If you drive your truck on the interstate highway regularly in commercial capacity – that you are carrying passengers or load of more than 10,000lbs, you are required to obtain a Department of Transportation (DOT) number.
While not everyone knows about obtaining a DOT number in the States, it is mandatory for commercial drivers of all types.
Your motor carrier authority usually issues the DOT number. The purpose of a DOT number is to make sure that your truck (vehicle) is registered with the motor vehicle authority and licensed to drive on the highway.
Let’s learn if Los Angeles vehicles need to obtain a DOT number or not.
Do Los Angeles Vehicles Require a DOT Number?
Yes, any vehicle in Los Angeles that carries more than a certain amount of weight or more than a certain quantity of passengers needs a DOT number. The California state motor vehicle authority will be liable for providing the DOT number to these vehicles.
Who Will Need a DOT Number?
Over 33 states for interstate commerce require a USDOT number. The eligibility criteria for getting the DOT number is based on the following requirements.
- The vehicles which need a DOT number should carry more than 10,000 lbs of weight.
- They are responsible for transporting 9 passengers or more in return for compensation, i.e., the local public transportation system in a carpooling app.
- The vehicle that carries haphazard materials also needs a DOT number. If these materials fall on the road, they can cause damage.
For all these conditions, the driving authority – the company that owns these trucks – needs to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
The vehicle is also recommended to display a DOT number while it is active on the job. This condition is only applicable to commercial vehicles. Companies that don’t have their transport and hire third-party transport services to get their goods delivered should also abide by the government rules.
How to Get a DOT Number in Los Angeles?
Applicants wishing to get a DOT number for their vehicles need first to give a test through the Unified Registration System. The URS system is fully automated and will filter candidates according to their abilities and provide a license to the right candidates.
The cost of a DOT number is $300. It is a one-time cost only. You can learn more information about getting a DOT number on the official Motor Vehicle Registration page of California State.
For getting the license within 24 hours, you will need to submit a fee of $499. The processing time for a regular DOT license is between four to six weeks. However, this is not the only cost. Moreover, you also need to register a business if you still haven’t done so. The cost can be between $70 and $500.
According to the State of California, trucks can only get permission for driving on the interstate highway.
The authority has provided clear instructions on how it weighs various trucks for providing the DOT license.
Let’s learn about these DOT licensing requirements.
- The person having a driver’s license should have at least 21 years of age. In some countries, the limit is 18 years of age.
- The applicant for a truck driving license should have experience of driving the vehicle from the last two years in a non-commercial capacity.
- The person should also have a social security card, proof of ID cards such as NIC or birth certificate.
- Moreover, he/she should not have license suspensions or revocations in any state where the person has previously driven a vehicle.
Note: The Commercial Driving License (CDL) holder cannot hold driving licenses of more than one state. The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 says that the drivers holding CDL of more than one state will be immediately disqualified, and their US DOT numbers will be rescinded.
Tool To Check Your DOT Number
You can verify your US DOT number through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website. Enter your DOT number in the search box and it will tell all the details about the driver and the registered company. The USDOT number also acts as a unique identifier that can help in auditing company data, compliance reviews, and crash investigations.
Documents Required for DOT Number in Los Angeles
You need the following documents to obtain your DOT number.
- Vehicle registration certificate
- Proof of insurance of the vehicle that is being registered
- Also, the vehicle needs to have a grade 5 fire extinguisher always placed in it.
How to Check if You Need a DOT Number in Los Angeles?
The US DOT number is mandatory in 33 of the 50 US states. Since Los Angeles is a city of California State, drivers are required to have a DOT number available with them.
We have published a complete list of states that need a DOT number. These states include:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- Puerto Rico
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
Violations & Fines of DOT Number in Los Angeles
In case your company is found in violation of the DOT number – that is, if the company is not registered with the state Motor Vehicle Authority, it may face certain fines. The minimum penalty is $11,000 for driving the vehicle on the highway without clearance. However, it can be as high as $75,000 if the vehicle is taking hazardous material on the interstate highway.
We hope that you are now fully aware of:
- How to get a DOT number registered for your vehicle,
- The fines you have to pay if you don’t have a DOT number
- The states where getting a DOT number is mandatory.