How Do You Know if You Need A USDOT Number?

How Do You Know if You Need a USDOT Number?


There are a lot of regulations and requirements that come with operating a trucking company or employing CMV drivers. This includes strict adherence to the regulations and standards outlined by the FMCSA, the DMV, and your state, such as requirements for drug and alcohol testing, driver qualifications, proper driver log book filing, and the registration of a USDOT number.


Find out how to determine if you need a USDOT number, what they are used for, and how to register for one.


A USDOT Number is a Unique Identifier


What is a USDOT number? Essentially, a USDOT number is a unique identifier used by the FMCSA. They use this number for referencing your company, when compiling any information related to audits, inspections, and compliance reviews.


Most Companies with CMV Drivers Require a USDOT Number


How do you know if you need a USDOT number? The easiest way to determine if you need a USDOT number is to consider whether you employ CMV drivers that require interstate travel. If so, you probably need to register for a USDOT number.


The specific requirements, for which companies require a USDOT number, are that any company with a vehicle meeting these specifications (and is involved in interstate commerce), must register for a USDOT number:


  • Vehicles that transport hazardous materials
  • Vehicles with a gross weight of 10,001 or more pounds
  • Vehicles that are used to transport more than 8 passengers for compensation
  • Vehicles used to transport more than 15 passengers without compensation


If the vehicles owned and operated by your company meet these specifications, and are involved in trade, traffic, or transportation between states, you will need a USDOT number.


Obtaining an Operating Authority Number


What is an Operating Authority number? An Operating Authority number is an additional identifier that is required for companies engaged in certain types of interstate commerce. The Operating Authority number identifies the type of cargo your fleet can transport between states.


How do you know if you need an Operating Authority number? If your vehicles operate as for-hire carriers, transport passengers in interstate commerce, or transport federally-regulated commodities, you will require operating authorities for each type of operation being conducted.


Registering for a USDOT Number


How do you obtain a USDOT number? There are two primary methods of registering for a USDOT number. You can visit the FMCSA website and register online or you can mail in the necessary forms. The same process can also be used to get your Operating Authority number.


Which forms do you use? The forms required for obtaining either a USDOT number of Operating Authority will depend on the type of operations and commerce your company is engaged in. There are several forms, all of which are available for download through the FMCSA website.


What should you do if you need help filling out the necessary forms? If you are not sure how to proceed, do not understand the forms, or require additional help with other aspects of FMCSA regulations, contact Office Tenders.


An experienced and knowledgeable staff can help you with all your DMV and FMCSA paperwork to help ensure you follow all the required regulations and requirements to avoid penalties, fees, or restrictions.





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