Q:

What is a USDOT motor carrier number?

A:

Quick Answer

A USDOT motor carrier number is an identification number for large vehicles or any vehicle that transports hazardous material, large numbers of passengers or cargo across state lines. USDOT numbers are required for most vehicles engaged in interstate commerce.

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Full Answer

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration oversees commercial vehicles in the United States and registers USDOT numbers. The agency requires vehicles that weigh 10,001 or more pounds and that engage in interstate commerce to have USDOT numbers. It also requires vehicles that carry hazardous materials and that are engaged in interstate commerce to register.

Vehicles that carry passengers have different passenger limits for when they are required to get a USDOT number. Those that carry passengers for compensation, such as a bus ticket, must register if they carry eight or more people, while those that do not ask for compensation must register if they carry 15 or more.

These differing requirements are based on the need to monitor both commercial activity and the safety of the nation's roads. As of 2015, 33 states require all commercial vehicles, regardless of other requirements, to have USDOT numbers in order to operate within their borders.

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