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Pull Over, Mover! What You Need To Know About Checkpoints And Rental Trucks

by Daniel Herrera

Are you relocating to a new state and planning on using a rental truck to move your belongings? If so, you're likely to encounter a few checkpoints along the way. Read on to learn what these checkpoints are, and how you should go about handling them when traveling in a rental truck.

What Are Checkpoints?

Checkpoints are safety regulation stops set up by various authorities. You'll usually encounter these checkpoints on major highways just as you enter a new state. Most checkpoints have a series of signs leading up to them that warn all commercial vehicles to pull over for inspection.

Do You Need To Stop Your Moving Truck At These Checkpoints?

It depends on whether or not the state that the checkpoint is located in classifies rental trucks as commercial vehicles. In some states, all rental trucks, regardless of size must pull over for inspection. In other states, only rental trucks in excess of a certain weight limit must pull over. Some states, however, don't classify moving trucks as commercial vehicles, and do not require them to pull over for inspection at all.

What Are Authorities Looking For At These Checkpoints?

There are various types of highway checkpoints enacted by the Department of Transportation. Most are in place to check the operational safety of commercial vehicles. At these stops, your rental truck will be subjected to brake checks, exhaust system checks, and checks to make sure that your lights and turning signals are in proper order.

Some checkpoints are solely focused on driver inspections. If you pull over at one of these stops, you can expect to be asked for your driver's license, registration, proof of insurance, and certificate of rental. These stops also usually include seat belt checks.

In some states (mostly southern states such as New Mexico, Arizona, and California) border patrol checkpoints are common. These checkpoints are hosted by the U.S. Border Patrol. At border patrol checkpoints, you will need to prove only that you and anybody else you're traveling with are legal citizens of the United States.

Finally, U.S. Customs and Border Protection host agricultural checkpoints. At these stops, vehicles are thoroughly inspected for any actionable pests that could endanger the health and safety of native plants or animals. You can expect the officers to rummage through your belongings in search of any illegally transported fruits or veggies, and to inspect any wooden pallets you have in your truck for signs of insect infestations.

If you happen to be hauling a boat with your moving truck, it will be inspected to ensure you aren't accidentally transporting any invasive water milfoil or mussels. 

So, How Should You Handle Checkpoints When You Encounter Them?

There's kind of a silly thing about these checkpoints in that, despite the fact that not all states require moving trucks to stop at them, the authorities manning them have no way of actually knowing who you are unless you stop.

What does this mean? If you drive by one of these checkpoints, there's a possibility that the authorities may chase you down to ensure that you aren't just posing as a moving truck. Your best bet is to pull over at any checkpoint you see and wait for clearance to continue on your journey. In most cases, you'll be waved right through, anyway.

If you're renting a moving truck to transport your belongings to a new state, expect to encounter a few checkpoints. These checkpoints aren't meant to intimidate you; they're simply in place to protect the health and safety of each state, and the country as a whole. You aren't required to stop at every one of these checkpoints, but it's best to go ahead and do so to avoid being pulled over for suspicious causes. For more information from professionals, have a peek at this web-site.