How to Get a DOT Number | Long Distance USA Movers

How to Get a DOT Number – Learn What Companies Have to Do to Prove They Are Legit

Getting a DOT number is an essential step for companies and individuals who are transporting goods across the country. If you’re relocating to another state, you should learn about everything there is to know about how to get a DOT number and what requirements companies must meet.

Relocation trucks on the road overlay
A USDOT number tells you whether an interstate mover is certified and legit

If you’re a newbie in the world of cross-country moving services, fret not! In this post, we share exactly what businesses need to do to get their hands on a valid DOT number – as well as relocation tips and tricks that will make the whole process of hiring cross-country movers easier and more understandable. By understanding these important legal requirements, you can easily protect yourself from making any relocation mistakes and becoming a victim of moving scams. Understanding how businesses become compliant with all regulations will help you protect yourself from any troubles.

What Does USDOT Mean?

Feeling inevitable anxiety about the upcoming relocation is natural. This is not only because you have to think about saving some money, packing up everything, or finding a job, but also because you’re letting unknown people into your home and handling your possessions. So, before you hire a moving company and invest in long-distance moving services, let’s talk about relevant factors, such as the DOT number, departments that make sure interstate business is done legally and correctly, and how to do your research.

Knowing how to move is also knowing how to keep yourself safe from fraud, too. USDOT stands for the United States Department of Transportation, which is an agency of the federal government in charge of transportation-related policies and regulations. The USDOT’s mission is “to ensure America has the safest, most efficient, and modern transportation system in the world.”

This department is responsible for a wide range of activities, from setting rules and regulations for commercial motor vehicle safety (shipping cars, passengers, and the like) to providing infrastructure funding for rural communities. It also funds research into new technologies that could enhance the mobility of people and goods, such as autonomous vehicles and smart cities. The USDOT also plays an important role in emergency response, disaster relief, and public safety.

In addition to its activities, the USDOT works with other federal agencies and state governments to promote effective transportation policies and provide technical assistance for infrastructure projects. The agency works closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and other organizations to ensure that the nation’s transportation system remains safe and efficient. If you want to move safely and, above all, move efficiently, your mover should be backed up by a DOT certification.

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What Exactly Is a DOT Certification?

DOT certification is a program created by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to ensure that companies, organizations, and individuals meet safety standards while transporting hazardous materials and goods. This certification process aims to protect both people and the environment from potential hazards related to transportation.

It also helps businesses stay in compliance with federal regulations, ensuring that their operations are safe and secure. This can include businesses such as moving companies, trucking firms, freight carriers, and other businesses. This means movers that want to handle goods interstate need to inquire about how to get a USDOT number for a truck.

The following video explains whether a trucking business needs a DOT number or not.

When Is Obtaining a DOT Number Required?

Before you decide on a company that will ship your belongings to another state, you should understand what it takes for movers to be eligible to have a DOT number. So, as for the businesses that wish to transport people and goods, they must obtain a DOT number if they meet any of the following criteria:

  • They operate a commercial motor vehicle with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) or gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,001 pounds or more and are used in interstate commerce.
  • They transport hazardous materials in quantities and concentrations requiring placarding (keep in mind that there are some items that movers won’t move, as they are not allowed).
  • They transport 9 or more passengers for compensation, including the driver.
  • They operate vehicles designed to transport 9 or more persons (including the driver) with a GVWR of 10,001 pounds or more in intrastate commerce and are not exempt from registration.
  • They lease certain commercial motor vehicles which must be placed in interstate commerce.
  • They are a motor carrier operating solely in intrastate commerce, and they transport intermodal containers within 40 miles from their originating terminals.
  • They are a motor carrier operating in intrastate commerce in any state that requires them to register with the USDOT as an interstate carrier.

While there are many things to consider when you want to move to a new state, checking the credibility of a relocation company should be among your priorities.

How to Obtain a DOT Number – Understand the Requirements

To obtain a DOT number, a company must first meet the requirements for registration. This includes having a minimum of $750,000 in liability insurance and a motor carrier safety rating from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Once they have met these requirements, they can go through the FMCSA portal to complete their application. The application will ask for information about the business, including drivers and vehicles. They may also be asked to provide proof of insurance before being approved.

Once the FMCSA has reviewed the application, they will assign a DOT number to the business if it is approved. When a company has obtained a DOT number, it must display it on all of its vehicles and make sure that they comply with all of the regulations set forth by the FMCSA. This includes regularly inspecting and maintaining the vehicles, keeping accurate records, and following all safety rules while on the road. By taking these steps, they ensure their potential clients who want to move to a new city that their business is operating safely and legally on the roads.

Woman looking at papers overlay
Companies must fulfill many requirements to obtain a certificate from FMCSA

What Is FMCSA?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is an agency within the United States Department of Transportation. The FMCSA was established in 2000 to improve safety on our nation’s highways. They do this by creating and enforcing trucking regulations, conducting motor carrier safety reviews, and sponsoring educational programs for drivers and industry professionals.

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How Much Does It Cost to Get a Dot Number From FMCSA?

A company can obtain a USDOT number from the FMCSA free of charge. The process is simple and takes just a few minutes to complete. To register and apply for a DOT number, they should complete an online application on the FMCSA website or contact their customer service center at 1-800-832-5660 (TTY 1-800-877-8339).

They will need to provide basic information about the business, such as the type of motor carrier operations they engage in and where they plan to operate. Once the application is approved, the company will receive a USDOT number, which must be clearly displayed on all commercial motor vehicles operated by them. However, if they want to apply for operating authority, they will have to pay $300.

A person using a calculator overlay
Obtaining a DOT number is always free of charge

Why Is USDOT Important When Hiring Long Distance Movers?

The USDOT is a national organization that ensures that interstate movers are held to the highest standards regarding safety and service. All long-distance movers must be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which is part of the USDOT. This means they have been inspected and approved by federal authorities, providing you with added peace of mind. It also ensures that any complaints you have against the mover can be easily filed and tracked through their USDOT number.

Another advantage of hiring a USDOT-registered mover is that they are required to offer some level of liability coverage for your belongings, regardless of whether or not you purchase additional insurance from them. This means that if something were to happen during the move, such as a broken item or lost shipment, you would be compensated for any losses.

When looking for long-distance movers, make sure to check their USDOT number and verify their safety ratings with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This will give you an indication of how reliable they are and how well they have met the safety requirements of the USDOT. By ensuring that your movers are fully compliant with all regulations, you can rest assured knowing that your belongings will be in safe hands during the move.

Long-distance movers are loading the moving truck overlay
There are several ways to check whether your mover is legitimate

Check if a Long Distance Moving Company Is Legitimate in a Few Steps

Moving across the country is a huge undertaking, and you want to be sure that you can trust the long-distance moving company you choose. To make sure that the company is legitimate, there are a few steps you should take before signing any contracts. Here’s what you need to know before hiring a long-distance moving company.

Check Their USDOT Number

The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) requires all motor carriers transporting property (shipping cars or goods) or passengers in interstate commerce to register with them and obtain a USDOT number. This number serves as an identifier for the company and allows the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to track safety records and enforce regulations. To ensure your chosen mover is legitimate, check their USDOT number on FMCSA’s website and make sure it matches up with the number provided by the mover.

Read the Reviews

Review sites like Yelp are a great resource for getting honest feedback from real customers – not just what’s listed on the company’s website. A quick online search can yield helpful reviews from people who have used the service in question, so be sure to read through them carefully before making your decision. It’s also worth checking out reviews on BBB (Better Business Bureau).

This organization has been around since 1912 and exists to help protect consumers when they deal with businesses throughout North America. In addition to helping resolve disputes between customers and businesses, they provide useful ratings and reviews of companies so potential customers can make informed decisions.

Safety Ratings

The FMCSA assigns safety ratings based on how well or poorly a moving company complies with federal regulations related to driver qualifications, vehicle maintenance, cargo insurance coverage, accident prevention measures, drug/alcohol testing program compliance, etc. Ratings range from “Satisfactory” at one end of the spectrum all the way down to “Unsatisfactory” at the other end of the spectrum.

Companies must maintain a satisfactory rating in order to remain operational in interstate commerce. If their rating falls below this level, they may be subject to fines and/or suspension from operating within certain states until corrective action is taken. Check out a prospective mover’s safety rating on FMCSA’s website before deciding whether or not to use their services for your big move!

Insurance Status

Before signing any paperwork or paying any fees, make sure that your chosen moving company carries cargo moving insurance coverage in case something goes wrong during transit. Your movers should provide proof of this insurance coverage upon request. If they cannot produce such documentation or refuse outright, then it’s probably best not to proceed with them as your choice of long-distance mover.

Understanding How to Get a DOT Number Will Keep You Safe From Fraud

When it comes time for you to plan a move to another city (an interstate move), you will need some interstate relocation tips. So, take some time to vet your prospective movers by checking their USDOT number, reading reviews online about their services, researching their safety ratings through FMCSA’s website, and verifying that they carry cargo insurance coverage before signing anything or paying any fees. By taking these steps beforehand, you will be able to set off on your long-distance move with peace of mind knowing that you have chosen a reputable mover.

Kate Holland

A true grunge and rock music fan born in Seattle, Kate has moved across the country and started writing about her experience.

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