Certain companies are required to have a USDOT Number before they can operate their commercial vehicles legally. For this reason, it is important to check the status of your USDOT Number to make sure the number is active.
What is a USDOT Number?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a USDOT Number is a specific number that serves as a unique identifier for certain commercial vehicles. This number is used to collect and monitor any safety information related to the vehicle, typically during inspections, crash investigations, compliance reviews, and audits.
In order to maintain an active number, you must register with the Department of Transportation, complete the New Entrant Program and complete all biennial updates. If you do not have an active DOT Number when the law requires you to have one, you may be subject to penalties. For this reason, it is important to know the status of your USDOT Number at all times.
Who needs a USDOT Number?
Federal law requires USDOT Numbers for all companies that operate commercial vehicles that haul cargo and/or transport passengers from state to state. These numbers are also required for certain commercial carriers that haul hazardous materials intrastate.
Even if you are not required to register for a USDOT Number by federal law, many states require USDOT Numbers for all commercial vehicles. If you still aren’t sure whether you need a DOT Number, you can find out using the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s interactive online tool.
Determining USDOT Number Status
If you need to check the status of your USDOT Number, you have several options. The different methods you can use include:
1. Checking online.
One of the quickest ways to check your DOT Number status is to visit the Safety and Fitness Electronic Records website, which is operated by the United States Department of Transportation. On this website, you can use your USDOT Number, MC/MX Number or company name to search for the status of your number. You can also use this tool to review other information, such as the safety record, any crash information, safety rating, and other basic facts.
2. Via email.
If you don’t want to use the online search tool, or if the tool doesn’t work properly for you, you can submit the query online via the online form located on the Safety and Fitness Electronic Records website. When you submit the form, you will receive a tracking number, and the support team will reply to your email promptly.
3. Calling directly.
If you want to get an answer immediately, you can check the status of your DOT Number by calling 800-832-5660, which is the FMCSA Customer Service number. After answering a few questions, you should be able to get an updated status report.
If you find that your USDOT is inactive, you can take steps to reactivate it. The exact steps you will need to take will depend on the reason your DOT Number was deactivated.
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