Skip to main content

Can truck drivers have passengers while on the road?

A man and a woman sit on the ground in front of the tires of an eighteen wheeler.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes 

With truck drivers spending many hours out on the road and away from home, you may wonder if they can bring a friend, family member or even a pet along for the ride.  

Keep reading to find out if truck drivers can have passengers while on the road. 

Can truck drivers have passengers?

According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), passengers can be present in a Commercial Motor Vehicle as long as they comply with applicable vehicles laws and have written authorization from the driver’s company.  

Depending on the company, this authorization can apply to a variety of passengers, including: 

  • A spouse or partner. 

  • Children. 

  • Friends. 

  • Other immediate family. 

Aside from the DOT requirement that all passengers must have written authorization from the trucking company, passenger regulations are set on a company-to-company basis. 

Are there passenger laws for semi-trucks?

Passengers in a semi-truck are generally subject to the same laws as passengers in a vehicle (e.g., seat belt laws, etc.). In addition to complying with those laws, and in addition to the DOT requirement that all passengers must have written authorization from the trucking company, passenger requirements are set on a company-to-company basis. 

The process of a driver getting permission to have a passenger typically includes making sure the passenger first fits the company’s requirements and then completes a waiver. These waivers usually include information such as:

  • The name of the passenger. 

  • The start and end points of the trip. 

  • The dates the passenger will be with the driver. 

While passenger regulations vary from company to company, there are a few that you’re likely to see at most companies. These include: 

  • Age limit: Most companies require passengers to be a certain age. At Schneider, eligible passengers include friends over the age of 18 and family members over 10. 

  • Relationship to the driver: Some companies limit passengers to immediate family members.  

  • Waiting period: Some companies require new drivers to complete a certain amount of safe driving (e.g., six months) before taking any passengers.  

  • Fees: Drivers typically have to pay a fee to have a passenger ride with them. 

Other commons questions about having passengers

How many passengers can you have in a semi-truck? 

For safety reasons, trucking companies typically only allow one passenger in a semi-truck.

Can truck drivers bring pets with them? 

As with human passengers, this depends on the company you work for. For example, Schneider’s pet policy allows team drivers to bring one cat or dog with them on the road.  

Do passengers also need to have a CDL? 

No. You do not need a CDL to be a passenger in a semi-truck. 

Discover the benefits of team truck driving

Looking for companionship on the road? Team truck driving allows you to partner up and maximize both your miles and earnings. Check out our blog to see if team driving could be the job for you.  

About the author
Author Picture

Schneider Guy loves the "Big Orange." He's passionate about the trucking industry and connecting people to rewarding careers within it. He's been the eyes and ears of our company since our founding in 1935, and he's excited to interact with prospective and current Schneider associates through "A Slice of Orange."

More posts by this author
© Copyright 2024, Schneider. All rights reserved.