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How to Get Your DOT Number Today

Your company needs a U.S. Department of Transportation, or USDOT, Number if you haul cargo or transport passengers across state lines. Some states require all commercial motor vehicles to acquire a USDOT Number. Companies receiving a number for the first time are enrolled in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, New Entrant Safety Assurance Program. The FMCSA program requires passing a safety audit and maintaining good roadside safety performance. Your USDOT Number acts a unique identification number for government safety inspections, audits, investigations and reviews.

Register with the FMCSA online at its website. Answer a series of questions about your company to determine which form you need to complete. Skip online registration if you want to submit your application by mail.

Download and complete either the MCS-150 or MCS-150B form. Motor carriers requiring a Hazardous Materials (HM) Safety Permit need to complete the MCS-150B form. If you don’t need a HM Safety Permit, complete the MCS-150 form. These forms can also be acquired from your local FMCSA field office. The MCS-150 form requires information about your drivers, the number of vehicles that you operate, total mileage and information about the cargo you transport.

Print the form to keep a record for your company or if you want to submit the form by mail.

Submit the application form on the FMCSA website. FMCSA will immediately inform you of whether your application is approved. Successful applications immediately receive a USDOT Number. Alternately, you can mail the application form to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Mailed applications take an average of 4 weeks to 6 weeks to process.

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What Is an Intrastate DOT Number For?

If you run a business that involves moving people or goods, you probably need to apply to the U.S. Department of Transportation, or USDOT, for an identification number. Transportation firms also need to register with the USDOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The USDOT uses this information to keep track of a firm’s safety records.

The federal government requires all companies that move goods across state lines, and all companies that transport hazardous material within state lines, to file for a USDOT number. Many states require all companies that operate commercial motor vehicles to get a USDOT number. Each company has a unique USDOT number covering its vehicles.

Interstate vs. Intrastate USDOT Numbers

Intrastate business occurs within one state’s boundaries. Interstate commerce involves moving goods or passengers across at least one state line. When registering for a USDOT number, businesses must report whether they will be operating within (intrastate) or across (interstate) state lines.
An intrastate USDOT number classifies the business as operating within one state.

Changes from Intrastate to Interstate Status

Firms can change the status of their USDOT numbers to interstate from intrastate by filing an update with the Department of Transportation. A business retains the same registration number when it changes status, but its classification changes. Companies do not need to file separately with the USDOT for intrastate or interstate registration, so an intrastate USDOT number is not wholly distinct from an interstate USDOT number.

Purpose of Intrastate DOT Number

The federal government has an interest in keeping safety records regarding companies that transport hazardous materials. Some states require registration with the USDOT to help with their own record-keeping, and because some automated registration systems use the federal USDOT number as the standard means of identification.

States That Require USDOT Registration

These states require all commercial vehicle operators to register with the USDOT: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New York, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.