How To Handle A Fatal Semi-Truck Accident

How To Handle A Fatal Semi-Truck Accident

Handling a fatal semi-truck accident is more complex than handling an accident involving regular cars.

Semi-trucks are subject to strict regulations that may not apply to regular cars. You must comply with all the FMCSA semi-truck accident regulations to be safe.

Additionally, more than one party can be liable for the crash. You need to handle the truck accident in a way that protects your rights to compensation for all injuries and damages incurred.

There are nine steps you should take to abide by the law and optimize your chances of maximum compensation. This will help you deal with the aftermath and get back on track sooner.

Handling a Fatal Semi-Truck Accident: 9 Steps

Some truck accidents lead to severe injuries or fatalities. It can be terrifying, but you must stay at the accident scene and avoid panicking.

If you leave the accident scene before following due process, you risk losing your truck driving license or having criminal charges filed against you. Doing this also reduces your chances of getting compensated for any damages. Here’s how to handle a fatal semi-truck accident correctly.

At The Accident Scene

Step 1: Confirm That Everyone is Safe

In a fatal truck accident, your safety and that of your passengers should be your top priority. If you’re injured, stay still until help arrives. If you’re uninjured and can move, check on other occupants of your truck and occupants of other vehicles involved.

Avoid moving any injured victims, as it may make their condition worse.

Step 2: Call Emergency Services

Call 911 to get first responders dispatched to the accident scene as soon as possible. In most states, calling the police to the scene and filing a report is mandatory if the crash led to severe injuries, multiple fatalities, or extensive damage to vehicles.

When dealing with the authorities and any other party approaching you, words matter. Be careful not to admit fault to anyone in any way when giving an account of what happened. Anything you say throughout the investigation can work as evidence against your claim.

Step 3: Collect Evidence

Start building your case by documenting the accident scene. Take pictures of the damage incurred to use as evidence when proving your claim to insurers or the court should your case get to trial. Specifically, take photos of the following:

  • Your semi-truck and the damage sustained
  • The other vehicles involved in the crash
  • Skid marks, shattered glass, and other physical evidence on the ground, such as car parts
  • Landmarks and street signs to show the location of the truck crash

Often, fatal truck accidents cause a traffic build-up and are newsworthy. You might get tempted to share photos of the scene on your social media pages, but don’t do it. Your online post could weaken your claim and reduce the settlement amount.

Step 4: Get Information on Those Involved

It’s also critical for you to get the details of everyone involved in the crash. In an accident including another semi, pickup, and a cab, the following info may come in handy:

  • Drivers’ names and addresses
  • License number of the other semi-truck driver plus the trucking company they work for
  • The plate number of the semi and further identifying details like the make or model
  • Insurance company info, including policy number
  • Eye witnesses’ names, phone numbers, or addresses
  • Generally, the more information you get, the easier it is for you to file a personal injury claim correctly if you were not the at-fault party.

After The Accident

Step 5: Seek Medical Evaluation and Document Treatment

Seek medical evaluation even if you feel fine. Keep all medical records, including your expenses, safely. You may need these to submit with your claim.

As a company truck driver, you must take post-accident alcohol and drug tests following applicable federal alcohol testing requirements. Your employer is required by law to ensure this happens.

Step 6: Get The Vehicle Appraised

If you’re an independent truck driver or owner-operator, get your semi-truck appraised to evaluate the damage and estimate the repair cost. Ensure you follow the vehicle appraisal guidelines your insurer requires so they don’t refuse to settle your claim.

For those with towing add-on coverage, you can have your vehicle towed. However, request the mechanic not to repair any damage until you clear the vehicle with your insurer.

Step 7: Contact a Commercial Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer

Consult a qualified semi-truck accident attorney before reaching out to your insurance company. The lawyer will help you identify the legal routes you can take and how much in settlement you deserve. Your legal team can also help you handle multiple insurers and deal with any lawsuits you may face.

Step 8: Alert Your Insurance Company

Once you know your legal stand, alert your insurance company and file a claim. Ensure you do this within the time frame specified by your insurer to avoid denial of coverage.

You may also want to file settlement claims with the insurers of all the parties responsible for the accident if you were not at fault. These may include your trucking company, vehicle manufacturers, repair companies, government entities, etc. It’s best to let your lawyer handle this so you can get maximum compensation from each party.

Step 9: Complete Repairs or Get a New Semi

The last step is to get your truck repaired to get back on track. You can also opt to purchase a new semi if the one you have is irreparable. Mission Financial Services can help finance your commercial vehicle loan repairs or new semi-truck purchase. Here’s a step-by-step guide on financing a semi-truck you can follow to get the help you need.


It’s worth emphasizing that you should avoid talking to the representatives of insurance providers (including your own) before consulting your lawyer.

Insurers almost always put their interests first, and they’ll offer less than you deserve. This will happen from when the accident occurs until a fair settlement is reached, so you must stay vigilant throughout.

For more information on financing your truck’s repairs or buying a new one after a truck accident, contact us at Mission Financial Services. We are always ready to help you get your life back on course and can customize our financing options to your specific situation.

accident 3rd party

What to Do in an Accident With Semi Truck

As a truck driver, you’ll need to know precisely how to deal with a semi-truck accident if one happens.

While it’s essential to know how to avoid accidents in the first place, accidents still happen all the time. Nearly 388,000 truck accidents happen annually across the U.S.

If you can’t prevent the accident from taking place, the best thing you can do is to deal with the accident as efficiently as possible. Each accident is different and will come with its challenges. However, the same general process can be followed after an accident occurs.

Here are the steps you should follow if you’ve experienced a semi-truck accident.

What to Do in an Accident With Semi Truck: Steps to Follow

Check for Injuries

First and foremost, check yourself and others involved for any injuries. While there’s much to consider during a truck accident, safety should always be your priority.

If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately to request immediate medical attention. Even minor injuries should be reported, as a complete medical evaluation may reveal the injuries to be more severe than suspected.

Identifying possible injuries will also help you understand how best to deal with the truck accident in terms of moving vehicles and clearing up any wreckage.

Once emergency services have been notified about any injuries, you can move on to dealing with the semi-truck accident.

call law enforcement
Move to Safety

If possible, move your vehicle to the side of the road or a safe location to avoid further accidents. Turn on hazard lights to alert other drivers.

This isn’t possible for some truck accidents, and it’s not a good idea to try to move any vehicles if they’re in hazardous situations. However, if your vehicle is alright and you can clear the road without causing any harm, then try to do this.

Before moving the vehicle, though, you’ll want to take pictures of the car accident. This is important for the truck accident investigation – more on this later.

Call Law Enforcement

Once the scene is as safe as possible, the next step is to alert the authorities about the truck accident.

Contact the police to report the accident, even if it’s minor. Having an official report can be valuable for insurance claims and legal purposes. If you’re a truck driver who crosses state boundaries, it’s wise to know which local law enforcement numbers to call for each state you travel through.

Exchange Information

You’ll need information to contact the other driver’s insurance company. Make sure you exchange this information before departing the scene of the accident.

Exchange contact, insurance, and driver’s license information with the other driver. Include their company name, contact number, and any relevant details. Semi-truck accidents can sometimes be tricky to report and follow through with insurance, but having the other driver’s contact details will help the process.

Gather Evidence

An essential part of dealing with a semi-truck accident is gathering enough evidence to report the accident to your insurance company.

If it’s safe to do so, take photos of the accident scene, the positions of the vehicles, any damage sustained, and road or weather conditions. Taking videos with your mobile phone will also be useful.
The more detailed your documentation is, the better, as this will all help make the insurance claims process go faster. So, take your time carefully documenting the scene of the accident.

Obtain Witnesses

If there were any witnesses to the accident, ask them for their contact information. Their statements can provide valuable support for your case.

While this isn’t always possible or necessary, having an extra witness statement is always helpful to help with any legal claims or police reports.

Limit Communication

While exchanging information with the involved parties is essential, avoid discussing fault or assigning blame at the scene. Stick to the facts when talking to the police, other drivers, and witnesses.

Always try to keep a cool head and focus purely on the accident and how best to deal with it. While your emotional condition can be difficult after a semi-truck accident, staying calm and collected will make the process easier to manage.

Contact Your Insurance Company

As soon as you’ve dealt with the accident, notify your insurance company about what happened. They will guide you on the necessary steps for filing a claim and getting compensation.

Having reliable insurance is one of the most essential parts of starting a trucking company. Once you’ve found the right commercial truck insurance provider, ensure you know how to reach them in an emergency.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if you don’t feel seriously injured, seeking medical attention after an accident is always advisable. Some injuries might not be immediately apparent and could become more significant as time passes.

Avoid Settlement Agreements

While this differs from case to case, it’s generally best to avoid settlement agreements immediately.

Do not sign any settlement agreements or release forms from the trucking company or their insurance representatives without consulting your legal counsel. Make sure you deal with a lawyer when going through settlement negotiations. This will help you get the best deal and compensation for your situation.

You must consult an attorney if the accident resulted in significant injuries, damages, or disputes. Try to consult with a personal injury attorney specializing in commercial vehicle accidents. They often offer a free consultation – so make use of these.


Semi-truck accidents may be the last thing you’ll ever want to deal with. However, they sometimes cannot be avoided.

Knowing how to deal with these accidents will help you get through the accident faster and safer. Following the proper steps will also make it easier to get an appropriate settlement after the accident.

If you need to purchase a new semi-truck, you may need to find the right financing solution to make it happen. Get in touch with us at Mission Financial Services, where we help all kinds of commercial truck drivers access the financing they need to purchase a semi-truck.

Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyers You Should Know About

Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyers You Should Know About

Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyers You Should Know About

Navigating a car accident involving commercial vehicles is often challenging. Still, the right commercial vehicle accident lawyers can make things less complicated.

With the right commercial car accident lawyers, going through the claims process to get adequate compensation from an insurance company becomes simple. The lawyers guide you while handling almost everything on your behalf.

There are two types of commercial vehicle accident lawyers you should know about. We discuss this in detail below and share a few insights on what to consider when looking for a commercial vehicle accident lawyer.

Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyers: Why Do You Need One?

If you find yourself in an accident involving commercial vehicles, the two types of commercial accident lawyers you can turn to for help in seeking compensation include:

  • Regular car accident lawyers
  • Commercial truck accident lawyers

Both types of accident lawyers fall under the category of personal injury lawyers. Still, they differ in terms of the cases they work on.

Regular car accident lawyers work on all vehicular accident cases, including those involving commercial motor vehicles like buses and taxicabs. In contrast, commercial truck accident lawyers specialize in truck accident cases.

For accidents involving commercial trucks, such as semi-trucks, tanker trucks, and delivery trucks, it’s best to get an experienced truck accident lawyer instead of a regular car accident lawyer.

truck accident

Why You Need Commercial Truck Accident Lawyers for Truck Accident Cases

You should get experienced trucking accident lawyers for all truck accident lawsuits and not any other type of personal injury lawyer for the following reasons:

Truck Accidents Are Fatal

The size and weight of large trucks make truck crashes more fatal than accidents involving other vehicles. Truck accident victims may suffer life-changing injuries requiring immediate medical attention and additional long-term treatments.

An experienced truck accident attorney is better positioned to calculate the amount of settlement you deserve based on the damages incurred. These may be:

  • Economic damages: These include current and future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, property damage, and legal fees.
  • Non-economic damages: These include mental anguish, fear, anxiety, and any other emotional pain and suffering experienced because of the accident.

Truck accident attorneys can also help you access medical treatment on a lien basis if you cannot pay for medical expenses upfront.

Truck Accidents Are Complicated

Semi-truck accidents happen due to a combination of factors. This means more than one party might be legally responsible for an accident involving large commercial vehicles.

For example, a truck crash may occur due to driver error. Say the truck driver failed to stop on time and collided with other commercial vehicles. The error might have happened because the truck driver was asleep or the vehicle malfunctioned.

In this case, four different entities might be liable for the truck crash:

  • The truck driver: Was the driver driving under the influence?
  • Truck company: Did they require the truck driver to be on the road for too many consecutive driving hours, leading to driver fatigue?
  • Truck manufacturer: Did the malfunction occur due to a manufacturing defect?
  • Truck maintenance company: Did the malfunction happen as a result of poor maintenance?

It’s easier for experienced commercial vehicle attorneys to identify all the parties responsible for the truck collision above and pursue compensation from each one.

Regular personal injury lawyers might find this challenging. So, your chances of getting maximum compensation from multiple liable entities are higher when you get a trucking accident lawyer.

Tractor Trailer Accident Cases Are Tedious and Time-Consuming

The stakes are higher in trucking accident cases than in other personal injury cases. Because of this, insurance companies usually employ underhand tactics to make truck accident victims settle for less than they deserve.

Some of these tactics include intimidation and delayed responses to an accident claim. Truck companies might also put up a fight. They’ll try to interfere with the case by wiping out evidence incriminating them or their commercial drivers.

You need aggressive legal representation to handle several insurers of all liable parties identified in a truck accident claim. This can be tedious, time-consuming, and overwhelming for regular car accident lawyers. On the other hand, commercial truck accident lawyers have mastered truck accident law. They can help you quickly navigate trucking accident cases.

What to Look For in a Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer

Consider the following factors to find the best truck accident lawyers when you need one:

Detailed Free Consultation

Most law firms offer free case evaluations for truck crash victims. You can always tell how much effort an accident law firm will put into your case from how they handle this initial free consultation.


An accident law firm handling sizable commercial truck accident cases for decades likely has more experience than a newly established truck accident law firm.

History of Success

How many truck wreck cases has the commercial vehicle accident attorney worked on, including those they’ve taken to trial and succeeded? The answer to this question is often a good indicator of a lawyer’s expertise.

Availability of Resources

Proving fault in commercial truck accidents requires resources. You want to ensure your legal team has enough resources to handle your case. The right resources should include expert witnesses like economists, truck accident reconstructionists, and trucking industry investigators.


Ensure you understand how a law firm charges for their services before you work with them. Usually, truck accident attorneys operate on a contingency. They’ll take a cut from your settlement.

Final Thoughts

Accidents involving semi-trucks are common even though FMCSA enforces strict safety regulations for trucking companies and their commercial drivers. Their impact is devastating and can lead to severe injuries that affect your work.

You need a qualified commercial truck accident lawyer to help you get the settlement you deserve for all damages incurred in a crash. This might not remove the pain, but it can ease the financial burden of dealing with the aftermath. So, you can focus on bouncing back.

To learn more about finding the right semi-truck accident lawyer for your case, check out our blog.

Can I Buy A Semi Truck Without CDL

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 commercial vehicle loan

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 a cdl

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!


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