Applying for a New USDOT Number

What is a USDOT Number?

USDOT Numbers serve as a unique way for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to identify, monitor, and collect a company’s safety information that is acquired during roadside inspections, audits, compliance reviews, and crash investigations.

Do You Need a USDOT Number for Your Business Operation?

There are several scenarios that will require you to have a USDOT number. Let’s go over the first four now.

If you are involved in “interstate” commerce and fall into one of the following categories:

  • You have a vehicle with a weight rating, gross vehicle weight, or a truck and trailer combined weight rating of over 10,000 pounds or more, whichever is greater.
  • Is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation.
  • Is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers (including the driver) and is NOT used to transport passengers for compensation.
  • You have a vehicle used to transport types and quantities of hazardous materials requiring the vehicle to be placarded regardless of vehicle weight.

All of these categories are involved in interstate commerce, meaning they cross over state or international borders.

Now let’s look at a couple of other scenarios requiring a USDOT number.

  • If you are involved in “intrastate” commerce, meaning you do not cross over any state or international borders and fall into one of the following categories:
  • You have a vehicle used to transport types and quantities of hazardous materials requiring the vehicle to be placarded regardless of vehicle weight.
  • Certain states in the U.S. require their “intrastate” carriers to have a federal USDOT number even though the carrier does not cross state or international borders. Below is a link to the FMCSA’s state list, but you should always check with your base state for the most up-to-date information.
  • FMCSA State List

Other Considerations

If you plan to operate as a for-hire carrier in interstate commerce, you will likely need your Operating Authority in addition to obtaining a USDOT number. To find out more about Operating Authority, go here.

If you have already applied, Click Here to upload the required signed documents.

FAQ

No, you only need one USDOT number. You will place that number on the side of all your commercial vehicles. USDOT numbers are assigned to each person to identify themselves with the FMCSA and are assigned to that person for life. The Department of Transportation states that a “person” includes individuals, corporations, partnerships, or other business organizations as authorized by state law.

Can I transfer my USDOT number to another person?

No, USDOT numbers are not transferable and are assigned to only one person/business and remain assigned to that person forever.

A name change can be made without getting a new USDOT number if it is the same business and no change in ownership has occurred. You would need to register the new name with your base state.