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What Are USDOT Numbers?

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Moving companies have to comply with strict standards in order to register, receive, and maintain a US DOT number. This allows the US Department of Transportation to closely monitor and regulate these companies and their operations for any fraudulent or potentially unsafe activity.

What are US DOT numbers?

The FMCSA, or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, enforces a number of regulations to ensure road safety. One of their requirements is that moving companies register for a US Department of Transportation number. The US DOT number is a way for the government to identify a particular carrier when collecting information from audits, compliance reviews, inspections, and other data sets. It's also used as an organizational tool for enforcing and monitoring safety regulations.

What US DOT numbers mean

When applying for a US DOT number, a company will be enrolled in a program called "New Entrant Safety Assurance Program." During this 18-month education program, companies will learn all about carrier safety and hazardous material regulations. In order to get a permanent US DOT number, the carrier must maintain safe operations during the 18 months of the program and pass a safety audit.

In order to maintain their US DOT number, moving companies need to comply with all FMCSA safety regulations. This involves keeping detailed logs of all trips, attending safety training meetings, having vehicles inspected, and undergoing annual log audits.

Who is required to have a US DOT number?

While not all moving companies are required to attain a US DOT number, any long-distance mover that performs interstate moves is required to have one. US DOT numbers are not federally mandated for local movers, which means that there isn’t a nationwide requirement that all moving companies operate with one. However, there are 28 states that currently require all movers to be registered with a US DOT number in order to operate their business in the state.

The best way to determine if your state requires all moving companies to have a US DOT number is to contact the Department of Transportation by phone or website.

How to find a mover’s US DOT number

If you are moving a long distance, you should use a company with a US DOT number, regardless of whether or not you are crossing state lines. Choosing a company with a valid US DOT number will ensure that your belongings are in the hands of a trusted and reputable moving company that complies with all industry and safety regulations. There are a few simple ways to see if your mover has one.
  • Check the FMCSA SAFER system at
  • Check out one of your mover's marked fleet vehicles by looking for the US DOT number printed on the doors of the cab and again on the rear tractor.
While your moving company should be registered with the DOT in its home state, the DOT number should also be registered in any additional states they operate in. Therefore, if you are making a long distance move and you will be traversing multiple states en route to your new home, make sure that your movers are registered in your home state, the state of your destination, and all states in between.

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on August 27, 2009 - Moving Expert
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