How To Tow My Boat Legally?


Did you just get a boat? Or have you had a boat and you are finally ready to take it on a nice trip, maybe going to Florida for the summer?

No matter what your situation we can help you out! Do you want travel to another state or through multiple states? Is you boat wider that 102″?  If so, you will need a hauling permit. What is that you ask ? That is what we are here to help you with! This short blog post will be able to tell you how you can haul your load (boat) if you are not a regular trucking company.

Boat Permits

Permits can get pretty expensive if you don’t know what you are looking to buy! No worries we can help you figure everything out. There are various insurance requirements that you may need, and various permits may be needed.

US DOT Number

First thing you want to know is how much your registered tow vehicle weighs, and the amount of weight you can haul with your truck and trailer. You might even need a US DOT number. What is that ? If your registered weight is more then 10,000 lbs you will need one of these. A US DOT number is the United States Department of Transportation number. If a DOT number is required you must apply for a number. When doing this you will apply as a “registrant”. This is because you are an individual, you are not starting a commercial transportation carrier service. Just because you have to apply for this does not mean you have to pay (many places won’t tell you that). A DOT number is free! If you need helping obtaining a DOT permit we can also apply assist in this. The only things that you will have to pay for is the permits of the states you are actually going through. This also depends on what route you are taking, not all roads allow oversize / wide loads. Not sure of it ? Call us and we can help you out with it all.


The next important thing is your GVW. The Gross vehicle Weight is the total weight once you have added the boat, equipment, and etc. on the trailer. If your GVW weight is more the 26,000 lbs you will most likely need to get a trip and fuel permit as well. Most of you who are pulling your own personal boat are using a standard pickup truck or SUV and you will not have to worry about trip and fuel permits. A trip and fuel permit is an temporary registration and fuel tax permit. Each state varies in the amount for the temporary trip and fuel permits. This is why it is important to know your route and which states you will travel through.


After you have gotten a DOT number and you understand all insurance requirements and regulations you must determine what states you will need permits for. Most people will not need a trip and fuel permit due to their size but still need permits for an oversize load. The maximum legal sizes for a load is 65′ long, 13′ 6″ tall, and 8′ 6″ wide, and a gross vehicle weight of 80,000 lbs. If you discover that any of your dimensions go over these requirements then you will need a oversize load permit for each state that you travel through. Most likely your boat will only exceed one of these and that is the width, if your boat is wider that 102″ you will be required to have a permit.


Now that you have your dimensions figured out, it’s time to figure out which routes you will be taking. Determining the best route is very important. This is where you can save the most money! If you take the right routes you can avoid tolls and avoid roads where you may need a pilot car. You’re probably wondering what a pilot car is, truth is you already know what it is but with a different name. A pilot car, or an escort is a certified vehicle that must lead and follow an oversize load during a trip. Each state has different regulations on pilot cars. Each state also has different regulations on where at and what times an oversize load can pass through. Also when determining a route we can help you arrive at your destination with little to no interruptions and delays.

 Information Needed

Here is the information that will be needed to order permits:

 Tow Vehicle

  • Year
  • Make
  • Model
  • Complete VIN – Vehicle Identification Number 17 digits
  • License Plate Number
  • State of Registration
  • Length – Bumper to Bumper
  • Axle Spacings – Center of Hub to Center of Hub
  • How Many Axles
  • Registered Weight


  • Same Information As Above


  • Year
  • Make
  • Model
  • Complete VIN
  • Length
  • Wide
  • Height
  • Weight

 Overall Dimensions

  • Length – Front Bumper to Longest Point of Boat or Trailer
  • Width
  • Height – Overall Height – Highest Point of Boat When Loaded on Trailer
  • Overhang – If Any of The Boat Extends Past The Front or Rear of Trailer
  • Total Weight – Tow Vehicle, Trailer and Boat

Other Needed Information

  • Origin – Address Where you begin
  • Destination – Ending Point
  • Routes Desired – As Detailed As Possible or We Can Provide You With Detailed Routing

What’s Next

Once the permits have been ordered the waiting period can be up to 24-48 hours.  The permits can be emailed or faxed anywhere you would like. We do understand that hauling an oversize load can be a little challenging at first but we here at CRC International Permit Service are here to help and assist you any way we can.

We are open from 8am to 5pm Monday thru Friday and can be reached at 888-379-2525, our email is

Give us a call and we can talk, help you get your boat where it needs to be!


Tagged on:         

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *