Applying for a New USDOT Number

What is a USDOT Number?

USDOT Numbers serve as a unique way for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to identify, monitor, and collect a company’s safety information that is acquired during roadside inspections, audits, compliance reviews, and crash investigations.

Do You Need a USDOT Number for Your Business Operation?

There are several scenarios that will require you to have a USDOT number. Let’s go over the first four now.

If you are involved in “interstate” commerce and fall into one of the following categories:

  • You have a vehicle with a weight rating, gross vehicle weight, or a truck and trailer combined weight rating of over 10,000 pounds or more, whichever is greater.
  • Is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation.
  • Is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers (including the driver) and is NOT used to transport passengers for compensation.
  • You have a vehicle used to transport types and quantities of hazardous materials requiring the vehicle to be placarded regardless of vehicle weight.

All of these categories are involved in interstate commerce, meaning they cross over state or international borders.

Now let’s look at a couple of other scenarios requiring a USDOT number.

  • If you are involved in “intrastate” commerce, meaning you do not cross over any state or international borders and fall into one of the following categories:
  • You have a vehicle used to transport types and quantities of hazardous materials requiring the vehicle to be placarded regardless of vehicle weight.
  • Certain states in the U.S. require their “intrastate” carriers to have a federal USDOT number even though the carrier does not cross state or international borders. Below is a link to the FMCSA’s state list, but you should always check with your base state for the most up-to-date information.
  • FMCSA State List

Other Considerations

If you plan to operate as a for-hire carrier in interstate commerce, you will likely need your Operating Authority in addition to obtaining a USDOT number. To find out more about Operating Authority, go here.

If you have already applied, Click Here to upload the required signed documents.

FAQ

What is the USDOT HazMat registration program?
Certain offerers and transporters of hazardous materials must register with the Department of Transportation and pay a registration fee. The fees are redistributed as Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness grants (HMEP) to approved emergency responders for HazMat training and to States, Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs), and Native American Tribes for HazMat planning.
Who must register for HazMat?
Per PHMSA, you must register if you are a person who offers for transportation or transports in commerce a shipment containing any of the following categories of hazardous materials (including hazardous wastes):

A highway route-controlled quantity of Class 7 (radioactive) material, as defined in 49 CFR 173.403. A “highway route-controlled quantity” may be shipped by highway, rail, air, or water.
More than 25 kilograms (55 pounds) of a division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 (explosive) material (see 49 CFR 173.50) in a motor vehicle, rail car, or freight container.
More than one liter (1.06 quarts) per package of a “material extremely toxic by inhalation” (that is, a “material poisonous by inhalation” that meets the criteria for “hazard zone A” as specified in 49 CFR 173.116(a) for gases or 173.133(a) for liquids).
A hazardous material (including hazardous wastes) in bulk packaging having a capacity equal to or greater than 13,248 liters (3,500 gallons) for liquids or gases or more than 13.24 cubic meters (468 cubic feet) for solids. Please note that persons who offer or transport hazardous materials that do not require placarding (Class 9 materials) in bulk packaging with a capacity greater than 3,500 gallons or 468 cubic feet must register.
A shipment in other than a bulk packaging of 2,268 kilograms (5,000 pounds) gross weight or more of one class of hazardous materials (including hazardous wastes) for which placarding of a vehicle, rail car, or freight container is required for that class.
A quantity of hazardous material that requires placarding. The offering and transporting of hazardous materials by farmers in direct support of their farming operations are excepted from this category of activities requiring registration. See the information on requirements for farmers below.

What if I don't register for HazMat?
It is a federal requirement based on the federal HazMat law to register. Federal, state, and local agencies enforce these laws. They may impose penalties for failing to register or meet the recordkeeping requirements.
Are there any exceptions?
Per PHMSA, the following are exceptions:

Agencies of the federal government.
Agencies of states.
Agencies of political subdivisions of states.
Native American.
Employees of those entities listed in [A], [B], [C], or [D] who offer or transport hazardous materials as part of their official duties.
Hazmat employees, including the owner-operator of a motor vehicle that transports hazardous materials in commerce if that vehicle, at the time of those activities, is leased to a registered motor carrier under a 30-day or longer lease as prescribed in 49 CFR Part 376 or an equivalent contractual relationship.
A person who offers hazardous materials for transportation to the United States solely from locations outside of the United States, when that person is domiciled outside the United States, in a country that does not impose registration or a fee on U.S. companies for offering hazardous materials into that country.
A farmer who offers or transports only hazardous materials used in direct support of their farming operations and who is not engaged in activities included in Categories A through E described in the FAQ “Who must register for HazMat?”

I am a farmer. Do I have to register for HazMat?
Farmers must register if they:

Offers or transports hazardous materials that require placarding that are not in direct support of their farming operation. For example, a farmer who offers or transports home heating fuel for commercial purposes in quantities requiring placarding must register.
Offers or transports for any purpose any hazardous materials included in Categories A through E in the FAQ “Who must register for HazMat?”. For example, a farmer who transports 55 lbs. or more of a division 1.1 explosive must register, even if the explosive is to be used in direct support of his farming operations.

A farmer who offers or transports only hazardous materials used in direct support of their farming operations and who is not engaged in activities included in Categories A through E described in the FAQ “Who must register for HazMat?” are exempt from registering.