Any company that operates commercial vehicles transporting passengers or hauling cargo in interstate commerce must be registered with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) and must have a USDOT Number. Also, commercial intrastate hazardous materials carriers who haul quantities requiring a safety permit must register for a USDOT Number. The USDOT Number serves as a unique identifier when collecting and monitoring a company’s safety information acquired during audits, compliance reviews, crash investigations, and inspections. 

Some States Require USDOT Numbers

In select states,  all registrants of commercial motor vehicles, even intrastate and non-Motor Carrier registrants, are required to obtain a USDOT Number as a necessary condition for commercial vehicle registration. Here is a list of states that require a USDOT number: 

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Registation and Licensing

The FMCSA registration process requires that companies define the type of Motor Carrier, Broker, Shipper and/or Freight Forwarder business operation they plan to establish. The Agency administers the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) and Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) that govern interstate—and some intrastate—commercial trucking and bus industries. 

The FMCSA establishes standards for commercial motor vehicles, their drivers, and truck and bus companies involved in the interstate transportation of passengers and cargo, including Hazardous Materials. The Agency’s responsibilities include monitoring and enforcing compliance with regulations governing both safety and commerce. Its focus on both concerns—safety and financial responsibility—is reflected in the dual path of its current registration process. Companies may find they are subject to both registration requirements—USDOT Number and Interstate Operating Authority—or either one separately. 

If you have more questions or are ready to start the process, visit the US Dept of Transportation website at: