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Do I Need a DOT Number?

Companies operating commercial vehicles to haul cargo or transport passengers need to register with the FMCSA and obtain a USDOT  number.

Also, truckers carrying hazardous materials or hauling different cargo quantities and types through intrastate travel are required to get a safety permit and a DOT number.

Authorities require a DOT number when monitoring and collecting a company’s safety information during compliance reviews, inspections, audits, and crash investigations.

Keep on reading to find out why you need a DOT number, what states require it, and how to comply with federal regulations.

Why You Need a DOT Number

In general, truckers need to get one if they have a:

  • Truck that transports types of heavy and hazardous materials that require a safety permit to operate (in intrastate trucking)


  • Their gross vehicle weight is 4,536 kg or more
  • The vehicle is designed to transport 8 or more passengers for compensation
  • The vehicle is designed to transport 15 or more passengers not for compensation

If You’re Involved in Interstate Commerce

Traffic, trade, or transportation between:

  • A region in one state and outside the state or country
  • One place and another in the same state, but have to pass through a different state or country to get there
  • One location and another in the same state, but you originate outside that state

Complying with Federal Regulations

Drivers and motor carrier operators are responsible for complying with the FMCSA’s regulations. By complying with safety guidelines you’re able to protect your drivers, other drivers, and personal property. Trucking companies and truck drivers need to be aware of the federal regulations and implement them into their daily routine.

Which States Require a DOT Number?

Certain states require you to have one in order to participate in intrastate commerce.

These include:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Puerto Rico
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Summing Up

In a nutshell, a DOT number is a unique set of digits the FMCSA assigns trucking companies to register commercial vehicles. The trucks that haul heavy or hazardous cargo or operate between states or different countries need one.


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What Is a DOT Number and Why Do You Need It?