DOT Number


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DOT Number / US DOT Number / USDOT Number is issued by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT).

Commercial Vehicles used in your business or by your company required to have a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT Number are pickup trucks, vans, straight trucks, semi-tractors or vehicles transporting passengers. Weight requirements for vans, trucks and semi-tractors, or the number of people transported on passenger vehicles are described below.

Commercial Motor Vehicles requiring a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number as described by the FMCSA Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations Part 390.5 for the purpose of compliance with USDOT Marking Requirements 390.21 for a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number are as follows:

A Commercial Motor Vehicle implies that any self-propelled motor vehicle, or towed vehicle used on public roads and highways in interstate commerce to transport property or passengers when the vehicle

  • has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) or Gross Combination Weight Ratings of 10,001-lbs or more 
  • is designed to transport 8 or more people (including driver) for compensation
  • is designed to transport 16 or more people including driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation
  • is transporting hazardous materials in quantities requiring the vehicle to be placarded. With hazardous materials, there are no weight stipulations regarding placarded vehicles (the vehicle can be at any weight when transporting materials in quantities requiring placarding) and the regulations apply to both intrastate (in-state) and interstate (vehicles crossing state lines) operations.

Commercial Vehicles Remaining In-State that require a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number:  Certain states require commercial vehicles used by you or your company that remain in-state without crossing state lines to be registered for a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number. This includes vehicles used to transport only your own equipment, or your own products, and you are Not For Hire (you are considered a Private Carrier) as well as vehicles designed to transport items or commodities or people on a For Hire basis (you get paid to transport these commodities, items or people within the state). You will not be crossing state lines at any time while operating commercially. If you are traveling into another state (other than yours) to operate within that state on a commercial basis, you will be considered as Crossing State Lines and will be required to have a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number when the GVWR or GCWR is 10,001-lbs or greater, or for certain vehicles transporting passengers (look at the Commercial Vehicles Crossing State Lines paragraph below). The following states require you to have a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number while operating on a commercial basis within these states. Click on the appropriate state you need to check on for a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number:  Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.  States not requiring a Non-Hazmat DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number are Arkansas, California, Washington DC, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Rhode Island, Virginia and Vermont. California-based businesses or carriers looking for a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number are required to register for a Motor Carrier Permit (MCP). When operating within a state as a Private Carrier, you will not need Intra-State Authority. However, when you operate as a For-Hire Carrier within the states shown above with links in blue, you are required to have a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number and, with certain states, the need to register for state operating authority. Check on the state pages requiring you to have a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number to see if you also need state operating authority as a For-Hire Carrier picking up and delivering items / loads within that state.

Commercial Vehicles Crossing State Lines that require a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number:  Vehicles used in your business or your company that will cross state lines, or may cross state lines at any time and which have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 10,001-lbs or more stamped on the doorframe of the vehicle; or a combination of a powered vehicle and a trailer together with Gross Combination Weight Ratings (GCWR) of 10,001 or more: or certain passenger vehicles: are required to be registered for a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number when crossing state lines. You are assigned one DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number for your business or company, whether you have one vehicle or your company has a thousand vehicles. If you are a Private Carrier crossing state lines, you will need a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number, but you will not need MC Authority / ICC Authority / Motor Carrier Authority / DOT authority. If you are a For-Hire Carrier crossing state lines with exempt products / loads, you will need a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number, but you will not need to register for MC Authority / ICC Authority / Trucking Authority / DOT Authority. If you are a For-Hire Carrier crossing state lines hauling non-exempt loads, in addition to a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number, you will need MC Authority / ICC Authority / Motor Carrier Authority / DOT Authority.

The following are the different categories of truck / semi-tractor operations associated with DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number registrations

Private Carrier hauling your own items or products across state lines with a GVWR - Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 10,001-lbs or more, or pulling a trailer where the GCWR - Gross Combined Weight Ratings of both the power unit and the trailer are 10,001-lbs or more, you will need a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number. If you cross state lines and your gross weight or combined gross weights are 26,001-lbs or more, in addition to a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number, you will need to register for an IRP / Apportioned license plate for the power unit (for the trailer, you can get an IRP / Apportioned license plate at the time you get a plate for the tractor, or you can get a trailer plate at your local license branch). Together with an IRP plate, DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number, you will also need to register for IFTA fuel tax and the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR). If your gross weight exceeds 54,999-lbs, you will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and file the annual 2290 Federal Highway Use Tax. If your truck or truck and trailer or semi-tractor and trailer weigh 18,000-lbs or more and you will be crossing into New York state, you will need to pre-register for a NYHUT before going into the state. If your truck or truck and trailer or semi-tractor and trailer weigh 60,000-lbs or more and you will be crossing into Kentucky, you will need to pre-register for a Kentucky KYU number. If you cross into New Mexico or Oregon, you can either pay at the Port of Entry, or pre-register with these states for the Weight-Distance tax. If you pay at the New Mexico Port of Entry to cross New Mexico on I-40 with a loaded semi-tractor and trailer, you will be asked to pay $60 for the trip. If you pre-register with New Mexico, you will end up paying around $16.75 for the same trip when you file your quarterly Weight-Distance report in the month following the quarter. If you start hauling loads for pay, you will no longer be considered a Private Carrier, and, in addition to a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number, IRP plate and IFTA registration, you may need MC Authority (DOT Authority / ICC Authority / Trucking Authority) to haul loads across state lines.

Leasing on to a trucking company with a straight truck or a sem-tractor as an owner-operator - DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number requirements:

  • Staying in-state without crossing state lines in a truck with a Gross Weight not exceeding 26,000-lbs, or a truck and trailer with Combined Gross Weights not exceeding 26,000-lbs - some states require you to have a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number, other states do not require you to have a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number.  
  • Crossing state lines with a truck 10,001-lbs or more, or with a truck and trailer or semi-tractor and trailer with Gross Combined Weights of 10,001-lbs or more, you are required to have a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number when you are leased to a trucking company and will be classified as a Registrant and not as a Carrier. You will be operating under the trucking company's Motor Carrier Authority. If the Gross Weight of your pickup truck, pickup truck and trailer or straight truck is 26,000-lbs or under, you will not need to register for an IRP / Apportioned license plate, nor will you need to register for IFTA fuel taxes (trucking companies typically have you registered in their name for fuel taxes) but you will still need to register for a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number. The license branch plate for your truck is good for all 48 states when your Gross Weight is 26,000-lbs or under (you will not be asked for your DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number at the license branch), except when you have a pickup truck with a 5th wheel pulling a gooseneck trailer picking up a load in a state other than yours and delivering that load in that same state - then, in addition to a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number, you need an IRP / Apportioned license plate for the truck. When your Gross Weight or Combined Gross Weights of both the Truck and the trailer or semi-tractor and trailer exceed 26,000-lbs and you cross state lines, in addition to a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number, you will need an IRP / Apportioned license and have IFTA stickers on your truck. Some trucking companies will provide you with an IRP license plate and charge you back over several weeks for the cost of this plate, but you will still need to get your own DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number. Other companies require you to get your own Apportioned / IRP license plate. Most trucking companies will issue IFTA stickers and an IFTA cab-card to you. Some will tell you to register with the state for your own IFTA account and do your own quarterly IFTA fuel tax reporting. With any of these situations, you will still need your own DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number. If your truck or semi-tractor plate is 55,000-lbs or greater and you will be crossing state lines, you will need a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number, an IRP / Apportioned license plate, IFTA fuel tax credentials and file a 2290 Federal Highway Use Tax with the IRS. You will be operating under the trucking company's Motor Carrier MC number.

For-Hire Carrier Hauling Exempt Products such as grain, livestock or logs with a pickup truck and trailer, straight truck, straight truck and trailer, or semi-tractor and trailer - DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number requirements :

  • Staying within the state and not crossing state lines in a truck with a Gross Weight not exceeding 26,000-lbs, or a truck and trailer with combined Gross Weights not exceeding 26,000-lbs - some states require you to have a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number and other states do not require you to have a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number. As you will be hauling exempt products / commodities within the state, you will not need state authority to haul these items.
  • Crossing State  Lines with a truck 10,001-lbs or more, or with a truck and trailer or semi-tractor and trailer with Combined Gross Weights of 10,001-lbs or more, you are required to have a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number. You will not be required to operate with Federal Motor Carrier Authority (MC Authority) but you will need a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number. If the Gross Weight of your pickup truck, pickup truck and trailer, or straight truck is 26,000-lbs or under, you will not need to register for an IRP / Apportioned license plate, nor will you need to register for IFTA fuel taxes, but you will still need to register for a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number. The license branch plate for your truck is good for all 48 states and you will not be asked for your DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number. When you are commercial and pick up and deliver loads within another state, when the Gross Weight, or Gross Combined Weights are between 10,001-lbs and 26,000-lbs, in addition to a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number, you are required to plate these vehicles with IRP / Apportioned plates and register for fuel taxes. When the Gross Weight or Combined Gross Weights exceed 26,000-lbs and you cross state lines, you are then required to plate your power unit with an IRP / Apportioned license plate and register for IFTA fuel tax. In addition to a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number, there may be several other things you need to have, as mentioned above. When your Gross Weight or Combined Gross Weights are 10,001-lbs or more, in addition to a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number, you will need to register for UCR - Unified Carrier Registration. If your truck or tractor and semi weigh 55,000-lbs or more, you will also be required to file the 2290 Federal Highway Use Tax with the IRS. You will need an EIN number to file the 2290 tax. Call us to help you.

For-Hire Carrier Hauling Loads that require Authority with a van, van and trailer, pickup truck, pickup truck and trailer, straight truck or semi-tractor and trailer - DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number requirements:

  • Staying within the state and not crossing state lines with a Gross Weight not exceeding 26,000-lbs, or a truck and trailer with Gross Combined Weights not exceeding 26,000-lbs -  some states required you to have a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number, other states do not required you to have a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number
  • Crossing State Lines with a truck 10,001-lbs or more, or with a truck and trailer or semi-tractor and trailer with Gross Combined Weights of 10,001-lbs or more, you are required to have a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number. If the Gross Weight of your van, van and trailer, pickup truck, pickup truck and trailer, or straight truck is 26,000-lbs or under, you will not need an IRP license plate for your vehicle nor will you need to register for IFTA fuel tax, but you will still need to register for a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number and UCR - Unified Carrier Registration. The license branch plate for your power unit and trailer is good for all 48 states when your Gross Weight is 26,000-lbs or under (you will not be asked for your DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number at the license branch), except when you have a pickup truck with a 5th wheel pulling a gooseneck trailer picking up a load in a state other than yours and delivering that load in the same state - then, in addition to a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number, you need an IRP / Apportioned license plate for the truck. When the Gross Weight or Gross Combined Weights exceed 26,000-lbs and you cross state lines, in addition to a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number, you will need an IRP / Apportioned license plate and register for IFTA fuel tax and UCR. If your Gross Weight or Gross Combined Weights are 55,000-lbs or more, you will be involved with the IRS 2290 Federal Highway Use Tax. When your Gross Weight or Gross Combined Weights are 55,000-lbs and you have your Motor Carrier Authority / DOT Authority / ICC Authority / MC Authority, you will need a DOT number / US DOT number / USDOT number, an IRP / Apportioned license plate, register for IFTA fuel tax, register for UCR and have filed your 2290 Federal Highway Use Tax with the IRS. 


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