Each state has its own laws and specifications for registering a semi truck.
Some are more friendly to small businesses, while others offer more potential growth.
When selecting the state to license your semi truck, be sure to evaluate taxes, fees, and the requirements for identification.
Popular Places in the U.S. where so many Semi Trucks are Licensed:
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You can find out more statistics here based on 2019 vehicle registrations.
Table of Contents
Why are so many Semi Trucks Licensed in Maine?
There are many semi trucks licensed in the state of Maince since it has some of the most lenient laws regarding truck registrations, and some of the cheapest fees in the country. This draws a large number of out-of-state drivers and residents to go to Maine to register their semi trucks and fleets.
The price is certainly appealing for many semi truck owners, the convenience is another benefit.
Maine has some of the most lenient laws about registering including online renewal, online initial registration of up to 100 vehicles, and registration that lasts longer than one year.
For many, this is appealing because it saves time, hassle, and money.
Is it Cheap to get a Semi Truck Licensed in Maine?
Maine is one of the cheapest states in the nation to register a semi truck. The state is estimated to make between $6-$15 million every year just from registration fees. This is because drivers and semi truck owners recognize the long term financial and business benefits from registering in Maine.
This is thanks to the state’s user-friendly and business-friendly policies.
Estimates of the some 810,000-1.15 million trailers registered in Maine, only around 26,000 have a legal residency in Maine.
This means that most of the registered trucks are not Maine residents.
How much does it Cost to have a Semi Truck Licensed in Maine?
As stated above, Maine is one of the cheapest states to register your vehicle.
Maine charges $35.00 for registering your vehicle in the state. This, in comparison to other states, is significantly lower.
The state of Maine offers multiple-year renewal options for those who wish to save time.
According to the state website, a trailer weighing over 2,000 costs $22.00 for one year and $43.00 for 2 years.
The ease of renewal which can be done prior to expiration online attracts many customers. You can view this chart with details for different trucks and registration fees for Maine.
How much does it Cost to have a Semi Trailer Licensed in Maine?
Maine requires a fee of $10.50 per year for a trailer under 2,000 pounds and $21.00 for trailers under 2,000 pounds for 2 years.
For trailers over 2,000 pounds, the fees are $20.00 per year and $40.00 for 2 years.
For registration, you must also pay taxes on the purchase price of your trailer. This tax is 5.5% of the price of purchase.
You can view the details of the costs for registering your trailer in Maine.
Is the Trucking Business good in Maine?
If you consider only the number of semi trucks and trucking companies registered in Maine (which is much higher than most states), Maine seems like a goldmine for truck drivers.
But, remember most semi trucks registered in Maine are owned by out-of-state residents.
So, how is it to actually drive in Maine and the North East? Trucking in Maine is a vital part of the business of the region.
The primary export from Maine is their famous red lobsters which are shipped from Maine all over the nation. Maine is difficult terrain, however, and can be difficult to navigate.
The northeast is mountainous and rugged, and the portions which aren’t (Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the tri-state area) are very heavily trafficked so it can be time-consuming to travel here.
All in all, the trucking business is good in Maine, you just need to keep some of the difficulties in mind when making your decisions.
Why are so many Trucks Registered in Indiana?
Many semi trucks are registered in Indiana since it has one of the lowest registration fees, ease of access, and efficiency. Indiana is also popular due to its location as a major trade route in the U.S.A.
Indiana is located on two major interstate highways of the midwest.
Highway 40 and route 231 cross in this state which is a fast track road for many truck drivers wishing to get goods from one side of the country to another.
Additionally, there are many shipping hubs dotted all throughout the state which makes it ideal for drivers as many shipments are available. This makes finding work easier.
Is it Cheap to get a Semi Truck Licensed in Indiana?
Indiana is cheap in comparison to other states and has a good shipping center for trucking companies looking to create a central hub.
It is a little more difficult to register your trucks in Indiana than in Maine, and for interstate traveling semi trucks and out-of-state operators, you need to file an IRP (International Registration Plan).
Additionally, you will need to have an insignia or logo for your company in this state which is done to deter theft. Although most of these requirements do not cost extra in fees, they do take up time.
Despite this, however, Indiana remains the 3rd most popular state for semi trucks to be registered, right after Oklahoma and Illinois.
The cheapness of the registration is not the primary attraction for this state. Rather, the location is ideal.
How much does it Cost to have a Semi Truck Licensed in Indiana?
Indiana is a little more expensive than Maine and other states, but it is still not incredibly expensive.
For a 16,000 to just under 26,000-pound semi tractor it costs $180.00 to register the tractor. For slightly smaller tractors it costs $144.00 for the year.
You can find a detailed list of all sizes of semi tractor costs here.
How much does it Cost to have a Semi Trailer Licensed Indiana?
Indiana operates on a gross weight measurement for trailers. This means it depends upon the weight of the trailer, rather than there being a flat fee for trailers.
There is an average fee of $30.00 annually for each trailer registered in Indiana. But, this can vary based on the size.
A trailer of less than 3,000 pounds is $16.35, and a larger of less than 9,000 pounds is $25.35.
You can refer to the link in the above section to find out more about these costs.
Is the Trucking Business Good in Indiana?
Indiana is a great state for trucking businesses. Unlike Maine which is appealing primarily for its ease of registration processes and cheap costs, Indiana is appealing for its terrain and location.
It is conveniently located on Highway 40 and route 231 which means most trucking routes for long-distance travel cut through this state.
Although the IRP and the logo registration program do make for an added step when registering your vehicles, it actually benefits many truck drivers in the long run.
Big companies such as UPS have close to 6,000 of their trucks registered in this state which is second only to Illinois which has 8,000.
And, Amazon has chosen it for 2 of its large hubs in the midwest.
Why are there so many Semi Trucks in Arkansas?
There are many semi trucks in Arkansas since it is a hot spot for shipping. Arkansas has Memphis which is located along major interstate highways, train stations, railways, airports, and the Mississippi River. It also has lenient laws on dumping and is attractive to truck drivers and companies.
The city of Memphis (different from Memphis Tennessee) is a hot spot for the west.
It connects the East Coast to the West Coast. Without this hot spot shipping hub, much of the country will not have food and other conveniences taken for granted on a daily basis.
Is it Cheap to get a Semi Truck Licensed in Arkansas?
Arkansas has specific guidelines and costs associated with different-sized vehicles. The costs are typically associated with the weight of the vehicle and the type of road they will be traveling on.
These fees are more for pipeline semi trucks and trucks carrying lumber due to the damage to the roadways.
However, the state law makes it clear that the rates were kept low in order to foster business in areas where it is hard for businesses to develop due to roadways.
You can read about this specification here in the highlighted yellow.
How much does it Cost to have a Semi Truck Licensed in Arkansas?
Arkansas has different fees for the weight of the semi truck and its class. The bigger the more it costs.
For Class C semi trucks of more than 20,000 pounds, the yearly fee is $169.00.
For smaller Class B trucks of more than 19,000 pounds but less than 20,001 pounds, the cost is $124.00.
The state has an excellent cheat sheet for figuring out the costs here.
How much does it Cost to have a Semi Trailer Licensed in Arkansas?
Semi trailers are registered by weight rather than just the size or class of the trailer.
For class 2 vehicles used for commercial purposes, the cost per 1,000 pounds of loaded weight is $6.50. This is for vehicles registered as Class B of 6,001-20,000 pounds.
Larger semi trucks cost $8.45 per 1,000 loaded pounds. This is for semi trucks registered as Class C between 20,001-40,000 pounds.
The legal website Justia.com has an excellent copy of this code for further details.
Is the Trucking Business Good in Arkansas?
Due to the location, more than the ease and cheapness of registration, Arkansas has a great trucking business.
Being located near major airports, railways, and its close proximity to the Mississippi it is a great location for semi truck companies.
However, there are a lot of empty spaces as well in Arkansas, so you will want to have your hub close to the cities, which is where most are currently located.
Why do so many Trucks have Oklahoma License Plates?
There are many semi trucks that have Oklahoma license plates since it has one of the cheapest registration fees, and for a long time did not follow up on collecting the interstate fees. This was a major attraction to truck companies since it was far cheaper, however, this is now changing.
Is it Cheap to get a Semi Truck Licensed in Oklahoma ?
Oklahoma is a very popular state for licensing semi trucks. It ranks number 2 on the highest number of semi trucks registered in the U.S.A.
This is due largely to its cheap costs, low taxes, and no requirement for in-state residency. But, Oklahoma did get into some hot water with other states which noticed significant losses in revenue to Oklahoma.
The state was forced to increase regulations and some costs associated with registration and licensing, but it remains the 2nd most popular state for semi trucks.
How much does it cost to have a Semi Truck Licensed in Oklahoma ?
Oklahoma has a tag system for semi trucks. For the first 4 years, it costs $96.00 plus insurance to tag your semi truck.
The next 5-8 years for registration costs $86.00 plus insurance. This price continues to decrease over time, with the next 9-12 years only costing $66.00.
You can read a complete list here.
How much does it Cost to have a Semi Trailer Licensed in Oklahoma?
Oklahoma has fairly cheap trailer registration fees which draw many to have their vehicles registered and licensed here.
According to the Oklahoma state website, it costs $48.00 to register your semi trailer for the first year. All subsequent years, it costs $6.00 per trailer.
You can find this information on Oklahoma’s website here.
Is the Trucking Business Good in Oklahoma?
Trucking business is fairly good in Oklahoma.
The business has been struggling the last couple of years, however, due to the great recession of 2008. The state has never fully recovered and thus business in general struggles there.
However, the trucking business is one of the best industries in the state.
Most truck drivers make close to $40,000 a year which is almost double the state’s average.
Which State should you Register your Semi Truck in?
The state you choose to register in depends upon the needs of your company or independent needs.
Maine is one of the best growing trucking states which has its own opportunities for truck drivers to benefit from and has some of the cheapest fees.
However, Indiana offers the best as far as affordable fees and registration coupled with a great location for building your company.
It has great locations for hubs and a growing industry with big companies such as Amazon and UPS.
Overall, Indiana is the best state due to it having a balance of everything.