What is a DOT Number & Do I Need It?
The DOT Number is the number assigned by the FMCSA that signifies that you are operating a commercial truck that is at least 10,000 lbs. GVW or carrying at least 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation. A DOT Number by itself will only give a commercial vehicle the authority to operate in their home state.
A DOT Number also serves as an identifier when collecting and monitoring a company’s safety information. Part of the DOT Number application process is to identify a single point of contact within the company, typically one of the owners. Even if there are multiple owners of the company, only a single owner can be associated with the DOT Number at the time of the original filing.
If you are operating a commercial vehicle of any kind, it is likely that you require a DOT Number to do so legally. In some cases, even if you are operating a vehicle in a non-commercial manner, you may be required to obtain a DOT Number. A DOT Number is required if you have commercial vehicles that have a GVW over 10,000 lbs., transport goods or passengers for compensation, or haul hazardous materials. Many states also require a vehicle to register for a DOT Number if they are engaged in intrastate commerce.
A DOT Number is also required for any vehicle that is designed to carry more than 15 passengers (including the driver) even if they are not hauling the passengers for compensation (educational institutions are exempt).