Moving Authority

When Do I Need a DOT Number?

“When do I need a DOT number?” is a fundamental question in the world of trucking. Here is your answer:

  • You will need a DOT number if you are operating any type of commercial vehicle that requires an active USDOT number to be driven on a public roadway.
  • Common examples include: buses, motor coaches, box trucks, and other large vehicles used for transportation or hauling goods and services.
  • If your company transports hazardous materials, it is also likely that you will need a DOT number in order to do so legally.
  • Additionally, if you plan to operate a vehicle with a gross weight rating greater than 10,001 lbs., then you must have an active USDOT number.
  • Lastly, if your business provides interstate transportation services (across state lines), then it is mandatory to have a valid DOT number.

What Are DOT Numbers?

Companies that own and operate commercial vehicles transporting passengers or cargo across state lines must register with the FMCSA and receive a unique USDOT Number. Learn more about Starting a Trucking Company. This number allows authorities to collect, store and monitor the company's safety information, acquired through audits, compliance reviews, crash investigations, and inspections. Intrastate hazardous materials carriers who haul types of goods requiring special permits must also register for a USDOT Number.

Are USDOT Numbers the Same as DOT Numbers?

Yes! If you're in the trucking industry, you may hear someone refer to a USDOT number. That is simply the same as a DOT number - it just has "US" added as a prefix to indicate it is an American identification code. An example of a USDOT number could be USDOT1523020. Do you Want to know the BOC-3 Filing? The company owning a truck fleet would ensure this number is printed on each vehicle, usually painted onto the cab's driver door. So if someone mentions needing a USDOT number, now you know they are asking for a DOT number!

The FMCSA created the DOT number system to reduce the number of fatalities and property damage resulting from driver and company negligence. Through this system, incidents and accidents are monitored, and any companies deemed unsafe can have their certification revoked. Read more about the Claims Package. This helps ensure that everyone on the road is safe from potential hazards associated with unqualified drivers or businesses operating these vehicles.

Does My Truck Need a DOT Number?

Are you operating a truck or van that weighs 10,001 pounds or more GCWR? If so, you will need to obtain a U.S. DOT number. Additionally, if your vehicle is heavier than 26,000 pounds, you'll need to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) as well. If you plan on using your truck or van to transport eight or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation purposes, then you must also get a U.S. DOT number. Learn more about Biennial Update. The same applies if you use it to transport 15 people (including the driver but not for compensation). Lastly, if you are transporting hazardous materials, then again, a U.S. DOT number is required.

Did you answer yes to any of the questions above? If so, and if your truck is involved in interstate commerce, it requires a U.S. DOT number. Additionally, out of the 50 U.S. states, 37 require a DOT number for intrastate commerce when hauling goods or people for compensation. Understanding Carrier DOT Numbers for Your Move. Check with your local state DOT office to be sure you’re up-to-date with the regulations.

Don’t forget about trailering, either! Remember that all weight ratings need to be taken into consideration here. If you’re using a 6,000-pound truck and towing its maximum capacity of 5,000 pounds, then the GCWR will now come to 11,000 pounds. Since that weight is over the 10,000-pound limit, you would need to get a DOT number.

Regardless of your business size, all trucks used in interstate commerce must have a U.S. DOT number. Read more about the Broker Freight Package. Each state enforces this federal regulation, and though fines and consequences may vary from state to state, having just one U.S. DOT number for all your vehicles makes complying with this requirement more accessible than ever before!

What Does DOT Certification Mean?

A driver with a commercial driver's license has passed all the requirements necessary to obtain a DOT certification. Do you want to know Dot Authority? This means that they have demonstrated the ability and competency to drive commercially in the US. Any trucking company needs to ensure their drivers are DOT-certified, regardless of whether they will be moving large or small delivery vehicles. Almost all states require this as part of their regulations. By having DOT-certified drivers, companies can ensure they are providing safe and reliable operations.

If you want to stay certified with the US Department of Transportation, then you must undergo a physical examination and some driving tests every two years. Learn more about DOT Number Deactivation. These assessments are crucial for maintaining your DOT certification as they ensure you have the necessary physical fitness requirements. What Is a DOT Number? The DOT reviews all exams personally, so make sure to take them seriously!

Who Is Exempt from Having a DOT Number?

  • Motor carriers of passengers that operate only within one state, and their vehicles have a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of less than 10,001 pounds.
  • Motor carriers of property that operate only within 150 air miles from the usual work reporting location and conduct operations exclusively in intrastate commerce are exempted from having a DOT number.
  • Drivers transporting hazardous materials in amounts requiring placards under subpart F of part 172 of Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) do not need a DOT number if they are operating with an intrastate commerce exemption.
  • Vehicles are used to transport personal property owned by the driver or passengers and not for compensation.

Make Sure You Understand U.S. DOT Number Regulations

It's important to remember that state DOT regulations and laws can change quickly, so staying up-to-date with any changes is wise. Do you want to know Broker Mover Package information? Additionally, each state may have additional rules in place related to DOT numbers, so be sure you're knowledgeable about the specific regulations of the state you're operating in. When Do I Need a DOT Number? Federal regulations still apply across all states, but an extra layer of law from the state itself could come into play. Keeping yourself informed is an excellent way to ensure you comply with all regulations.

The FMCSA assigns a unique DOT number to particular commercial trucks or vans. Not all vehicles need this number, and the FMCSA evaluates certain factors when deciding if one should be issued. Know what is a Carrier Agreement. The DOT number serves a critical purpose. How to Look Up Your DOT Number and Ensure a Safe Move. It tracks a company's safety information collected during audits, compliance reviews, crash investigations, and inspections. Having this data ensures that companies follow appropriate regulations for the safe operation of their vehicles on the road.

What Is the MCS-150 Form?

  • The MCS-150 is a form that Motor Carriers must submit every two years to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
  • This form provides important information about motor carriers, including their contact information, number of vehicles owned and operated, type of cargo transported and more.
  • The MCS-150 Form also helps the FMCSA monitor safety compliance by providing vehicle mileage information and other data that can be used to identify companies in need of closer inspection.
  • All interstate motor carriers that have either a USDOT Number or operating authority are required to comply with MCS-150 requirements, regardless of company size.
  • Failure to properly file an updated MCS-150 may result in massive fines and penalties.

We’re Standing By To Provide You With a DOT Number

Our association is here to help you with your USDOT number registration questions. We employ DOT experts that are available to evaluate your situation and provide solutions. Do you want to know CA Number? You can also contact us through email or our website, where we offer various FMCSA online registration services that could be helpful for your motor carrier. DOT Number Meaning. No matter what state you're based in, our team will happily assist you in navigating the necessary steps for successful DOT registration. Reach out now and let us know how we can help!

Summary: Who Needs a DOT Number in Trucking?

  • All interstate truckers who transport passengers or hazardous materials.
  • Vehicle owners with a combined weight of more than 10,000 pounds.
  • People transporting personal property for hire in interstate commerce.
  • Companies engaged in the leasing of commercial motor vehicles.
  • Those crossing state lines with any type of cargo.
  • Individuals who own tow-away trailers and run an out-of-state business.
  • Any business that operates multiple CMVs (commercial motor vehicles) to transport goods across state borders.


This field is required
Please enter a valid email address
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required


[email protected]

08:00 AM - 21:00 PM



This field is required
Please enter a valid email address
This field is required