Can I Buy A Semi Truck Without CDL? (And Other FAQs)

Can I Buy A Semi Truck Without CDL

We’ve put together this article to answer some of the most common questions we get from first-time semi-truck buyers.

Most of the inquiries are about commercial truck financing. These include:

  • Can I buy a semi-truck without CDL?
  • Can I own a trucking company without CDL?
  • How to buy a semi-truck without CDL?
  • How does semi-truck financing work?

Let’s discuss these FAQs in detail. You’ll learn everything you need to know to get into the transportation business.

1. Can I Buy A Semi Truck Without CDL?

The short answer is yes. This is because the person buying the truck can be different from the one who’ll do the driving.

In the trucking industry, we refer to individuals considering buying a commercial truck without a Commercial Driving License (CDL) as investor buyers. Say you’re looking to start a trucking business with a partner. You can be the investor buyer and your partner will be the driver. In such cases, a commercial driver’s license will be a requirement for the driver.

It is worth noting that there are several restrictions on, and fewer programs for, financing truck business owners without a CDL. That’s because most lenders in the transportation business review the asset you want to finance.

If the product requires a special license to operate, they’ll be interested to know whether you hold the required license. You’ll need a CDL to get funds from these lenders. Some semi-trailer financing lenders might request to know the years of experience with the CDL.

piggy bank

Generally, CDL drivers with more years of experience are lower-risk borrowers than those with less driving experience. Mission Financial Services is more forgiving, especially for first-time buyers. We finance drivers with limited CDL driving experience, including new owner-operators. Learn more about accessing commercial vehicle loans for first-time buyers.

2. Can I Own A Trucking Company Without A CDL?

Yes, you can. However, you’ll have to employ commercial vehicle drivers with a CDL to help you operate the company.

Hiring competent drivers might seem like a daunting task, and it can be. But it’s worth every effort because starting your own trucking company is a good investment.

The trucking industry is one of the most profitable industries in the U.S. It is worth over $700 billion and moves more than 70% of the total freight in the U.S.

That said, there are some things you need to know before you start your trucking business without a driver’s license.

What To Know Before Starting A Trucking Company Without A CDL

We’ve listed them below to help you see whether becoming a semi-truck business owner without a CDL is the right option for you.

1. Start-up costs: Starting small businesses requires money. It’s more costly if you don’t have a license. You’ll need enough funds to get a qualified driver and cover their pay until your business picks up.


Remember, you must hire a truck driver with the right qualifications. For instance, if you transport hazardous materials, you’ll need a driver with a class c CDL.

They have the driving experience to drive semis with dangerous materials across state lines. This is in accordance with the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act.

2. Insurance: There are different types of insurance needed to start and operate your own trucking company. Some examples include:

  • Insurance for commercial vehicles.
  • Insurance to cover the goods you transport.
  • General liability insurance to cover the entire business.

3. Trucking authority: You must provide proof of complying with all federal and state laws to get paid to haul cargo. Essentially, this is what the trucking authority helps you to do.

Getting a trucking authority involves filling in paperwork from the USA Department of Transportation (USDOT). You’ll be issued a USDOT number, and an MC number, among others.

Check out this article on getting your trucking authority to learn more about how this works.

3. How To Buy A Semi Truck Without CDL?

If you want to purchase semi-trucks for commercial use, the most affordable way is to get a loan. This is because commercial semi-trucks are pricey. A new truck costs about $80,000, but factors like fuel efficiency, horsepower, and cargo capacity can increase their prices to around $200,000.

Apart from the government’s SBA loan, several companies can finance your purchase. But, as we mentioned earlier, very few are willing to help you buy a semi-truck without a CDL.

Still, you can find different financing options to get a truck for commercial purposes without a CDL. It all depends on the in-house financing programs of lending trucking companies. Often, you’ll have to make a significant down payment and have some experience in the trucking business.

Man showing man documents

Some of the most common options you have to buy a truck without a CDL include the following:

CDL Driver Guarantee

CDL driver guarantee is the most popular option for first-time buyers, although it involves a trucking partnership. Meaning you have to apply for funding as a team.

One team member, the designated driver, must have a commercial driver’s license. They then guarantee the person without a CDL. It’s critical to note that both team members have to sign a finance agreement. So, choose the right partner if you take this option.

Minimum Three Years Of Experience Within The Trucking Industry

Another great financing option lenders provide for drivers without a CDL includes a minimum of three years of experience in the trucking business.

This is the best semi-truck financing option for individuals active in the transport business, who are now looking to become business owners.

You might have experience in dispatching or the freight brokering industry. You’ll require a down payment starting from 35% for this option.

4. How Does Semi-Truck Financing Work?

Most semi-truck financing programs offer you cash as a loan to buy different types of semi-trucks for commercial purposes. However, others provide an equipment lease instead.

Choosing the equipment lease option means making payments for using the truck for a specific period, known as a lease term. When this term expires, you can either walk away or buy out the truck’s remaining value and own it.

On the other hand, getting a loan guarantees ownership of the truck when you finish repaying the loan. The terms of the loans depend on the type of truck you’re looking to buy and other factors.

You can get loans for small trucks, big rigs or semi-trailers, warehouse trucks, delivery trucks, and more. These loans are known as secured loans because the vehicle acts as the collateral for the loan.

loan agreement

At Mission Financial Services, we offer both types of commercial truck financing – loans and leases. Our financing programs are flexible. We take into account different types of buyers and their specific credit situations.

With us, you can access various direct or dealership lending options even if you have bad credit. Read our comprehensive step-by-step guide on commercial vehicle financing to learn more.

5. What Are The Financing Requirements For A Semi-Truck?

Lenders look at several factors to determine your eligibility for truck financing. Some include:

  • Business owner or driver’s CDL experience.
  • Down payments.
  • Credit score.
  • The specs of the truck you want to purchase, such as model, year, make, and overall condition.
  • Several documents, including those from the US department of transportation.


Final Thoughts

If you’ve been wondering, “Can I buy a semi-truck without CDL?”, we hope you have the answer!

Becoming a trucking business owner is a gateway to financial independence, especially if you have the right financing partner. Mission Financial Services takes pride in being a commonsense lender and offers various affordable loan options.

Our loan approvals come as simple interest contracts that have limited terms. This helps you to quickly build equity in the loan you’re financing and to avoid additional charges. We also work with all major credit bureaus. So, you can have a chance to turn your credit around if you’ve been struggling with bad credit. Start your credit application with us today!

Documents Required For A Commercial Vehicle Loan (The Ultimate Guide)

documents required for commercial vehicle loan

Are you wondering about the documents required for commercial vehicle loan applications?

With the trucking industry valued at $800 billion in the US, you might want to hop on board! To kickstart your new venture, you may need to take out a commercial vehicle loan. You’ll need to gather and submit certain documents for your loan to be approved.

In this article, we’ll look at the documents required for a commercial vehicle loan and what you can expect when applying for your commercial vehicle loan. Your commercial vehicles are right around the corner!

Documents Required For A Commercial Vehicle Loan

Most documents required for commercial vehicle loans are fairly standard. However, there are extra documents you’ll need to provide that are specific to a commercial loan. The following list includes documents required for a commercial vehicle loan. Each lender has different requirements, so it’s essential to consult them.

Let’s take a look. Your vehicle finance journey starts here!

Personal Details

  • Personal identity: Your identity document is a requirement by law. You can use your driver’s license, passport, or another government-issued identity document. Your document needs to show your photograph and your name.
  • Proof of residence: This is to verify and prove your residency address. It’s also used for security purposes to prevent fraud. You can include your rental agreement or your utility bill as proof.


  • Commercial driver’s license: To finance commercial vehicles, you might need to provide your CDL. This proves that you (or your partner) can drive the vehicle.

Income And Business Details

Proof of income and employment: Your lender will want to see that you can repay your loan. You might need to provide your payslips for three months, six-month bank statements, and an employment contract to prove your income.

  • Proof of business ownership or a business plan: Showing business ownership or a business plan when starting your own trucking business will indicate how the vehicle will benefit you.
  • Down payment: Providing proof of your down payment to your lender is crucial. Some lenders have a minimum amount that you’ll need to provide. How much you put down also determines your repayments.
  • ITR proof: You may need to provide an updated ITR document alongside the documents required for commercial vehicle loans.
  • Loan repayment track: If you have any existing loans, it is a good idea to provide evidence of your repayments.
    Extra Documentation
  • Application form: Each lender has its own loan application form to fill out. Find out from them which document applies to your commercial truck loan application. You’ll probably need to provide two passport-size photographs with your application to finance commercial vehicles.
  • Proof of experience: If you’re a first-time buyer, you’ll need to provide evidence of your experience with commercial vehicles.
  • Vehicle details: If applicable, and you have a vehicle you’d like to buy, providing valuation documents and vehicle details is important.
  • Vehicle insurance: If you have an existing fleet, you can provide details of your insurance to cover accidents and repairs.


Do You Need A Lawyer To Review The Documents?

While having a lawyer review the documents required for a commercial vehicle loan is not always necessary, it can be helpful.

A lawyer can help you to ensure that all the documents are prepared correctly and meet all the legal requirements. They can also help ensure that the loan is structured in a way that will benefit you. It will be helpful to have a lawyer review documents required for a commercial vehicle loan if the loan is complex.

However, as much as having a lawyer can be beneficial to your loan application, it’s an extra expense on top of the loan. So, there’s a tradeoff. Make sure you vet the lender you choose to go to, to ensure they are trustworthy. A company like Mision Financial Services wants the best outcome for both parties and will work to ensure you understand the entire loan process.

Commercial Truck Financing

Commercial truck financing will allow you to purchase trucks for business purposes. These vehicles include semi-trucks, box trucks, and flatbed trucks.

It’s a great option if you’re looking to buy your first vehicle, or add to your fleet. A loan term typically ranges from 24 to 72 months. The interest rates you’re offered will depend on your creditworthiness, the value of the truck, and your lender’s policies.

If you’re looking for commercial truck financing, keep reading to determine if you’re eligible for a loan.

Requirements For A Commercial Truck Loan

To qualify for a commercial vehicle loan, you’ll need to meet specific criteria set out by your lender. Each lender will indicate the documents required for commercial vehicle finance. Typically, lenders consider the following:

  • Creditworthiness: Lenders will check your credit score. A good credit history can improve your chances of getting a loan. Many companies are willing to help those with subpar credit scores.
  • Financial income: Your business or individual finances need to be in check. Lenders want to see if you’ll be able to repay the loan.
  • Experience: The more experience you have in driving a commercial vehicle, the better your chances are. If you own a business – the longer it’s been around, the better!
  • Permanent residence: You’ll need to show permanent residence status in your country of application.
  • Down payment: Every company has a different percentage required for a down payment for your vehicle loan. What you can provide determines your eligibility. Your credit rating may also affect this.
    Understanding loan eligibility requirements with your lender is crucial. The company you choose may require additional information and documentation.

How To Qualify For A Loan

We’ve discussed all of the important information you need to know about requirements. So, how do you qualify for a loan?

Shaking hands

Depending on your credit score, it may take longer to qualify. Below are some factors that you’ll need to take into consideration.

  • Credit score: Try to increase your credit score by paying accounts on time and not missing payments. Luckily, some companies can assist you even if your credit score is low.
  • Business plan: This step is similar to a business loan! If you’re starting your own company, have an effective business plan to help you secure your first commercial truck loan.
  • Income: If your income doesn’t meet your specific loan requirement criteria, you’ll need to increase it to be able to afford loan repayments. You’ll need to show a stable income through six months of bank statements.
  • Experience: If you’re relatively new to the trucking scene, you may need more experience before getting approved for a loan. If this is the case, gaining more experience as a commercial vehicle driver will help.
  • Down payment: Every company has its requirements for a down payment. Having the necessary funds is crucial to getting your loan approved.

Ultimately, you will have to ensure that you meet all the requirements above to qualify for your commercial truck loan. Some cases require extra time, effort, and savings before you can be approved.

How To Apply For A Loan

The application process may differ from company to company. The circumstances surrounding the loan may also impact the time to approval. For example, if the lender requires additional information to process your loan application.

In a nutshell, the application process can be simplified as follows:

  • Choose your lender: Research what each option offers. Choosing a lender specializing in commercial vehicle financing is crucial. These companies are usually more flexible in their terms and will understand your business needs better.

Golden piggy bank

  • Gather your documents: Once you’ve found your ideal lender, it’s time to gather all the documentation required for the application process.
  • Complete the application form: When you’ve gathered all your documents, you can fill out and hand in the application form.
  • Wait for approval: Your lender will review your application and the supporting documents and decide whether to approve the loan. They may also ask for any additional information.
  • Sign the loan contract: Once approved, your lender will provide you with a loan agreement to review and sign. This document will detail the terms of the loan, including the interest rate, the loan amount, and the schedule for monthly repayments.
  • Provide collateral (if required): Some lenders may require collateral, such as a lien on the vehicle, or a personal guarantee, to secure the loan.
  • Receive the loan: Once all the paperwork is complete, the loan will be granted, and you’ll receive the money to purchase your commercial vehicle!

When applying for a commercial vehicle loan, it’s crucial to get as much information as possible from the lender regarding requirements and eligibility. The more you can find out and get done, the smoother the loan application will go.

Final Thoughts

Commercial truck financing is a top choice for those buying their first vehicle or adding to their existing fleet. Ensure that you understand the documents required for commercial vehicle loans. These may be specific to each lender, so do your research!

Gathering these documents will ensure a smooth and quick application process. If you prepare in advance, you’ll be in your new vehicle in no time!

Can I Drive A Semi Truck Without CDL?

can i drive a semi truck without a cdl

Have you ever wondered, “Can I drive a semi-truck without CDL?”

Many beginners and truck-driving enthusiasts ask this question hoping for a straightforward answer.

There are several misunderstandings surrounding this topic. This is due to the varying state laws on issuing and using a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

Let’s discuss this question in detail to help you understand the subject. We’ll also explain how to get a CDL license. So, when the time is right, you can land truck-driving jobs with ease!

Can I Drive A Semi Truck Without CDL? When?

The short answer is yes, you can. However, it’s not as simple as it sounds.

Driving a semi-truck without CDL is legal under specific circumstances. Some include those listed below.

Driving Within The Confines Of Your Private Property

You don’t need a CDL license to drive semis or any other truck inside your property.

You can drive different types of trucks, like warehouse trucks, dump trucks, delivery trucks, and straight trucks, without a CDL this way.

But, things change when you get out on a public road. You’ll almost always need a CDL to drive semis on a public road unless you operate the truck for personal use.

Driving For Personal Use

This point can be confusing if you’re trying to answer the question, “Can I drive a semi-truck without a CDL?”

What does driving a semi for personal or commercial use mean, and how does it determine the license you need?

Truck dashboard

Basically, if your vehicle qualifies as a commercial motor vehicle and you operate it for commerce, you need a CDL. This is a mandatory requirement by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

If your vehicle qualifies as a commercial vehicle, and you use it non-commercially, you can drive it without a CDL. You’ll still require a valid license, but it doesn’t have to be a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

So, based on FMCSA, what does commerce mean?

FMCSA defines commerce as any transportation, trade, or traffic within or across state lines. It is also any transportation, trade, or traffic that affects transportation, trade, or traffic between different points intra- and interstate.

Going by this broad definition, you can tell that there is no clear distinction between using semi-trucks as personal vehicles and for commercial purposes.

Sometimes, what seems like personal use may turn out to be commercial.

Personal Use Versus Commercial Use

A good example is driving an empty truck across states for repair or maintenance. It may appear as personal use, but it counts as interstate commerce.

You’ll need a CDL for such a trip. If you’re caught driving without a CDL license, you could face legal action.

Can I Buy A Semi Truck Without CDL

Ensure that your truck’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), or combined gross weight, doesn’t exceed 26 000 lbs. On weight, it doesn’t matter whether you operate the truck for personal or commercial purposes. The truck’s gross weight must be 26 000 lbs. or less for you to drive without a CDL.

It’s worth noting that a driver can qualify for a CDL exemption if they fall under specific categories laid out by their state law. We call these drivers non-CDL drivers.

CDL Exemptions

You can drive a semi without a commercial license if you qualify as a non-CDL driver. Be sure to check the law of the state you’re in, and ensure you have the right qualifications for CDL exemptions.

State laws vary, and different states offer various exemptions for a CDL. In Florida, for instance, some CDL exemptions include:

  • Military personnel driving commercial vehicles for military purposes.
  • Authorized emergency vehicle drivers.
  • Drivers of recreational vehicles.

Penalties For Driving Semi-Trucks Without A CDL

Driving commercial vehicles without a valid CDL can lead to major penalties. These penalties vary from state to state. Let’s discuss these.

  • License Suspension: This is one of the most common penalties for driving without a CDL illegally. The suspension may last between one and ten years, depending on your situation.
  • Criminal Charges: You may face criminal charges under certain circumstances. For instance, if an accident happened.


  • Fines: Fines for CDL violations are hefty. You can pay thousands of dollars depending on your state’s laws. The company you work for can also pay more than $10 000 in fines if they knowingly let you drive a semi without the required license.
  • Job loss: A CDL is a minimum requirement for most trucking companies. If you lie about having one, and the company you work for finds out later, you may lose your job.

How To Get A CDL

In most states, getting CDL licenses is straightforward. But there are several CDL requirements you must meet. We’ve summarized the entire process below to help you get your license stress-free.

Step 1: Submit CDL Application

The minimum age requirement to apply for a CDL is 18 years. However, you must first complete the FMCSA driver training before you make your application if you want to get a class A or class B CDL license.

Get this training from an FMCSA-approved driving school or training provider.

Step 2: Identity Verification

You must verify your identity and provide the required proof of address indicating that you’re a resident of the US and a specific state.

Different states may ask for different documents, but verifying your social security number is common in most states.

Step 3: Health Examination

For this step, you must provide two valid medical forms and pass a vision test. These forms include a medical examination report and a medical examiner’s certificate.

Eye test

Step 4: Knowledge Exam

Depending on the license class you seek, you’ll need to pass a knowledge exam. It might include:

  • General knowledge test.
  • Combinations and air brakes knowledge test.
  • Other tests such as one for the H endorsement (this will allow you to carry hazardous materials).

Once you pass your knowledge exam, you’ll get a commercial learner’s permit (CLP). Then, you’ll need to wait for 14 days before you schedule a road skills test.

Step 5: Skills Test

You must pass the pre-trip inspection and the driving skills test for the specific vehicle you’d like to drive.

Step 6: Pay Required Fees

After passing the skills test, pay the fees required by your state to get your CDL.

How Much Does A CDL Cost?

The cost of a CDL varies state-wise and depends on the type of CDL you want to get.

However, the total cost of a CDL ranges from $2000 to $5000, including the general fees and training school.

General fees may include fees for applications, tests, screenings, and background checks for endorsements to transport hazardous materials.

Final Thoughts

In summary, you can drive a semi-truck without a CDL, although you’ll have to be cautious to do so legally. We’ve outlined most conditions for driving vehicles without a CDL above.

However, if you wish to have a career as a truck driver, you need a CDL. You’ll qualify for more truck-driving jobs with more trucking companies. With a CDL, you can operate across various states, including some of the best places for truck drivers to work.

Whether or not you have a CDL, you might be interested in starting a semi truck business. Mission Financial Services may be your best bet!

What Owner-Operators Need to Know About the Inflation Reduction Act

On Tuesday, August 16, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (Act) into law. The Act covers climate issues, taxes, healthcare, and other legislation in one bill, serving as a concise version of the Build Back Better bill.

What is the Inflation Reduction Act?

The main points of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 include:

  • 15% minimum corporate tax rate: Corporations that generate at least $1 billion in income will now have a 15% tax rate, and stock buybacks will have a 1% excise tax.
  • IRS investments: The IRS will receive $80 billion to hire new agents over the next ten years.
  • Prescription drug price reform: Medicare will now be able to negotiate the prices of particular prescription drugs, and in 2025 Medicare recipients will receive a $2,000 limit on annual out-of-pocket prescription costs.
  • ACA subsidy extension: The current medical insurance premiums under the ACA, which were set to expire January 1st, 2023, will now be extended through 2025.
  • Investments in energy security and climate change efforts: Households will receive tax credits to offset energy costs, the government will invest in clean energy production, and there will be tax credits for reducing carbon emissions.

On August 7, the Inflation Reduction Act went to the Senate and passed with 50 Democratic votes and zero Republican votes. Once it reached the House on August 12, bill 220-207 was passed.

Ultimately, small businesses and hardworking Americans will profit from this legislation through the investments in deficit reduction, increased manufacturing, lowered drug prices, and the push for corporations to give back to their community. But what does this bill mean for owner-operators within the transportation industry?

What Owner-Operators Need to Know

The Inflation Reduction Act will make significant changes to the United States environmental policies, health care policies, and tax codes. However, for owner-operators and other small trucking businesses, the Act’s extended changes to the ACA subsidies and IRS investments will likely be the most impactful.

The increased and extended ACA subsidies will allow owner-operators without employer-provided health insurance access to affordable health care coverage. Marc Ballard, who handles the NAIT’s various health care avenues, said, “We’re seeing about 90% of people who enroll can get a plan for $100 a month. Take, for example, a guy who may be 45 with a spouse and two kids, lives in Florida, and expenses a bunch of his income. … Let’s say his net adjusted income is $60,000. He grossed $200,000, but the reportable income is $60,000. He could literally be paying zero dollars for a health care plan.” Those making more money may face an increase in coverage costs by just a few hundred dollars a month.

And while the ACA subsidy changes won’t affect independent business people as much, it’s wise to use this extension period to shop for different health care plans. Freight rates are slowing due to the rise in fuel costs, and owner-operators’ incomes fluctuate as the pandemic period breaks down. So, now is the time to consider income projections and any potential family or personal status changes, which could unlock new health-expense savings.

The $80 billion investment in creating a larger Internal Revenue Service could also pose a threat to owner-operators with more frequent audits. The Associated Press did disclose that armed agents will not come knocking on owner-operators’ doors unless they are under criminal investigation for dealings in things such as contraband. Truck drivers must also be conscious of their increased chance of being audited. And while the IRS does have a backlog, the 87,000 incoming agents will quickly clear it, making time for them to look at newer returns. So, be sure to be extremely thorough when filing your taxes.

The Future is Green

The $369 billion investment in green energy will also notably change the trucking industry. In the next few years, trucking companies could receive tax incentives to purchase trucks that operate on alternative fuel sources, including electricity and biogas. Similar tax incentives will be made available for installing supportive infrastructure at trucking headquarters. The bill will also offer grant and loan programs to trucking businesses to encourage and fund their switch.

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A Trucker’s Guide to Assembly Bill 5

Regardless if you’re a California truck driver or not, you’ve probably heard about the recent employment legislation that could change the entire trucking industry. As of June 30, 2022, Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) is in effect and making sweeping changes throughout the transportation industry. Over the last few months, there has been an excessive amount of news and information surrounding the legislation and the impact it could potentially have. So, what’s the truth about AB5?

We’ve created a comprehensive guide to California’s Assembly Bill 5 that explains the bill and how it will affect truck drivers and the industry.

What is California’s AB5?

In September 2019, the California Governor, Gavin Newsom, signed Assembly Bill 5 into law to provide gig workers with more rights and benefits. Specifically, the law promises gig workers who classify as employees minimum wage with overtime pay, standard employee benefits, expense reimbursements, health insurance, adequate breaks, and other benefits that were not previously promised under California labor laws. So, how do employers determine who classifies as what?

The ruling of AB5 is based on a 2018 California Supreme Court ruling, known as Dynamex Operation West v. Superior Court. The legislation replaced the 11-prong Borello test with a 3-prong test and established that workers were classified as employees unless otherwise proven by the hiring company. The new 3-prong test, known as the ABC test, determines whether a person can be qualified as an independent contractor. 

For a worker to achieve this classification, the following three statements must be true:

  1. The worker is free from direct control or direction of the hiring entity when performing their duties.
  2. The tasks and services performed are outside the hiring entity’s usual business activities.
  3. The worker regularly performs independent services similarly performed for the hiring entity.

If a worker does not meet the three requirements, they must be classified or, in some cases, reclassified as an employee and receive the rights and benefits that come with that title. The problem with the new ABC test is that it has created rigorous standards for employers, and it’s challenging for workers to pass.

Pros and Cons of Assembly Bill 5

The main issue with AB5’s 3-prong test is that it has turned some independent contractors into employees. Specifically, item B poses the most risk to a worker’s livelihood because it states that a person performing any work similar to the company that hired them is presumed to be an employee. If a worker is classified as an employee, they must adhere to new standards that ultimately impact how they perform their job. For instance, while gig workers can choose when and when not to work, employees must abide by a set schedule.

However, the new legislation isn’t all bad. Pros and cons of AB5 include:


  • The legislation creates equal opportunities for gig workers and regular employees.
  • Qualifying as an employee entitles workers to benefits and other perks.


  • Being classified as an employee could cost workers their flexible schedule.
  • Reclassifying independent contractors as employees could increase prices for consumers.

And while AB5 does not guarantee that hiring entities will eliminate flexible scheduling, employers may exert more control once they begin incurring higher costs of paying employees versus contractors.

How will California’s AB5 impact the trucking industry?

The application of AB5 will undoubtedly impact motor carriers’ prices, routes, and services. On January 16, the District Court for the Southern District of California found AB5 preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAAA) and urged its application. This ultimately left the independent contractor model unaffected—at the time. The state of California was also pushed to appeal the lower court’s injunction to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (CTA). 

However, on April 28, 2021, the appeal was reversed after finding that implementing AB5 did not fully impact motor carriers’ prices, routes, or services. Therefore it did not fall under the FAAAA’s preemptive scope. So, the reversal cleared AB5 to take effect. But, on June 23, 2021, the 9th Circuit stayed the reversal’s effect, pending the resolution of the appeal to the United States Supreme Court.

Without comment or discussion, the Supreme Court decided not to review the case and left the 9th Circuit’s decision intact. AB5 was once again clear to take effect on motor carriers operating in the state of California. In the Supreme Court briefing, representatives from the State of California downplayed the impact AB5 would have on motor carriers and the trucking industry. 

Now, drivers operating in California are bracing themselves for the “highly impactful and disruptive” consequences of the bill. Many motor carriers and industry experts believe that additional legal challenges associated with AB5 and the ABC test are likely to occur. Still, for the time being, those operating in California will, unfortunately, have to carry the weight of AB5.

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Top 5 Toughest States for Speeding

Which states are toughest on commercial truck speeding-enforcement?

Every year the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) of truck-enforcement jurisdictions and other related agencies stage a traffic enforcement event called Operation Safe Driver. In 2020, the enforcement effort responded to an uptick in speed-related fatality crashes. And while the automobile accidents were across all vehicle types, most involved Class 8 vehicles.

After the 2020 Operation Safe Driver event, the CVSA found that truck drivers received nearly triple the number of speeding citations as passenger vehicle drivers. In 2021, the number increased again, with approximately 3,000 truck drivers receiving citations. Experts anticipate similar results following this year’s enforcement event. But, drivers are wondering: Are there some states that are more strict when it comes to speeding enforcement?

Which states have the strictest speeding laws?

Experts agree that there are states that are stricter when it comes to enforcing traffic laws than others. 

A recent study found that 75% of states have absolute speed limits, which means one mile per hour over the limit is enough for the state to convict you of speeding. The other 25% of the country has laws that allow you to plead your case in court. However, there are currently no states that have mandatory jail time for those convicted of reckless driving, which means you are liable to spend at least one night in jail if found guilty. 

And if you’re lucky enough to avoid jail time, you can still face a hefty fine. While the country’s average maximum speeding penalty is $742, there are some states where a single ticket could cost up to $5,000. 

The bottom line is that while keeping up with surrounding traffic may seem okay; there are some states where it’s ultimately safer to drive the exact speed limit.

5 toughest states for truck traffic enforcement


In Delaware, the driving population speeds 21% more than the national average. And in January of this year, the state implemented cameras along I-95 in hopes of deterring speeding. So, even if there’s no cop in sight, you still need to be cautious of cameras.

West Virginia

If you’re in Virginia, go slow. The state has one of the harshest legal systems around traffic violations. For example, driving 80 miles per hour anywhere in the state or going 20 miles per hour the posted speed limit will result in a reckless driving charge. And you can receive a $2,500 fine and a year in jail for reckless driving.


Iowa drivers are ticketed for speeding 66% more than average drivers, despite the state’s heavy police presence. In “The Hawkeye State,” there are 25 police officers per 10,000 drivers. Be sure to remember this ratio the next time you drive through Iowa.


While Idaho has a low ratio of speed traps per mile, it ranks considerably high for issuing speeding citations. However, the fines aren’t as intimidating as in other states. If you’re driving anywhere between one and 15 miles per hour above the speed limit, you will be fined $75. Anything over 16 miles per hour will earn you a $140 ticket. 

South Carolina

South Carolina is considered more dangerous than any other state for driving. According to the NHTSA’s Traffic Safety report, the state has the highest rate of traffic fatalities per million miles traveled. And similar to Iowa, the state has 24 police officers per 10,000 drivers, So if you speed in the Palmetto State, you not only risk getting a ticket, but you also risk getting into an accident.


How speeding could impact your career

As a truck driver, receiving a speeding ticket is no minor inconvenience. In fact, a speeding ticket could lead to your CDL being revoked. In most states, exceeding the speed limit by at least 15 miles per hour is considered a severe violation for commercial motor vehicles (CMV). The violation could lead to a minimum 60-day license suspension. If you receive three violations within three years, you could face a 120-day CDL revocation. These violations could also appear on your record, ultimately affecting your next job opportunity. Plus, you could be fined up to $500. 

So, while driving can be frustrating and sometimes mundane, it’s safer to drive wisely and within the speed limit. After all, nothing is worth risking your CDL license and, above all, your life.

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