What Is a USDOT Number? (2024)

By Jesus Sanchez Garcia | March 23, 2023

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Moving can be a stressful experience, and finding the right moving company is crucial to ensure a smooth transition. One essential aspect to consider while vetting moving companies is their U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) numbers. These identification numbers help federal authorities track each company’s safety record and compliance with various regulations.

In this guide, we’ll explain what a USDOT number is and why it matters when you’re choosing a company to help you move.



USDOT Number Explained

USDOT numbers are unique identifiers assigned to companies that operate commercial motor vehicles—including interstate moving companies. This number system helps the USDOT track each company’s safety information, including the results of compliance reviews, safety audits, and inspections. Consumers can also enter the number into the registered movers database to ensure a company adheres to federal safety and regulatory standards.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the USDOT, oversees the USDOT number system. 

What Does the Certification Mean?

A USDOT certification verifies that a moving company or commercial vehicle operator has met the necessary requirements to operate legally in interstate commerce. These requirements include the following:

By obtaining a USDOT number, the moving company demonstrates its commitment to providing safe and reliable services to its clients. It enables customers and regulatory agencies to access its safety performance history and compliance information. This transparency can help customers evaluate and compare moving companies, giving them insight into the company’s track record and professionalism.

Why Is It Required?

USDOT numbers are required for several reasons, including the following:

In addition to a USDOT number, interstate moving companies must obtain a motor carrier (MC) number from the FMCSA. They must also comply with the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) system and the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) if they operate across multiple states. Moving companies must also ensure each driver possesses a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL).



Who Needs a USDOT Number?

Companies that operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce must obtain a USDOT number. Some companies involved in intrastate commerce may also need a USDOT number, depending on the type of cargo they transport and specific state regulations.

Here’s an overview of entities that need USDOT numbers:

The following states and territories require carriers to obtain a USDOT number regardless of whether they participate in interstate commerce:

Companies that operate commercial motor vehicles should check their state’s regulations to ensure compliance with USDOT number requirements.



How to Look Up a USDOT Number

You can find a moving company’s USDOT number in three places:

You can also look up a company’s USDOT number in the FMCSA’s Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) System by following these steps:



In Conclusion

USDOT numbers help ensure that companies involved in interstate commerce or specific intrastate commerce activities adhere to federal safety and regulatory standards. These unique identifiers are a vital component of the transportation industry, playing a key role in public safety and consumer protection efforts.

When searching for a moving or transportation company, always verify its USDOT number to ensure it operates legally and complies with safety standards. By looking up a company’s USDOT number on the FMCSA website, you can access valuable information about its safety performance and compliance history. This information, in turn, can help you find a reliable and professional service provider that makes your moving experience smoother and less stressful.




What is the purpose of a USDOT number?

The purpose of a USDOT number is to enable the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to monitor a company’s safety performance and regulation compliance. USDOT numbers are unique identifiers assigned to companies that operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce, as well as some companies engaged in intrastate commerce. Consumers and regulatory agencies can use USDOT numbers to determine a company’s track record and compliance status. This accountability system helps to prevent scams and maintain a high safety level within the transportation industry.

What is the difference between a USDOT number and a DOT number?

There is no difference between a USDOT number and a DOT number. Both terms refer to the same unique identifier assigned to interstate moving and transportation companies by the Department of Transportation (DOT).

How do you get a USDOT number?

To get a USDOT number, companies must register online via the Unified Registration System (URS). Here are the steps:Determine whether you need a USDOT number under state or federal regulations.Complete an online application using the URS Registration Wizard. (Paper MCS-150 forms are no longer accepted for initial registration.)Submit your application electronically.Receive your USDOT number after your application has been processed and approved.