Rainy This One Question For You.

Topic 23811 | Page 1

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Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
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I know that you live out of your truck, and that you have a storage locker in New Jersey, are you using your mom's address for a physical one or a P.O. Box? Not trying to get personal or anything but when I go solo, I want to move out of California, and live in the truck to pay off bills and to eventually move to another state. Basically how do you get your mail and such??

thanks Raptor

Rainy 's Comment
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By law, using the PO Box is not legal, you need a physical address. This was required by the Real ID Act of 2005 but many states got waivers and fought it. Their waiver extensions are up and all states will need to turn to the new DL including facial recognition...and those databases are being shared by local convenience stores and other CCTV to assist police in catching bad guys. NJ where i live was one of the states that terrorists used to get DLs and they also tried to attack our military bases there with NJ licenses!!! So we were among the first to require the new features.

Some drivers will state they use UPS type of facilities as a residence but not only is this illegal because it is not a residence or dwelling, but it makes you ineligible for per diem. If you have no home, you cant get a break to be away from it. if you claimed per diem , but cant prove residency if audited, you are in big trouble. The work around for that is to have a utility in your name at that address.. phone.. internet... Netflix...whatever your accountant tells you can qualify. I have an internet bill in my name at my moms address. She also added me to the lease as an occupant, but i keep very little there.

As far as getting mail, i have a mailbox at the terminal for like $1 a week which comes in handy for online shopping or if my mom needs to send me an important piece of mail while i am over the road. i usually choose to stay out 5 to 6 weeks before i go home.

Prime specifically told us we cannot use the box as an address. The down side is that bank and credit cards never make it there. they get lost in the mail never to be heard from. so they go to.moms. the box is convenient for other reasons too, for example, we have accountants at Prime so if they need to drop me something i can get it even at midnight when i swing by the terminal.

Also, when i had surgery, no one could take my cat....so i got a hotel room for 5 weeks and a rental car. It was pricey and people thought i was nuts, but i saved and planned for it, so it was bascially prepaid. Groupon can save you tons on hotel rooms. some offer CDL discounts others use rewards stays, but you need to find the cheapest for you. For example, Ramada in NJ wanted to charge me $60 per night and an additional $20 per night for the cat. Hampton Inn was $74 per night and the cat was free. MUCH better hotel and cheaper. So if keep things like that in mind for emergencies if you need to come off the road, have a back up plan of where you can stay.

i have a friend who rents a bedroom from someone in his home town. its about the same price as my storage and makes mail easier for him. he pays the old lady extra to sort through the mail and send him important stuff. at his company.

Trust me when i tell you, it saves a lot if you come from a high cost of living area. My first year i made less money but had greater cash flow!!!


Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.


A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Over The Road:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Jamie's Comment
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NJ where i live was one of the states that terrorists used to get DLs

Might explain why my bank has New Jersey blocked(they said it's due to high fraud activity there), I have to call in anytime I'm going to NJ so they'll unblock it for my card or carry some cash on me. rofl-1.gif

JoAnne EC's Comment
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GREAT question and GREAT response! I never would have thought of this but it's awesome information. I'm so glad I have the next couple of years to learn all of these tips and tricks before I get out there on my own! =)

David D.'s Comment
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For those of you living out of your trucks you need to know this. It is from IRS Publication 463. Unless you have a family (wife and children) somewhere where you support them, I'm thinking that you likely don't have a tax home and would be considered by the IRS to be itinerant. If you are itinerant you generally can't deduct any travel expenses. Not trying to burst anyone's bubble but just want to make sure your eyes are wide open. I'm pretty sure on audit that paying a bill at your mother's house won't pass muster with the IRS. I would strongly advise anyone who is living in their truck download publication 463 from IRS.gov (search for pub 463) and study it. Most of it is written in plain English with examples. Remember if you get audited by the IRS and they assess you tax on one year the other open 2 years will likely get audited. This doesn't even address and potential fraud penalties. Again, not trying to scare anyone but these folks don't have a great sense of humor.

The following comes from page 3 of Publication 463

Factors used to determine tax home. If you don’t have a regular or main place of business or work, use the following three factors to determine where your tax home is.

1.You perform part of your business in the area of your main home and use that home for lodging while doing business in the area.

2.You have living expenses at your main home that you duplicate because your business requires you to be away from that home.

3.You haven’t abandoned the area in which both your historical place of lodging and your claimed main home are located; you have a member or members of your family living at your main home; or you often use that home for lodging.

If you satisfy all three factors, your tax home is the home where you regularly live. If you sat- isfy only two factors, you may have a tax home depending on all the facts and circumstances. If you satisfy only one factor, you are an itinerant; your tax home is wherever you work and you can’t deduct travel expenses.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


Operating While Intoxicated

Dave (formerly known as K's Comment
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Great questions and answers! I was considering living out of my truck and using Missoula as a mailing address. This info is making me think about it a little more.

David D.'s Comment
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I'm not trying to tell folks not to live out of their trucks, it's still probably cheaper that keeping a house. Just make sure you understand the tax implications.

Michael B.'s Comment
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So If I live out of my truck and am considered itinerant so therefore cannot claim travel expenses would that not also mean I wouldnt have to pay state income taxes out of my paycheck to any state? Hmmm....... I now also must question the per-diem as I no longer have any bills with my drivers license address on them. The only things that may still connect me to my address is my license and the registration on my cars although my mail is still sent here and held for me by my daughter (my names not on the house anymore either). Seems like I may only qualify on #3 off Davids post...and only maybe on that.

David D.'s Comment
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Yepper, this is kind of a touchy one. As Rainy said the Real ID Act requires that you have a physical address on your driver's license. I confirmed this exact situation with the Michigan Secretary of State and they said that my wife and I can use her daughter's address and that it won't make me a felon for misrepresenting my address. But that only applies to Driver's Licenses. But there is a section in federal law that says that an interstate driver can only be taxed, for state tax purposes, in their state of residence (look for the post about being taxed it two states for the law quote I posted). So this leaves us with the question of are you really a resident of that state as the state of residency is the state to which you intend to return or a more or less permanent basis. There doesn't appear to be a clear-cut answer. I'll try and look into it and see what I can find. My suggestion is to try and find a relative who lives in a state where there is no income tax. If you can find a relative in Washington, Nevada, Wyoming, South Dakota, Texas, Alaska or Florida you're all set because they don't have a state income tax. The next question to answer before you jump is how much it costs to plate your truck. I'll leave that up to someone else. Now about that DNA test to find long lost relatives.......


Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
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Thanks all, this is a bummer, but not totally. During training I plan to keep my residence and hopefully move to another state where my brother and his family live. If I had the money now I'd move there now then go through the rest of the training. A 15' U-haul and tow trailer is around $2500.00, plus fuel. If I were to sleep in the truck on the way out I could save some money and be there in about 3-4 days. But I still have to eat, so there's another expense. But say $200.00 bucks for that.

This is food for thought. So I'll have a few days to figure it out before I make my final decision.

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