A USDOT number is the unique identifier for a carrier or driver and is used by the FMCSA to monitor safety compliance.
Companies that operate commercial motor vehicles that transport cargo or passengers across state lines (interstate commerce) must have a unique number issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This DOT registration number and the carrier’s legal company name must be displayed on both sides of the vehicle.
Apart from the federal regulations, 33 states require their intrastate commercial motor vehicle registrants to obtain a USDOT number. Intrastate transporters of certain types of hazardous materials in quantities requiring a safety permit also need a DOT number.
If you’re an interstate, for-hire motor carrier of non-exempt property and passengers, you’re also required to have a motor carrier (MC) number.
Typically, a motor carrier number is needed when:
The FMCSA operating authority can be identified as an "MC", "FF" or "MX" number based on what authority is granted. It's possible that your business may need multiple operating authorities. Contact us and we’ll help you determine what’s needed. If you’re an interstate, for-hire motor carrier of non-exempt property and passengers, you’re also required to have a motor carrier (MC) number.
The definition in §390.5 refers to a vehicle used on a highway, in interstate commerce, that meets any one of the following criteria:
All first-time carrier applicants get enrolled in the FMCSA's New Entrant Safety Assurance Program. Under this program, you must pass a safety audit conducted within your first year of operation. In addition, your operation will be closely monitored for compliance at roadside inspections during your 18-month probationary period, after which you'll be given permanent registration status. J. J. Keller can help you prepare for (or respond to) your new entrant audit.
The following 33 states require intrastate carriers to also obtain a USDOT number:
Private carriers who only transport their own cargo, for-hire carriers who only transport exempt commodities that are not federally regulated, and carriers who operate only in geographic territories that are exempt from authority rules.
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