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What is a letter of experience? Why do I need one?

Photo: “Light Bright” by Mike Murchison

Post contributed by DriverVerified

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In commercial driving, a letter of experience is issued by an insurance company on their letterhead and generally contains:

  • Driver’s first and last name
  •  Driver’s license number
  • Insurance policy number
  • Start and end dates of the insurance policy
  • VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)
  • Any relevant claims submitted to the carrier during the duration of the policy

Some letters may contain additional information about the vehicle year, make, and model.

Currently, most drivers do not collect a letter of experience issued by an insurance company unless they need one to get added to a new policy. Some employers are not comfortable giving their drivers a letter of experience as they believe that the driver is going to use it to apply for a new job with a competitor. As such, employers tend not to offer letters of experience to their drivers unless requested.

Why do I need a letter of experience?

  • To prove your commercial driving experience
  • To get added as a driver on a commercial auto policy
  • To maintain driver files

A letter of experience issued by an insurance company is the strongest evidence of experience when applying to be added a commercial auto policy. Insurance carriers will ask for letters of experience issued by an insurance carrier to prove that a driver has commercial driving experience. Even if you’re not currently looking to be added to a policy, a letter of experience is great to have in your own driver file as proven documentation of your experience. If you ever face legal challenges, a lawyer will ask for a letter of experience to provide evidence of your competence as a commercial driver. In our next post, we’re going to discuss the letter of experience in more detail, including comparing a letter of experience issued by an insurance company to a reference letter written by an employer, and recommendations on how to ask for a letter of experience from your current employer.