Simply put, a US DOT number is a registration number for moving companies. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration under the US Department of Transportation, any company that operates commercial vehicles that haul cargo or transport passengers across states is required to obtain this number.
This covers any company that operates such forms of interstate commerce. Other than that, they are also required to be registered with the FMCSA. Companies that transport enough quantities of hazardous materials that are required to secure a safety permit are also required to register and obtain the said number.Purpose
The FMCSA uses this registration number as an identifier for such transport and logistics companies. It serves as a tool to help the administration to monitor a company's compliance with federal safety regulations. The FMCSA also collects other related company information.States that Require a US DOT Number
Take note that not all states require logistics companies to obtain a US DOT number. However, it should also be noted that the majority of the states in the US require such companies to register with the FMCSA and obtain the said number. Most of the time, acquiring this number is made part of the prerequisite for the registration of commercial vehicles.
The following are the states that require companies to register with the FMCSA and fulfill all its prerequisites including the obtaining a DOT number:
Alabama, Colorado, Arizona, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Connecticut, Iowa, Kansas, Indiana, Maine, Kentucky, Michigan, Maryland, Missouri, Minnesota, New York, Montana, Ohio, Nebraska, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Tennessee, South Carolina, Utah, Texas, Washington, Wyoming, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
According to federal regulations, each company is responsible for both complying with and understanding the requirements imposed by each state. Take note that regulations and application requirements vary from one state to the other. This means that each company should take every effort to understand the regulations imposed by each state wherein they operate their business. This includes certain states that commercial vehicles only need to pass through.
For instance, in the state of New York, the term carrier includes both individuals and companies. These carriers are the ones that conduct their logistics business in the state or those who are just passing through the state. This number is required of each of these carriers as part of their permit application in their said area of operation.
In the state of New York, individuals or businesses that operate a truck with at least a10,001-pound gross vehicle weight ratings are required to obtain a US DOT number. These include trucks with or without a trailer.Application Process
The application process is not that difficult. The first step is to determine the specific requirements, which includes the required operating authority and obtaining the necessary registration forms. Applicants are required to fill up the required forms and then submit them to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
The next step is to complete the requirements for each state where the applicant intends to operate. Next, applicants are required to start with the New Entrant Safety Assurance Program. Then, applicants should secure a permanent USDOT registration. Finally, they are to maintain their US DOT number and operating authority information.Written by Margarita Hakobyan