A USDOT number serves as a unique identifier for your truck. The authorities use this for monitoring purposes and for collecting safety and accident information.  

Not all hotshot truckers are required to get a USDOT number. You’ll need it if you operate in interstate commerce and meet the following criteria:

  • Vehicles weighing more than 10,000 lbs (GVWR, GCWR, GVW or GCW)
  • You haul hazardous materials that require a safety permit in intrastate commerce.

There are also States that require a DOT Number for intrastate commercial motor vehicle registrants. These are:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Puerto Rico
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Documents Needed for a USDOT Number Application

  • Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Dun and Bradstreet Number, if available
  • Name of company officers (with titles)
  • Financial Responsibility Notice – you should submit this document if you are required to file a financial responsibility
  • Designation of Process Agent Notice – you should file this document if you need a designation of process agent under Subtitle B, Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations
  • Certifications and Oaths Signature Notice signed by an authorized official

You should complete the application process within 30 days. If it is not completed within 30 days, it will be discarded.

Steps to get a USDOT Number

1.Go to the FMCSA’s Unified Registration System (URS) portal.

Only the initial registration by new applicants will be done using the URS application. When filing online, it is important to note that as of February 2020, the FMCSA now has system requirements based on the browser that you are using. You can check here for more details.

2. Choose the appropriate form for your needs:

  • MCS-150 and Instructions – Motor Carrier Identification Report (basic form which applies to most carriers)
  • MCS-150B and Instructions – Combined Motor Carrier Identification Report and HM Permit Application 
  • MCS-150C and Instructions – Intermodal Equipment Provider Identification Report

3. Fill out the online form and submit.


Q: How much does it cost to get a USDOT number?
A: It is free to file for a USDOT number.

Q: How long does it take to get a USDOT number?
A: Online registrations are processed immediately and the USDOT number is issued almost instantly unless it is rejected. 

Q: Does a USDOT number expire?
A: The FMCSA requires updating your information every two years even if your company has not changed its information.