How to Add a Vehicle to My DOT Number

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces regulations that require businesses operating commercial motor vehicles interstate to be registered and to display a USDOT number on their vehicles. The number is used to track safety information obtained during inspections, accident investigations and company audits. FMCSA issues USDOT numbers to companies rather than individual trucks, so all the trucks in a company's fleet carry the same USDOT number. New vehicles in a fleet must be marked to comply with FMCSA regulations. Thirty-one states require all businesses to have USDOT numbers if they license commercial motor vehicles, whether or not the companies have interstate operations.

Paint or stencil the USDOT number of your company on both sides of the commercial motor vehicle. Display the letters "USDOT" followed by the registration number.

Paint or stencil your legal company name or a single trade name on both sides of the vehicle. The name must match the name registered with FMCSA on the MCS-150, Motor Carrier Identification Report.

Verify with your insurance carrier that you have added the vehicle to your motor vehicle policy, to comply with FMCSA regulations.

Update your MCS-150, Motor Carrier Identification Report, every other year to reflect changes in your company information and fleet vehicles.

Check with the state where your commercial motor vehicles are licensed to be certain there are no additional requirements at the state level.

Tips

  • Operators who also require a Hazardous Materials Safety Permit file the MCS-150B, Combined Motor Carrier Identification Report and Hazardous Materials Permit Application, instead of the MCS-150.

    Operators are no longer required to display the state and city in addition to the company name on their vehicles, but they are also not prohibited from doing so.

References

About the Author

Lea Miller has been writing for business since 1980. As a former division controller and operations manager, she has experience in finance, accounting and business management. After a 25-year corporate career, she became a scuba-diving instructor and freelance writer. She holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting from the University of South Florida.