In New York City, commercial vehicles are regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT). The rules for commercial vehicles can be found on the DOT website through the official New York City website and are called The New York City Traffic Rules. Truck lettering is specifically addressed in section 4-01, article (B). Having a vehicle that is determined to be a commercial vehicle comes with such benefits as being able to park in loading zones.
When Lettering is Required
Any vehicle that is designed or modified for the transportation of goods or services, and obtains commercial license plates issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles is required as a commercial vehicle to follow any and all rules governing commercial vehicles. Lettering is required on every commercial vehicle with no exceptions. This lettering identifies who owns the vehicle and where the vehicle is from.
The New York City Traffic Rules require that a commercial vehicle must display the owner's name and address in permanent lettering that is 3 inches high. The information must be on both sides of the vehicle, in the middle of either the doors or the sides of the vehicle. The lettering is also required to be in a color that stands out from the paint on the vehicle. It can not be hidden by making it a color that matches the vehicle paint.
Vehicle lettering can be as fancy or as plain as desired. Some companies use simple peel and stick vinyl lettering to comply with the regulations for commercial vehicles, while other may choose to have custom airbrushing or painting done. Either solution works, as long as the information is highly visible and legible.
Other Lettering Requirements
In addition to the lettering that is required by New York City, commercial vehicles are subject to regulations of other authorities that require other types of lettering to be added to the vehicle. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, all motor carriers must display the following in order to be in compliance: USDOT number, the legal name of the business that owns the vehicle and the main business address. The lettering must be posted on both sides of the vehicle in a contrasting color to the paint on the vehicle. It must be legible during the day at a distance of 50 feet. The lettering must be visible at all times.