What Are USDOT Numbers?

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What Are USDOT Numbers?
What Are USDOT Numbers?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration – FMCSA

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or the FMCSA, is a division established in January 2000 as an integral part within the United States Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT). The FMCSA regulates the trucking industry in the United States, with the primary objective of improving the safety of commercial motor vehicles and truck drivers that operate them. The goals of the FMCSA are attained through enacting and enforcing safety regulations. Any company that operates commercial motor vehicles that carry passengers, or conducts the business of hauling cargo between states, must register with the FMCSA and obtain a USDOT Number.

What happens when a company registers with FMCSA?

When a company that conducts business across state lines, or carries passengers between states, registers with the FMCSA they are required to obtain a USDOT number. The USDOT Number is unique to each individual company. This number is used to track the data regarding a company’s safety information obtained through audits, inspections, compliance reviews, and accident investigations.

Upon application, any first-time carrier will receive automatic enrollment in the FMCSA New Entrant Safety Assurance Program. The entrant will not receive permanent registration status until they have been in the program for a period of 18 months. During this initial period, the new entrants must pass a safety audit within the first 90 days. Additionally, the company must maintain acceptable roadside safety performance during the probationary period.

All my business is intrastate.  Why do I need a USDOT Number?

Thirty-one states also require a USDOT number for commercial vehicle registrants regardless of whether or not their business is conducted between states. Those states are 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.

It should be noted that if a company is operating strictly as a broker or freight forwarder, then it is not necessary to obtain a USDOT Number.

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How do I get my USDOT Number?

Companies can apply for a USDOT Number by going to the FMCSA website, www.fmcsa.dot.gov, for information. You can also reach the FMCSA by calling their toll free number, 1-800-832-5660. Each state also has a local Department of Transportation office or FMCSA field offices. You will need to complete the forms provided, including the MCS-150 or MCS-150B. Online registration is encouraged by the FMCSA but a docket number and PIN will need to be obtained before registering. The FMCSA provides assistance for online registration with a helpful step-by-step guide that can be found on their website.

What do I do with my USDOT Number?

When a company obtains a USDOT Number it must be visibly displayed on every commercial motor vehicle within its fleet that is required by law to display the number. Because the purpose of the USDOT Number is to track safety data, it allows the average driver an identifier in order to locate the company and report operators that are driving in an unsafe manner. Vehicles operating with faulty or dangerous equipment can also be reported to the company to which the USDOT Number belongs. The USDOT number provides a universal mechanism for reporting unsafe driving actions as well as any safety issues related to a commercial motor vehicle.

How Do I Find a Company’s UDOT Number?

The U.S. Department of Transportation has a website that allows for a search by USDOT Number. If you have a number and want to receive information about the company to which the number belongs you can go to http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/CompanySnapshot.aspx to obtain that information. Simply type in the number in the search box and make sure the USDOT Number option has been selected.

The search results should return information about the size of the company, their identifying information, safety record (to include a safety rating if available), information about accidents, and inspection summaries. This service is provided by the USDOT free of charge.

Joe WebsterWritten By:Joe WebsterConnect with Joe Webster on facebookConnect with Joe Webster on linkedin

Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

Email me - info@a1autotransport.com

Satisfied Customers

“I am meticulous when it comes to everything. At first, I was thinking of just driving all the way to Illinois from New Jersey. A friend recommended me to go to A1 Auto Transport and told me a lot of good things about them. I refused initially because I had filed a 4 day leave just to drive and visit my mother. But things did not go well. My boss asked me to cancel my leave because a very important client asked for an urgent meeting, and the manager could not attend to it. I was hopeless and took the risk of asking help from A1. The notice was short and I forgot I needed to inform them in advance. After a couple of hours, I received a call and they told me they found a way to book me with no extra fees. I am so thankful I got to attend to my work matters. I did not get to see my mother, but the vehicle and items inside it were in perfect condition as if it was me who took care of it. I owe you guys big time! I got one huge deal from our client.”

“The plan was to ship my car from California to Utah. I went through nearly 20 quotes after using an auto shipping site which linked to a bunch of brokers. Finally, I found A1 Auto Transport, a company with its own trucks with great reviews. I was sold. Joe was very competent, gave off the impression he’d done this a million times, and it really showed throughout the transport. He listened to my request carefully, offered me several options, stayed in touch during the transport, and made sure I was happy with everything. Overall, a great company which I would definitely recommend to others!”

“I’m so glad I met you Joe!! A truly fortunate experience. Having to transport a car to Minnesota, I was stunned to see the company, who was supposed to take care of it, just vanish. I couldn’t reach them anymore, like they went bankrupt overnight. However, I was lucky enough to not pay anything, so I simply researched some more until I found A1 Auto Transport. Joe answered my call the first time and we soon agreed on a date and a quote. Unfortunately, I got caught up in work and forgot about it. The order was not confirmed, so Joe must’ve thought I changed my mind. I called him the next day and arranged for a new date. This time, I made a note on my phone and it went well. I replied to his email this time, and the driver arrived at a parking lot down the street on time, as promised. The driver was nice enough to not mention my previous mistake. He delivered my car in just 3 days. Upon careful inspection, there were no scratches or damage done to it during transport. Joe was there along with the driver and they both waited patiently until I was satisfied. Thanks!”

“A1 Auto is kind of like your favourite mom and pop pizza parlour, the one you can’t get enough of despite all the new, expensive avant-garde pizza shops that have mushroomed conspicuously across the entire neighbourhood and seem to have taken over the whole world...but not you. Because you value quality and genuine customer service, and know this business understands and works doubly hard to give you your money’s worth. I’ve been using A1 Auto Transport whenever I left California for business: they may not be the cheapest car transporters around, but the sheer professionalism, dedication, and heart they put into their work is just amazing and worth my every dime. I’m probably one of the most sceptical people you would ever meet. I’m rarely convinced when bombarded with dubious, self-congratulating ads of companies that look like they’ve spent tons of money on marketing materials just to lure your average guy in. A1 Auto Transport is the complete opposite of these companies. My car always arrived promptly on schedule, never with a hint of scratch or dirt or damage, and they keep me updated every step of the process. When you’ve found a company whose genuine care for their customers comes naturally, you stand by them no matter what. It’s the most logical thing to do.”

“A1 Auto Transport helped me move a vehicle to Iowa from Houston. I was a bit nervous, no knowing much about such services. Thanks to Joe, I was able to clear the fog a little. He answered all my questions and explained everything in a way that left no room for interpretation. The details were straightforward. I picked Sunday as the pickup date, since I wasn’t at work, and they accommodated me. The truck arrived an hour early, yet the driver patiently waited for me to arrive. He thoroughly checked my car for scratches or anything that might affect the transport then drove it onto the truck. I was given a 2 day time window during which the car was supposed to arrive in, and it got to Iowa in the evening of the first day. The trip didn’t damage it at all. Next time a friend wants to move, I’ll surely recommend A1 Auto Transport.”

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
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