondering if there is an affordable and reliable method for getting one or more of your cars from point A to point B. And thanks to the popularity of programs like TV shows like Shipping Wars and Fast N’ Loud, as well as more affordable services like Uber, car shipping has become a more accessible option than ever before. But not everyone understands the ins and outs of car shipping. It can be a complicated process with numerous legalities that you should understand before diving in headfirst. So what do you need to know about car shipping before making reservations? Read on for some helpful insights into the legalities of car shipping.

What You Need to Know about Car Shipping

Before you get into the specifics of the legalities of car shipping, you need to understand the key terms and logistics of the process. This will put you in a better position to ask the right questions and choose the right service for your unique shipping needs. - Origin Location - This is the location where you’ll be picking up your car. - Destination Location - This is the location where your car will be dropped off. - Carrier - A carrier is the company that will be transporting your car from origin to destination. - Bill of Lading - A bill of lading is essentially a receipt that serves as proof of ownership and contains details about your car such as the VIN number and name of the owner. - VIN Number - The vehicle identification number (VIN) is a 17-digit code that’s etched on the inside of your car’s windshield and in the engine block. It’s a unique number that identifies your car. - Declared Value - The declared value is the amount that you’ll be reimbursed in the event that your car is damaged or lost during the shipment process.

Auto Shipment Basics

Auto shipping is the method of transporting a car by truck from one location to another. It is a service that is offered by many businesses and private carriers. These services can be used to ship a single car, multiple cars at once, or even a whole fleet of vehicles. When you ship a car, it will travel in a truck to its destination. This can be done by the car being driven on a trailer, loaded on a flatbed, or even being placed inside a container on a ship. Shipping a car can be a great way to travel with your vehicle if you don’t want to drive it or don’t have the time to do so. Before you do anything else, though, you need to make sure that you are legally allowed to ship your car. Cars are regulated by the Department of Transportation and other governing bodies, and there are different rules for different types of cars.

The Auto Shipment Process

According to legal experts, depending on your situation, the auto shipment process can be quite straightforward or incredibly involved and complicated. That’s because there are a lot of factors that come into play when shipping a car. These factors include the type of car you have, the distance it needs to travel, and your budget for shipping. When looking for a car shipping company, it’s best to find one that specializes in auto shipping and has experience shipping your specific type of car. This will help ensure that your car is protected from damage and is delivered on time and within budget. When all is said and done, you’ll need to fill out a few forms and place a deposit. Your car will then be picked up and transported to its destination where it will arrive safely and on time.

Legal Requirements for Car Shipping

Any time you’re shipping something, it’s important to understand the legalities of that shipment. This includes the type of shipping being used, the weight of the shipment, and the location where the shipment is being sent. Beyond that, certain types of items, items that are perishable, or items that are regulated by the Department of Transportation are subject to even more specific regulations and legalities. When it comes to shipping cars, there are a number of key regulations that you’ll want to be aware of. For example, there are restrictions on what types of cars can be shipped on a flatbed, how many passengers can be allowed in a car during shipping, how far a car can be driven before being considered “over the road”, and more.

Utilizing Independent Inspectors During Car Shipping

If you’re a car enthusiast who has purchased a classic automobile, you likely want to ensure that it arrives damage free. That’s where using an independent inspector during the car shipping process can be helpful. If you’re shipping your car to a new owner, you can have the inspector test the car before it leaves to ensure that it’s in excellent condition. Or if you are shipping your car to yourself, you can have the inspector test the car to ensure that it has been properly cleaned and prepared for transport. Doing this will help protect you from legal issues that could arise if the car arrives in less-than-ideal condition. If you are shipping your car using a LTL (less than load) service, you have the option of having the inspector test the car at origin. This can help protect you from the car being damaged during the car shipping process.

Limitations When Shipping a Car Overseas

If you’re shipping a car overseas, you need to be aware that there are additional limitations and regulations in place. First, you’ll need to make sure that your car is compliant with the laws in the country where it is being shipped. Beyond that, you’ll also need to provide a whole host of paperwork including proof of ownership, a bill of lading, and a DOT inspection report. If you are shipping a car overseas with a LTL service, it’s worth noting that you’ll likely be required to clean the car before shipping. This is because LTL companies generally require that the car be clean and free of dirt and grime before it is placed on the truck.


Shipping a car can be an exciting and cost-effective way to travel with your favorite mode of transportation. But before you book your trip, you need to understand the legalities of car shipping. To do so, you’ll need to know the difference between OTR and LTL shipping, understand the key regulations in place, and make sure that your car is compliant with those regulations. Doing so will help you select the right service for your needs, protect your car from damage, and reduce your chances of incurring fines or legal issues during the shipping process.