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Getting your own permits to ship your boat

Getting your own permits to ship your boat.

So you’re thinking about shipping your boat yourself. No doubt it’s much cheaper. But how does one go about getting the required permits to do so? Were do you go? How much do they cost? What kind of documentation will I need? How much insurance is required? Do I need anything else? These are all questions that you’re thinking about and we’re going to answer them for you in this article.

The maximum dimensions allowed.

To clarify anything transported over any road in North America requires a permit from the state traveling in if:

  • Exceeds 102″ in width (8′ 6″).
  • Exceeds 11′ 7″ in height (most states and provinces).
  • Exceeds 65′ in length (most states and provinces).
  • Exceeds a combined loaded weight of 80,000 lbs.

If your boat loaded on a trailer is less than the above, hook up, check your brakes and lights because you are ready for the road. If you are in excess of any of the above then you’ve got your work cut out for you so continue reading…

In search of the proper transport permits.

Obtaining the proper permits from most states and provinces is not easy for a private party. You don’t want to deal with them and they don’t want to deal with you is pretty much the situation. You might be told you need a DOT number or a MC number. You may be told you need huge amounts of insurance or a bond. Who knows? You are a private party that is asking the state for permission to transport something over the legal limits on their roads, risking public property (bridges, overpasses, etc.) and in their traffic. Most likely you are not a professional truck driver and they know it. They don’t want you on their roads and for good reason.

So how do I get permits to ship my boat?

You have two options for getting permits from each state you will be traveling in. Let’s have a close look at them so you can decide what is best for you.

  1.  Using a permit service. A permit service deals in nothing but oversize and heavy haul trucking permits as a business. They have a working relationship with the staff that issues the permit. They know exactly what information you will need and have you provide them with it. That information is then put on each application for each state and filed. As soon as they are approved they forward the permits to you. They will charge you a fee for using their service. This fee ranges from state to state depending on what the state charges and the difficulty level required to obtain it. These fees range from $15 to $50 per state in addition to the fee charged for the actual permit. The average permit fee for shipping a boat that is under 45,000 lbs. is around $40.00 in most states. While this is the more expensive option it sure takes the headache out of this task and we recommend it. To speak with a permit agent click here.
  2. Do it yourself permits (DIY). Doing your own oversize permits for shipping your boat is certainly an option. If you’ve shipped your vessel in this state before with the same vehicle you plan on using this time you are already set up with the state. You should be able to get the permit you need relatively easy. If you are a paperwork wizard and used to dealing with government offices and being on hold then this option might be fore you. You can certainly save a few bucks in doing them yourself but while not trying to discourage you, consider yourself warned. It’s not easy. For a good starting point for DIY boat shipping permits click here.
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