Illinois Commercial Truck Insurance Requirements

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Last Modified: June 7, 2024

What you need to know about Illinois Commercial Trucking Insurance

Illinois Commercial Truck Insurance Requirements for new Motor Carriers start with Federal Requirements set by FMCSA.

FMCSA is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration which oversees the Department of Transportation.

Commercial trucks hauling freight across state lines must first register with FMCSA.


Commercial Trucks operating Intrastate in Illinois are also required to get a Federal DOT number.

Here’s the FMCSA registration portal to get your DOT number.

Both FMCSA and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) need proof of minimum Commercial Auto Liability Insurance in order to legally haul freight for hire.

Why is Commercial Truck Insurance so Expensive for New Startup Motor Carriers in Illinois?

One of the reasons Commercial Truck Insurance for new startups in any state is so expensive is because of the scarcity of insurance providers.

Be sure to run estimates on your commercial truck insurance premiums with a professional truck insurance broker BEFORE you register for your DOT.  Insurance is likely to be one of your highest expenses as a new startup Illinois Motor Carrier.

Thankfully, the trucking insurance industry is undergoing some positive transformations for new start up Owner Operators and small Motor Carriers in Illinois.

A new Powerhouse trucking insurance provider has emerged to offer coverage for new trucking startups in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Texas and Florida through select trucking specialist agents.

They’ve been providing very attractive premiums for most of our Owner Ops and small Motor Carriers, and we’re excited to have them on board with CIS.

15 minutes really could save you BIG $$$ on your Trucking Insurance!

Cargo Vans, Sprinters, HotShots, Straights & Big Rigs are included in the new Trucking Insurance program
Cargo Vans, Sprinters, HotShots, Straights & Big Rigs are included in the new Trucking Insurance program

Required Proof of Insurance

After you purchase your truck insurance policy, the company sends proof of coverage directly to FMCSA with a BMC-91X Filing.

An MCS-90 is just the endorsement to your policy which guarantees insurance to FMCSA.

This results in the final approval of your MC, Motor Carrier operating authority.

They will also send your Form E proof of insurance to IDOT.


What IS Commercial Auto Liability

Commercial Auto Liability includes both Bodily Injury and Property Damage:


Bodily Injury Liability is insurance if you cause an accident that injures or kills someone.

It will pay for their medical bills, rehab, long term care, funeral expenses and lost earnings as well as pain and suffering.


Property Damage Liability is insurance if you damage another person’s property.

It can pay for replacements, repairs on other vehicles, structures or even a pet.


Bodily Injury and Property Damage coverage for commercial trucking is usually Combined Single Limits, or CSL.

A Liability claim will only pay up to the CSL limits you purchase on your insurance policy.


Requirements for Across State Lines Trucking

$750,000 minimum for Commercial Trucks hauling freight for hire

$300,000 minimum for Commercial Trucks hauling household goods

$300,00 minimum for Commercial Cargo Van and Sprinter Insurance

Cargo Van Sprinters Expediting require $300K Liability

Who needs a DOT in Illinois?

In Illinois all vehicles transporting property with a Gross Vehicle Weight of 10,001 lbs or more must have a DOT number unless you are farm plated and hauling only intrastate.

That includes 1 ton Duallys with Trailers commonly used for Hotshot Trucking when the combination of both exceeds 10,001 lbs.

HotShot Truck Insurance usually falls under the $750,000 Liability requirement.

Dually HotShot Truck with Gooseneck Trailer
Dually HotShot Truck with Gooseneck Trailer is over 10,001 GVW








Other Illinois Commercial Truck Requirements

Once you have your DOT number and insurance in place, it’s time for your Illinois Motor Carrier Application (FormIOA-1)

Remember to complete your Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) which funds state highway motor carrier registration and safety programs.

The amount of your UCR fee is based on how many trucks you have.

Up to 2 trucks is $37 each and 3-5 trucks is $111 each.

UCR is clear that smaller units like HotShots, Cargo Vans and Sprinters are not necessarily exempt from this fee.

According to the UCR Handbook, page 30…

“Some motor carriers or freight forwarders may operate only vehicles that are not classified as commercial motor vehicles, typically because the vehicles are lighter or carry fewer passengers than vehicles included in the definition of the term commercial motor vehicle.  Such a business must register for UCR because these entities have a federal MC number.  Because the MC numbers are generated in the federal URS system, a USDOT number will also be issued, but it would ordinarily pay a UCR fee in the lowest bracket, because it operates no commercial motor vehicles.”

“If these lighweight vehicles pull trailers in interstate commerce and the gross combination weight rating or gross combination weight is 10,001 or more, the entity will account for all of these commercial motor vehicles and pay the applicable fee.”

Here is your UCR Registration Portal.


As you can see, setting up your DOT authority isn’t necessarily easy…but we’re here to help you!

If you have any questions or just want to chat…give us a call at CIS.

We’d love to help you get on the road…especially with a brand new insurance option for new start up Owner Ops & Motor Carriers in Illinois!

Finally another CHOICE for Commercial Truck Insurance
Finally another CHOICE for New Start Up Trucking Insurance!


  • 2002 Founder and CEO of Commercial Insurance Solutions, Inc., Shelly Benisch specializes in providing Commercial Truck Insurance for owner operators and small motor carriers. Both CIS and TRS certified, She also writes a free educational trucking insurance advice blog dedicated to the little guy.

  • Executive Director of Commercial Insurance Solutions, Inc., Christina Cummings leads her team in providing the best Truck Insurance with the best rates for Owner Operators and small Motor Carriers. Christina is TRS certified as a Transportation Risk Specialist. She is your "go to" person at CIS with questions, tips and networking opportunities in our trucking and expediting community.

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