shipping documents

Car Shipping Documents: A Complete Checklist

When you think of the history of the auto industry, Detroit and Henry Ford might come to mind. However, in the 1890s, Cleveland was the automobile capital of the United States. This is largely because of Alexander Winton.

Winton became known for his automotive design innovations, but not many know that he created the first auto carrier.

Auto shipping has come a long way since then, but there are still some unknowns about the process. What shipping documents do you need to ship a car? Keep reading to find out.

Bill of Lading

One of the most important shipping documents required is the bill of lading. The bill of lading, AKA a BOL, delivery proof along with a document of your vehicle’s condition during pickup and delivery.

A car shipping company can provide you with this document before you ship your car. If you fail to record your car’s condition on the BOL, insurance companies won’t pay for repairs.

The bill of lading serves as proof of the problem during transit.

More commonly, the bill of lading will be called the vehicle condition report. The driver that moves your car will inspect the exterior of the vehicle and document what they see.

The inspection is completed to note existing defects and damage. A driver might take photos as well.

Even though the driver will do this for you, it’s recommended to take your own photos and notes about your vehicle’s condition before shipping it. This will help settle any possible disputes if damage occurs while the car is in transit.

The person arriving to pick up the delivery will receive a copy of the report and check if the condition of the car matches the document details. This person will also sign off on the report if the two documents are a match.

Terms and Conditions of the Auto Shipper’s Insurance

Another one of the auto transport documents to consider is insurance terms and conditions. However, the shipping company you choose should have insurance to cover damages if they are to occur.

Since you should already have car insurance, you won’t need supplemental insurance of your own to ship a car.

The auto transport carrier will have certain coverage options, but the amounts can vary.

If your vehicle isn’t completely covered by their insurance, it’s best to check into your own policy to see if your car will be covered during the shipping process.

Before officially signing a contract with a vehicle shipper, check the terms and conditions of the insurance information provided by the transport service.

Not all shipping companies will have adequate insurance for the make and model of your vehicle.

Although car shipping businesses take care of vehicles that they ship, there are outside factors that can impact the condition of your car. This is especially true if you choose open vehicle transport.

Lienholder Authorization

The lienholder, aka the financial institution that is loaning you money to pay for the vehicle, might need you to get obtain authorization before shipping.

You only need lienholder authorization if the car shipper has to use a seaport to transfer your vehicle. This rule typically only applies to shipments to and from Hawaii. Double-check with your financial institution to be on the safe side.

If your vehicle is fully paid off, you don’t have to worry about a lienholder authorization.

Another authorization you might need is the absent owner authorization.

The absent owner document is only required if your car is being shipped through a port. You will use this paperwork if someone else has to pick up your car when it arrives at the destination point.

Proof of Car Owner Insurance

There are different car shipping rules depending on the company you choose to work with. Some companies require proof of insurance while others don’t.

A lot of transport companies won’t ask for this and are willing to ship junk cars without needing insurance information.

Insurance, registration, title, and current license tabs aren’t usually necessary. This is because the vehicle isn’t actually being driven on the road. The process only involves transporting a vehicle from Point A to Point B.

In some cases, the customer is asked to meet the driver at a location different from the original delivery spot. This occurs when drivers deal with weight restrictions on certain roads.

The meeting spot might be a few blocks or miles away so the car has to be on the road for a small period of time.

In this situation, you’ll need to register your vehicle and receive a title. The title proves that the car has a legal registration in your home state.

Photo ID (Driver’s License)

Car shipping documentation like a photo ID and driver’s license are rarely required to ship a vehicle. This rule will also depend on whether the transport company wants this information.

If they do require a photo ID, companies will use it for their internal databases. A business may also require a copy of your driver’s license if you pay using a payment option outside of the company’s policy.

Car Shipping Documents to Have Ready

When you need to transport a car across the country, certain shipping documents are required.

Mainly, you’ll need a vehicle inspection report to document the condition of the car before and after transport.

If you are shipping your car to Hawaii, get a lienholder authorization. You’ll also need an absent owner document if someone other than you is picking up the car at the destination.

To know exactly what you’ll need to work with a specific company, don’t be afraid to ask! Get a free estimate from Luxy Transport now to get started with your car shipment.

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