If you operate commercial vehicles, if you move people or cargo across state lines, DOT numbers may be required to operate legally. To do so, you must register with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) obtain a USDOT number, and display it on your vehicles.

The Number is used as identification when monitoring safety records, completing inspections, conducting reviews and audits, as well as during crash investigations.

The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) shares this information.

“You are required to obtain a USDOT number if you have a vehicle that:

  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight, of 4,536 kg (10,001 pounds) or more, whichever is greater; or
  • Is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation; or
  • Is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation; or
  • Is used in transporting material found by the Secretary of Transportation to be hazardous and transported in a quantity requiring placarding.”

Where Should the Numbers be Displayed?

Although FMCSA doesn’t specify an exact location, it’s required to post the numbers on both sides of commercial vehicles. It’s a good idea to measure the space to verify fit, before applying the numbers. Numbers on parked vehicles should be visible from 50 feet, which translates to a minimum of two inch numbers and letters. They also must contrast to the color of the vehicle. For example, a white truck would require dark contrasting letters.

It’s the responsibility of the commercial carrier, owners and drivers both, to understand and comply with the DOT number regulations. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. If you’re unsure of what you need to stay in compliance, this FMCSA article will help How to Comply with Federal Regulations. If you have any questions about displaying the DOT numbers please Contact Us.  We’ve been producing and installing DOT numbers since 1985.