New Year Record Keeping

Last week we talked about how busy the New Year can be. There are permits to renew, licenses to get and every kind and color of sticker that needs to go on the truck door. This week we’re following up and talking briefly about the record keeping requirements.

Did You Double Check?

Last week I told everybody to double check all their permits, licensing and everything else in the glove box. Did you do it? Are you up to date??

If you’ve got everything you need to start the New Year, then it’s a great time to get your record keeping requirements in order too.  I recommend everybody keep a 3 ring binder for each year in their truck. Make a section inside for each permit, license or important piece of paper you have. Below is a table with my list of suggested sections, the expiration date and the record keeping requirements.



Record Keeping Requirement

Commercial Drivers License (CDL) Check your CDL Each state has a different renewal process and time frame. Check with your state for details. [i] [ii]
Registration Cab Cards Single State or International Registration Plan (IRP) Check your Cab Cards Each state is different – so check with your local tag office to be safe. [iii]
Insurance Check your Policy Your insurance will want to see some of the records referenced here so keep them handy!

The information above contains things that you may be able to use from year to year. They may just need to be moved from one binder to the next until they expire.


The information below contains things that usually expire annually. These are the things that will stay in your binder when you put it away at the end of the year.

Form 2290 June 30th 3 years [iv]
IFTA License December 31st 4 years from filing date [v]
Hazmat Permit July 1st 3 years [vi]
New Mexico Permit December 31st 4 years [vii]
New York Highway Use Tax (HUT) No Current Expiration 4 years [viii]Seires 21 permits have no current expiration.[ix]
Oregon permit December 31st 3 years [x]
Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) December 31st 3 years. [xi]

These are just the basics and by no means a complete record of everything you need to keep records of for trucking. I didn’t even mention log books or other DOT stuff yet!!

The Bottom Line

In the end, I recommend that you keep each years’ binder for 5 years. That way no matter what comes up and no matter who asks for documents you’ve got everything you need ready to go. It’s important to remember that if you’re using records for more than one thing you need to keep them for the longest period of time. For example, you might use your daily log books for your IFTA quarterly reporting. In this case, you would need to keep your Log Books for the IFTA audit period – 4 years. That’s just one example, the important point is that by keeping EVERYTHING a little bit longer in the event of an audit you should have everything you need. You can even recycle your binders! Buy one a year each year for the next 5, and then reuse them one year at a time.

Keep your Records Safe

Be sure to keep your binders in a safe place. You want to be sure you don’t loose it, but you also want to be sure nobody gets their hands on your personal information. At the end of your record keeping time frame, you should destroy your records. Personally, I would have a bonfire, although shredding will work too.