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How To Check the Status Of Your DOT Number

Aug 30, 2023
DOT Number
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If you manage any type of commercial trucking activity, you can't legally operate your fleet without an active DOT number from The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. But what happens if your number becomes inactive? Can you check the status of DOT numbers to ensure your company’s full compliance with national and state regulations?

You could fill out a USDOT number application online or check your number’s status with Federal Motor Carrier Authority Filings. Learn more below. 

DOT Number Basics

What exactly is a DOT number, and why do commercial carriers need one? The FMCSA issues this unique number to each commercial cargo carrier operating within the United States. Carriers employing drivers should also update the numbers on any associated licensing.

Entities use this number for various purposes. For example, government agencies that regulate transportation will use these numbers to track trucks and cargo throughout the country, so all vehicles must visibly display their number. Customers and other parties can also use these numbers to find pertinent information about the commercial carriers with which they interact.  

Why Check Your DOT Number

Your DOT number is a portal to your company’s snapshot. It gathers pertinent details about your transportation company, such as:

● Active violations: Traffic violations and their repercussions can remain active for years. Your number allows you to keep records of when these items expire. 

● Safety audits and scores: If an entity wants to partner with your carrier company, they may check your safety rankings to ensure their goods will be safe with you.

● Investigations: Was one of your drivers involved in an accident? Review the investigation details via your number. 

● Substance screenings: When you test your drivers for illicit substances, you can easily access the results with your number. 

● Carrier authority: The number helps you find information about whether you can earn money for commercial shipments and similar ventures.

Last but not least, your DOT number makes it possible to learn whether your carrier has an active number status on the system. The above information demonstrates your compliance and protocol to other entities, including government agencies and potential customers.  

How To Check the Status Of DOT Numbers

So, you can use the FMCSA website to check the status of DOT numbers or access your public information via their Company Snapshot feature by carrier name or number search. If you want in-depth information, use a personal identification number to log into the FMCSA portal. 

If you don’t know your PIN, request one via your company email address. Email verification offers the quickest method, but PIN verification is also available. If you need help, chat with services like FMCA Filings.

What If Your Number Is Inactive?

The FMCSA requires all carriers to update and confirm their information every two years. Otherwise, the number deactivates. An inactive DOT number prevents your company from earning money for its work, so it’s essential to keep it current.

Can You Reinstate Your DOT Number?

Yes, you can reinstate your DOT number. 

First, examine why the administration deactivated it. Common reasons for deactivated DOT numbers include the following:

● Insurance lapses: Do you have unpaid insurance balances? Have you shifted to another insurer? Payments and paperwork get lost, so ensure your insurance policy is active and fully paid up. 

● Unpaid tax balances: Certain jurisdictions require that motor carriers using roadways pay an International Fuel Tax Agreement. An unpaid balance may lose your number’s active status. Pay all outstanding IFTA balances before reactivating your number.  

● Negative safety ratings: The FMCSA audits trucking safety code compliance. If your number deactivates following a new entrant safety audit, you must locate and complete the appropriate form. Satisfying the audit requires details about your plan to correct the safety failings identified.

If none of the above reasons apply, regular but incomplete paperwork may be an issue. For example, you must submit the MCS-150 forms every other year to update the administration with your carrier’s basic information. If you fail to complete and submit this on time, you’ll find a deactivated number.

Complete the MCS-150 and the BOC-3. Then, submit these documents with proof of insurance. After that, the FMCSA should quickly reinstate your DOT number.

How To Keep Your DOT Number Active

How can you maintain your number’s active status? The following strategies may help:

● Stay on top of your filings. Create a system that provides regular reminders and allows you to seamlessly complete and submit the necessary documentation.

● Pay the required fees. Form fees, IFTA, and insurance payments sometimes fall by the wayside. These unpaid balances can affect your status. 

● Stay safe. Follow the safety requirements regardless of audits. Business-minded trucking companies should treat each truck and driver as potential audit subjects.

Streamline permit filing, conduct a hassle-free USDOT number search, and get tips for how to check the status of DOT numbers here! Discover whether a DOT number ownership change is possible and more by contacting Federal Motor Carrier Authority Filings today by speaking with one of our live chat professional agents or filling out our online contact form!

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