What is a USDOT Number?

shutterstock_13801870A USDOT number is an identifier that is unique to your company. It allows quick access to your company’s safety information. This information is gathered during accident investigations, inspections, audits and compliance reviews.

Commercial vehicles used by your company to transport passengers or haul cargo in interstate commerce, must have the company’s USDOT number displayed on every commercial company vehicle. Companies that transport hazardous materials within the state in amounts that require safety permits must also display the company’s USDOT number on the vehicles used for transport.

Do I Need a USDOT Number?

These guidelines will help you determine if your company needs a USDOT number. You need a USDOT number if your vehicle is involved in interstate commerce (trade or transportation in the United States) and also meets one or more of the following qualifications:

  • Your vehicle has a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more. The measurement includes gross vehicle weight rating, gross combination weight rating, gross vehicle weight, or gross combination weight, whichever is greatest.
  • Your vehicle is designed to carry 8 passengers for payment (this number includes the driver).
  • Your vehicle is used to carry more than 15 passengers (including the driver), but is not used to carry passengers for payment.
  • Your vehicle is used to transport materials deemed by the Secretary of Transportation to be hazardous, and in a quantity that requires a safety permit.shutterstock_176701853

Where your vehicle transports goods or passengers is also an indicator of whether you need a USDOT number.  You need a number if your vehicle is used for trade or transport in one or more of these ways:

  • Between states (this includes places outside of the United States)
  • Between two places in one state through another state, or through a place outside of the United States
  • Between two places in one state as part of traffic, transportation or trade that begins or ends in a place outside the state or the United States.

Certain states require a USDOT number for all commercial vehicles aside from the specifications listed above. These states include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Remember, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires you to obtain a USDOT number and comply with all federal regulations. No matter how many commercial vehicles are in your company’s fleet, you only need one USDOT number. The number is required to be displayed on every commercial vehicle your company operates in accordance with the specifications above.

For more information on what forms are needed to obtain a USDOT number, visit the What Do I Need to File? page on the FMCSA website.

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