You may have some confusion about this requirement if you own or operate a trucking company. According to literature published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the requirement to obtain an identification number from the Department of Transportation (DOT) applies only to the company. It does not apply to a specific vehicle or branch office. Here’s what to know if your trucking company has multiple branches.
What to do if your trucking company has multiple branches.
If your company has a headquarters or corporate office, one person should register for an identification number with the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) and share it with the other branches. It’s essential that each branch of the trucking company assigns at least one person to communicate with the others to ensure proper registration with both the USDOT and FMCSA. This helps to avoid unnecessary fines and other possible sanctions when it appears that one or more branches from the same trucking company have not registered, so keep that in mind.
What is a USDOT Number and who needs one?
The FMCSA requires carriers that meet certain criteria to register for an identification number with the USDOT primarily for tracking purposes. It helps the agency collect and monitor information regarding compliance reviews, inspections, crashes, and audits. The following parties must obtain this identification number as soon as possible:
- Haulers of hazardous materials that require a safety permit while in the process of intrastate commerce
- Carriers that transport more 15 or more people, including the driver, without receipt of compensation
- Carriers that transport eight or more people, including the driver, in exchange for compensation
- Vehicles weighing more than 10,001 pounds
The requirement to obtain a USDOT identification number also applies to transportation, trade, or traffic within the United States that meets the following conditions:
- Origination in one state and delivery in another or outside the country
- Between two points in one state when passing though another state or a destination point outside the country
- Between two places in a state as part of transportation, trade, or traffic originating or ending outside that state or outside the country
In addition to the federal requirement, several states mandate a USDOT registration number. You can find the full list of states at this link. Keep in mind that registration requirements may vary between federal and state programs.
It’s important to have the truck insurance you need to protect your business.
It doesn’t take long for new motor carriers and drivers to discover that the FMCSA has dozens, if not hundreds, of safety regulations. One of these is the requirement to properly insure all drivers and vehicles. We know that truck insruance might seem complicated and overwhelming, but our team is here to help you out. You can get started with your truck insurance quotes by filling out our online form, giving us a call, or messaging us on LiveChat. We strive to help trucking businesses get the coverages they need to protect themselves while also making insurance easy.