Whether transporting people, products, or perishables across state lines, finding your moving company’s United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) number can benefit your business and protect your precious cargo.
For those traveling long-distance or moving across the country, USDOT numbers can help keep your belongings safe, secure, and protected by ensuring your moving service is reliable and reputable.
Keep reading to get answers to common FAQs about USDOT numbers.
What Is a USDOT Number?
A USDOT number is a unique identification number determined and distributed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
USDOT numbers are provided to moving companies operating commercial motor vehicles transporting cargo interstate or across state lines. Any U.S.-based transportation provider carrying products or goods is provided with a 17-digit code when they register with the FMCSA.
If a vehicle is hauling hazardous materials requiring hazmat gear, it is necessary to have a USDOT number. In addition, if a vehicle has a gross combination weight or gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds, it must have a USDOT number.
Vehicles that transport more than eight paying passengers, including the driver, and vehicles with the capacity to carry more than fifteen passengers, even if they are not paying customers, are required to obtain USDOT numbers.
The FMCSA uses each company’s USDOT number to monitor and track how well the company is conducting business. USDOTs can help acquire a company’s safety adherence when audited, during compliance reviews, crash investigations, and safety evaluations.
If you are a prospective client looking for a moving company, looking up that business’ USDOT number will help you to determine if it is a reputable company, if it has been registered with the FMCSA, and if it follows safety compliance protocol.
Any U.S. moving company transporting interstate commerce is required to have a USDOT number. If an interstate moving company is not registered with the FMCSA and does not have a USDOT number, it is not a legal business and does not have reputability with the USDOT or FMCSA.
How Is a USDOT Number Different From a DOT Number?
The U.S. Department of Transportation provides moving companies with a DOT number or a USDOT number, depending on whether they transport passengers or goods within a single state or from one state to another.
If a company only transports intrastate commerce within its state of origin, it may be able to have only a DOT number. However, if a business will be hauling cargo outside of the origin state, it is required to obtain a USDOT number.
Much like USDOT numbers, Motor Carrier (MC) numbers are unique identifiers that allow movers to transport cargo from one state to another. The difference between an MC number and a USDOT number is operating authority with the type of transportation being conducted.
If a trucking company is for-hire and is transporting federally-regulated cargo or carrying passengers, it must have an MC number. Some companies may have an MC number, a DOT number, a USDOT number, or both an MC number and a USDOT number.
What Are the Benefits of Having a USDOT Number?
Your USDOT number ensures compliance with federal regulations set by the FMCSA and the DOT. It also verifies that you have paid the required USDOT fee and states the company that operates the commercial motor vehicle (CMV).
A USDOT number not only allows you to complete interstate freight shipping and moving but also allows prospective clients to verify your company name, your company’s safety information, and compliance reviews and audits.
If you are searching for a moving or freight transportation provider, acquiring the business’ USDOT number will allow you to determine if it is a legally-operated and reliable company that is up-to-date with its safety compliance.
By checking the moving company’s USDOT number, you can evaluate past performance, minimize fraud, find complaint history, determine if accidents have occurred, and retrieve an overall safety rating.
How Do You Get a USDOT Number?
Businesses can apply with the FMCSA’s Unified Registration System (URS) to receive a USDOT number. Commercial companies must complete safety registration and need to identify their operation classification by specifying whether they are motor carriers, brokers, cargo tank facilities, freight forwarders, or Intermodal Equipment Providers (IEPs).
If the business is moving hazardous materials, their Hazardous Materials Safety Permit Registration must be completed alongside submitting their USDOT application to the URS. If a company is hoping to update its USDOT number, it can fill out an MCS-150 form on the FMCSA website.
How To Find Your USDOT Number
If you have received a USDOT number or want to check your moving company’s USDOT number for compliance verification and to access safety records, the company’s identification number can be accessed online, by phone, email, and mail.
USDOT numbers can be accessed online on the FMCSA website by looking up the company's name, USDOT number, or MC number.
Looking up a USDOT number will allow you to:
- Determine if a company is currently in business.
- Find vehicle VINs.
- Verify the business address and contact information.
- Find carrier registration.
- Ensure that drivers are up-to-date with their commercial driver’s license (CDL) requirements.
The Bottom Line
It is crucial to ensure your carrier or mover is reliable, whether you are looking for a new position as a driver or searching for a trustworthy mover.
When searching for a reputable moving service, car-hauling services like Carvaygo can put your mind at ease with dependable, efficient, tech-savvy services.
Prospective clients can receive a free quote for their shipment, book their trip, and relax as their vehicle gets delivered to their door.
Our network of vehicle transportation providers ensures a stress-free, consumer-focused experience that will simplify the transportation process for you.
Visit our site today for a customized quote.
What is a USDOT Number and How Do I Check It? | Nexus
What is The Difference Between a DOT Number and a MC Number | TAFS
What is a DOT Number and How Do You Look It Up? | MyMove
Getting Started with Registration | Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration