What Documents are Required to Ship a Car?

Whether you are going on vacation or planning to move across the country, figuring out how to transport your vehicle is stressful. Car transport companies aim to take some of that stress off of your shoulders by offering fast and affordable shipping.

Before you can ship a vehicle, you need to know the documents required to ship a car. Keep reading to learn more.

Bill of Lading

One of the most important documents required to ship a car is the bill of lading, sometimes referred to as a BOL.

The auto transport bill of lading refers to the proof of delivery and notes the condition of the vehicle upon pickup and delivery.

Vehicle owners should make note of any vehicle damage on the bill of lading. Without this, insurance companies won't have proof of an issue and won't pay for repairs.

The car shipping company will provide you with the bill of lading.

Keep in mind that the shipper will take photos and document the condition of your car before hitting the road. It's recommended for drivers to take their own pictures to settle any possible disputes once the car is delivered.

Insurance Terms and Conditions

Auto transport carriers won't typically ask you for your vehicle insurance. However, since most car owners must have insurance anyway, it's not a bad idea to brush up on your policy at this time.

More importantly, you'll want to ensure that the auto transport carrier has insurance. Coverage amounts vary by company. Take the time to make sure the transporters you choose are adequately covered.

Although your vehicle will be covered by the carrier's insurance, this insurance doesn't cover everything. Transporters likely won't cover "Acts of God." This is damage done to a vehicle due to nature-related events like the weather.

Let's say your car is damaged by hail during the shipping process. If you don't have your own personal auto insurance, you'll be stuck paying for these damages out of pocket.

To prevent this issue, choose a close auto transport solution.

Many companies have car shipping rules that say your vehicle can't be shipped with items inside. This is to protect your car from getting broken into and to get the weight of the car down to a minimum.

Your belongings aren't covered by the auto transport company's insurance policy.

Before signing an agreement with any business, check the terms and conditions of the coverage. You'll want to be well aware of the process you'll need to complete if your car is damaged in transit.

Lienholder Authorization

If your car shipper has to use a sea port to ship your vehicle, you will need a lienholder authorization. For example, if you are shipping your car internationally or to Hawaii, the process will require a sea port.

When you are still paying off a vehicle loan, the lienholder will require you to get formal authorization before shipping a car. The lienholder is the financial institution that is providing you with a car loan.

Even if you aren't shipping to Hawaii or overseas, you can contact your financial institution to be sure that you don't need authorization when you ship a car across country.

Absent Owner Authorization

If your car shipper is going through a port, you'll need absent owner documents. These requirements to ship a car are necessary if someone else is picking up a car in your name at the delivery destination.

An absent owner letter needs notarization. Other information that the documents will need to include are the auto transport company, the full name of the person picking up the car, and the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

Title and Registration

Title and registration are rare car shipping requirements. A lot of companies won't ask for these documents, so it will really depend on the business you choose to work with.

The reason these documents aren't needed is that the vehicle isn't being driven on the road. Even with open auto transport, license tabs aren't always necessary.

A vehicle title signifies that you own your car. Registration refers to the legally required documents for your car in the state you live in.

If you've ever wondered how the police know who you are when they run your plates, it's because of your car title and registration.

Photo ID

When you hire a car shipping service, a photo ID is a preference they may or may not require. Some companies use photo IDs for their internal databases.

If a business does request a photo ID, a driver's license will suffice. A passport will also meet this requirement. No matter the photo ID you choose, the document will need to be unexpired.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car?

After learning about the requirements to ship a car, you might be wondering about pricing.

The cost to ship a car depends on various factors. Many companies offer quotes so you can get an idea of the total cost of car shipping before agreeing to anything.

The factors that affect pricing are:

  • Time of year
  • Weather
  • Distance
  • Service Requested (closed or open hauls)
  • Delivery time frame
  • Vehicle size

Use this car shipping calculator to discover how much it will cost you to ship a car with Nexus.

Documents Required to Ship a Car Within USA

There are different requirements to ship a car that mostly depend on the transport company you hire and where you are shipping your vehicle to.

Car shipping requirements within the USA are minimal unless you are shipping to Hawaii. If you ship your car to Hawaii, you will need a lienholder authorization from your financial institution.

You will always need a bill of lading and the company should always have adequate insurance coverage. Rarely will you need a title, registration, and photo ID.

For help with setting up a car shipment, contact us now.

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