A Department of Transportation (DOT) number is a number the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, assigns to registered commercial vehicles. All carrier vehicles that weigh more than a certain amount, carry specific amounts of paying passengers or operate between state lines require DOT numbers. In most U.S. states, local DOT requirements also apply.
The process for filing and submitting a USDOT application is relatively easy, but it does require some knowledge about the legal classification of your business. Beyond the basic information, you will also need to gather the following information:
- Company operation
- Operation classification
- Cargo classification
Additional required details will include the number of vehicles you plan to operate, the type of vehicles in question, the status of your ownership of said vehicles — whether you own or lease — and the extent of your operation, such as whether you intend to operate on an intrastate or interstate basis. If you intend to transport hazardous chemicals, you will also need to know your hazmat classification.