A DOT certification is a test administered by the U.S. Federal Department of Transportation according to strict guidelines for verifying the safety of vehicles, drivers and vehicle accessories. Examples of DOT certification programs include medical examinations and impact testing for motorcycle helmets.
The United States Federal Department of Transportation assesses the safety of every consumer product marketed towards the transportation industry. Since the department's inception in 1966, it has developed and enforced numerous regulations for the fast, safe and efficient operation of motor vehicles on American soil, including the DOT physical exam and the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218, commonly known as DOT helmet standard certification.
The DOT physical examination determines an individual's fitness to operate a commercial motor vehicle. While the federal government does not conduct impact tests for motorcycle helmets, it sets forth the guidelines that manufacturers must adhere to in order to claim DOT certification for their products.