Interstate vs. Intrastate: What is the Difference?

Are you a new truck driver with your CDL(commercial driver’s license) and ready to hit the road? Well, if you own your trucking company, you will need to make sure you have the right type of authority before you start moving, and that largely depends on if you will be operating intrastate vs. interstate. Two similar terms you may hear in the trucking industry are interstate commerce and intrastate commerce. These two are often confused so here we will be highlighting the key differences between them for a better understanding of each. The biggest difference here for commercial motor vehicles is the types of authority you are required to carry depending if you will cross state lines or not for your loads. Let’s take a closer look so you know which fits your business type the best.


What is Interstate Commerce?

Interstate commerce is defined as the buying, selling, or moving of products, services, or money across state borders. This is the more common of the two in the trucking industry as the majority of trucking are running long-haul loads from one state to another.


What is Intrastate Commerce?

According to federal motor carrier regulations, the term refers to any trade, traffic, or transportation within the boundaries of any state that is not described in the term “interstate commerce.” This involves trade, traffic, or transportation contained within the boundaries of a single state and not running loads from one state to another.


What Regulations Do Truckers Need to Follow for Interstate Trucking?

This option allows you to run loads more freely within multiple different states, but there are more regulations that come with those freedoms that truckers must adhere to. On the side of licensing requirements, you will need to acquire both an MC number from the FMCSA and a USDOT number from the Department of Transportation to allow you to legally run with interstate operating authority.


What Regulations Do Truckers Need to Follow for Intrastate Trucking?

On the opposite side of interstate trucking, intrastate, the operations require less as you will be remaining within the bounds of a single state for your delivered loads. Due to only needing to operate within one state you will be able to operate without an MC number or interstate authority granted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Instead, you would be able to operate your business under a DOT number only. Either way, you will need to check with the DOT what other classifications you will be required to carry for your specific type of business. If you will be hauling loads with hazardous materials, for example, there would be federal motor carrier safety regulations that you would need to adhere to beyond that of MC and DOT authorities.


Our team of trucking experts is ready to help. Give them a call today to find out more about what regulations your new trucking company needs to follow. 913-393-6110