Yes, you would need a DOT number for your box truck business in the United States. You are required by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to obtain a USDOT Number (U.S. Department of Transportation) and comply with the Federal Regulations.
This is so because, in the United States, all companies that operate commercial vehicles transporting passengers or hauling cargo in interstate commerce must be registered with the FMCSA and must have a USDOT Number.
What is a USDOT Number?
A Department of Transportation (DOT) number is a number the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, FMCSA assigns to registered commercial vehicles. All carrier vehicles that weigh more than a certain amount, carry specific amounts of paying passengers, or operate between state lines require DOT numbers.
The USDOT Number (U.S. Department of Transportation) serves as a unique identifier when collecting and monitoring a company’s safety information acquired during audits, compliance reviews, crash investigations, and inspections.
Please note that you are required to obtain a USDOT number if you have a vehicle that:
Is used to transport the types and quantities of hazardous materials requiring a safety permit in intrastate commerce (see 49 CFR 385.403).
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;
Is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation;
Is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation;
Is involved in Interstate commerce:
Trade, traffic, or transportation in the United States—
Between a place in a State and a place outside of such State (including a place outside of the United States);
Between two places in a State through another State or a place outside of the United States; or
Between two places in a State as part of the trade, traffic, or transportation originating or terminating outside the State or the United States.
States That Require a DOT Number
It is important to note that aside from federal regulations, some states require their intrastate commercial motor vehicle registrants to obtain a USDOT Number (U.S. Department of Transportation). These states include:
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- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- Puerto Rico
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
All commercial vehicles in Alabama must be marked with either an Interstate USDOT# or an Intrastate USDOT#. If you qualify as a commercial motor vehicle as defined by (49 CFR 390.5), you would need a USDOT number in Alabama.
Once you have completed the MCS-150, OP-1 (MX), and BOC-3 forms, you must print the completed forms, sign them, and mail them to the address indicated in the instructions for each form. There is a $300 non-refundable fee for the requested long-haul operating authority. Payment instructions can be found on the OP-1(MX).
Commercial vehicle registration in Alaska involves getting registered through PRISM. The policies of PRISM promote that every commercial vehicle must have a DOT AK Number. Every freight and cargo carrier must have motor carrier authority to operate.
If you have a vehicle with a GVWR – Gross Vehicle Weight Rating – of 18,001 lbs or greater, you are required to have an Arizona DOT Number (AZ DOT Number, DOT State AZ US, DOT Arizona, DOT AZ Number, and AZ DOT Number).
A commercial vehicle operated only within the state of California must obtain a Motor Carrier Permit, a CA number, and as of September 2016 a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Number as well.
Whether you own a small landscaping company or a giant trucking company, if you have any vehicle or a combination of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating (GVWR or GCWR) of 10,001 pounds or over, you are classified as a commercial motor vehicle and would therefore need a US DOT Number.
Almost all interstate commercial vehicles must have active USDOT Number registration. This applies to any motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating over 10,001 pounds. Or, a gross combination weight rating/gross vehicle weight of the same amount.
Vehicles designed to transport eight or more passengers must have DOT DE Numbers. This DOT rule refers to carriers that can transport the passengers for compensation. But the Department of Transportation does not stop there. Even a vehicle that can transport at least fifteen people for free needs a number.
Almost all Florida carriers involved in interstate commerce need to have the number. This applies to any vehicle with a GVWR that’s at least 10,001 pounds. Or, a GCWR, GVW, or GCW totaling over 10,001 pounds. There is a $300 FMCSA filing fee to get your MC Number/USDOT Number.
In Georgia, you are required to obtain a USDOT number if you have a vehicle that: Is used to transport the types and quantities of hazardous materials requiring a safety permit in intrastate commerce (see 49 CFR 385.403). Until URS is fully implemented, there is no charge for a USDOT number. However, if you also want to apply for operating authority (MC/FF/docket numbers), the cost is $300 per authority.
All companies operating commercial vehicles in interstate commerce, whether hauling passengers or cargo, must have a USDOT Number.
Commercial vehicles that ONLY operate in Idaho, have a GVWR of 26,001 or greater or a combination weight rating, transport more than 8 passengers, or that haul hazardous materials requiring placards, are required by Rule 19 of the Idaho Motor Carrier Rules to have an assigned Intrastate DOT number
All motor carriers are required to obtain and/or renew a USDOT Number or Indiana ID number.
Motor carriers who are domiciled in Iowa and operate in for-hire intrastate commerce within Iowa also need to obtain a USDOT-IA number. Please note that private intrastate agriculture operations must comply with 390 but are exempt from USDOT numbers and marking requirements.
If any vehicle exceeds a weight of 10,001 pounds, then you need a DOT KS Number. Even a Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating (GCWR) of 10,001 pounds applies. This means the combined weight of a trailer/truck exceeds non-DOT registration standards.
Even trailers and loads totaling over 10,001 pounds need the DOT KY Number. Having the GVWR of a truck exceed 10,001 pounds also means that you need the number. This applies to both interstate and intrastate carriers operating in Kentucky. These carriers have to fill out the MCS-150 form, per the FMCSA
Vehicles having a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or gross combination weight rating over 26,000 pounds, even in intrastate commerce, must obtain and display a USDOT number from the FMCSA. This exemption is covered under Maine’s Chapter 4 Rule Adoption.
In Maine, all vehicles over 6,000 pounds are registered by weight. This is true whether you are in business or are a private person. Any vehicle registering for weight more than 6,000 lbs. is given a commercial plate. “Commercial” is simply the name of the category of the plate.
Maryland law requires that every registered truck over 10,000 pounds, truck tractor, and bus operated on public roads, unless specifically exempt, must display either a USDOT Number or a Maryland-issued motor carrier identification number.
In Massachusetts, vehicles that are used for conducting business and have a gross weight of 10,001 pounds or more are required to obtain a USDOT number. If you do not use your heavy-duty vehicle for any business purposes, you DO NOT need a DOT number–no matter how much it weighs.
The state of Michigan requires almost all carriers to have active DOT Numbers. This applies to interstate carriers crossing state lines in a commercial vehicle. As long as the GVWR of the vehicle is over 10,000 pounds, you need a DOT MI Number.
In Minnesota, all intrastate motor carriers operating a truck or truck-tractor having a gross vehicle weight of more than 10,000 pounds must obtain a USDOT number. Effective August 1, 2011, USDOT numbers must be displayed on vehicles that operate intrastate.
In Missouri, you are required to obtain a USDOT number if you have a vehicle that: Is used to transport the types and quantities of hazardous materials requiring a safety permit in intrastate commerce (see 49 CFR 385.403).
In Montana, almost every form of commercial vehicle needs a DOT MT Number. The number is for a pickup truck, van, large truck, trailer, or truck hauling a trailer. Again, as long as the weight rating is above 10,001, a vehicle needs a DOT MT Number. This also applies to a Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating (GCWR) over 10,001.
Every motor carrier should have a USDOT Number when operating in New Jersey. FMCSA and DOT policies are clear. These agencies enforce DOT NJ Number registration across the state. A number gets associated with every vehicle in a trucking or transportation business.
New NY DOT regulations enforce that all vehicles over 10,001 pounds must have DOT Numbers. This applies to all trucks. Hence, if you operate a truck for business purposes with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or a truck and trailer with a gross combination vehicle weight rating (GCWR) of 10,001 lbs. or more, you need a USDOT number.
Anyone in Nebraska who operates a commercial vehicle 10,000 pounds or heavier by law must display a United States Department of Transportation number (USDOT). This USDOT number often referred to as the DOT number, alerts motorists that the commercial vehicle in use has been registered.
In Nevada, if a vehicle has a GVWR over 10,000 pounds, then a carrier has to get a DOT NV Number. Even vehicles that can transport fifteen people become subject to DOT Number rules. Plus, carriers of hazardous materials must also adhere to USDOT regulations.
In North Carolina, almost any intrastate carrier with a commercial vehicle must register for the number.
According to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS), vehicles with a GVWR of 10,001 lbs. or more that are used as part of a business (including a non-profit organization) and cross state lines are considered “commercial motor vehicles.”
Most motor carriers traveling through Ohio must secure a DOT Number. The number applies to any vehicle with a GVWR over 10,000 pounds motor carrier authority. Even some vehicles with a GVWR below 10,000 pounds need a DOT Number.
Intrastate for-hire motor carriers and intrastate private carriers must obtain and display a USDOT number in Oklahoma. For-hire and private motor carriers operating commercial motor vehicles across state lines must be registered with the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) and must have a USDOT number.
To obtain or renew transportation credentials including Oregon farm plates, the ODOT Commerce and Compliance Division requires a motor carrier operating a vehicle in commerce with a GVWR or GCWR of 10,001 pounds or more to have a U.S. DOT number.
Pennsylvania, you are required to have a DOT number if you have a Commercial Vehicle with a gross weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more and you cross state lines OR if you have a gross weight rating of 17,000 pounds or more and you do not cross state lines.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires all businesses to obtain a USDOT number before starting a commercial transportation business in Puerto Rico.
In South Carolina, the OP-1 form is crucial for carriers that need to secure FMCSA Operating Authority. This means that you or the carrier have DOT and FMCSA intrastate classification.
You need to get a TXDOT number if you: Operate/Own a vehicle (or combination of vehicles) with a gross weight, registered weight, or gross-weight rating exceeding 26,000 pounds. Or you transport hazardous materials in a quantity that requires placarding.
In Utah, you are required to obtain a USDOT number if you have a vehicle that: Is used to transport the types and quantities of hazardous materials requiring a safety permit in intrastate commerce (see 49 CFR 385.403).
Almost all commercial vehicles driving within Washington State must use DOT Numbers. This applies to the majority of vehicles with a GVWR over 10,001 pounds. Even having a GCWR over 10,001 pounds means that you must get the number.
In West Virginia, if the GVWR is over 10,001 pounds, then your vehicle must have a DOT WV Number.
All motor carriers operating in commerce in Wisconsin must obtain a USDOT Number. Most commercial motor vehicles in Wisconsin require a USDOT Number and it must be provided at the time of registration.
In Wyoming, if you are transporting people, list the number of passengers you can transport, including the driver for taxis, shuttles, or buses (fishing, hunting, or tour guides). NOTE: More than 9 passengers, including the driver, must have a USDOT.
How to Get USDOT Number (U.S Department of Transportation)
To apply and obtain a USDOT number, all new applicants must register online via the Unified Registration System. As of December 12, 2015, paper registration forms are no longer being accepted for initial applications, only for updates to existing registrations.
Until URS is fully implemented, there is no charge for a USDOT number. However, if you also want to apply for operating authority (MC/FF/docket numbers), the cost is $300 per authority.