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Posted in Moving Preparation on February 2, 2023
Anastasia Hill

Apart from being the next fashion icon, Anastasia is also a freelance writer and expert on moving (and packing clothes).

Is the USDOT Number Check Something Every Person Should Do Before the Move?

If you’re considering moving anytime soon – whether it be to another city or another state, then the USDOT number check should definitely be on your pre-move checklist. Knowing the USDOT’s regulations and how they may affect your move is incredibly important to ensure a safe and successful transition into your new home.

Checking the US DOT number is something that every person should do before they hire movers. It can be quite beneficial for moving, and it is pretty simple to do it. Not only will having this knowledge help you move without mistakes, but it can also potentially save money, time, and relocation anxiety down the road.

What Precisely Is a USDOT Number?

The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) issues official identification numbers to long-distance movers. An interstate relocation operating authority is essential for regulating any companies that are transporting goods to another state, which is exactly what the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is doing.

The USDOT number is used by the FMCSA to monitor the company’s operations and safeguard the public from harm, and each business has its own one-of-a-kind number. When moving over state borders, never choose a moving firm that doesn’t have a USDOT number. Due to the mandatory nature of this number for interstate relocations, any interstate moving company that does not possess it is doing business illegally.

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The Significance of Verifying a Mover’s USDOT Number

If you want to be thorough in your preparations for a move, you should always check in with the US Department of Transportation. The results of your USDOT search on the FMCSA website might help you determine whether or not to hire the white glove moving company based on its track record.

This database can inform you whether or not the firm is authorized to provide long-distance moving services, as well as whether or not the corporation has a history of accidents or failure to comply with regulations. Checking the Better Business Bureau and other review sites for information on a company is just as important as looking for its USDOT number, but you shouldn’t hire a company that promises interstate relocation assistance if they don’t have one.

Long-distance movers moving boxes and writing on a notepad
A USDOT number lookup will provide you peace of mind

Check for a Potential Moving Scam

Despite the lack of a dedicated “fraud” section in firm profiles, you can still avoid hiring unlicensed movers by checking their USDOT numbers in the FMCSA database. A red flag should be raised if the company provides you with a USDOT number that doesn’t appear to be associated with them. A statement to the effect that they are “active” or “approved for HHG” will be included in the company’s profile (household goods). You should think hard before hiring a company that is “out of service” or “not authorized” for HHG.

You Can Look For Prior Failures

A record of accidents experienced by the company can be found in its profile with the FMCSA. Column headings include “Fatal,” “Injury,” “Tow,” and “Total” in this section. As you might have guessed, these will tell you exactly how many times the company in question has been involved in specific incidents. There are three FMCSA-recognized safety classifications:

  • Satisfactory,
  • Conditional,
  • Unsatisfactory.

Look Into Previous Complaints

Unfortunately, the FMCSA system does not include moving companies’ complaint histories, so you won’t be able to see these when doing a DOT check. That’s because ensuring public safety and business compliance are FMCSA’s top priorities. Checking with other professional services, like the Better Business Bureau, which maintains databases of consumer complaints, is a good way to learn about a company’s complaint history.

Man and woman looking at a laptop
If you check this number, you're one step closer to avoiding a potential scam

Is It Simple to Do a Lookup With the US DOT?

A USDOT check is a straightforward process. Anyone who is curious about the DOT check could simply look it up on the Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) System. This system makes it simple to search for a company based on its name and the USDOT. You just visit the webpage and find a search engine that allows you to do this check. If you want to know how to check the DOT number for a specific company, all you need to do is:

  • Visit this company’s website,
  • Find their DOT number (usually at the bottom of the page with contact information),
  • Copy this number,
  • Paste it to the search engine,
  • Click the lookup button.

The result will show you if the company’s DOT number is valid, updated, and certified. If anything else concerns you, don’t hesitate to contact the authorities for an additional check by providing them with the information about the company you’re interested in hiring.

A woman finding reliable cross-country movers online
Doing this checkup is quite simple, and it should take just a couple of minutes

In What Ways Can I Check a DOT Number?

How to check DOT numbers? Visit the FMCSA portal. You can perform many types of searches on the SAFER System through the official website. We’ll show you where to look for a company’s DOT number so that you can check out their legitimacy before employing them to transport your belongings.

Step One

One must first go to the SAFER System search page provided by the FMCSA. When it comes to safety and complaints, the SAFER System is the place to look. The USDOT number, MC number, or company name can all be used in a search. To find the company’s USDOT number, we’ll use the name of the business. Once we have that data, we can conduct a DOT search.

Step Two

Look for a firm by its name. As an illustration, let’s take white glove moving services. If you want to find a certain employee in the organization, you must first modify the search parameters to “Name.” Please note that the company names provided are the ones on file with the government and not the ones they use in marketing. There are a lot of white glove movers out there, and many of them have names that seem alike, so it’s crucial to be careful when choosing one team.

Step Three

The firm you choose matters, so make the right one. There are three results that come up when you look for a desired term. Our knowledge that the business in question is based in a specific state in the US allows us to quickly zero in on the second search result as the right one. If you don’t know the company’s location, you can accidentally pick up the wrong result. You can typically find the location of a company by visiting its website or conducting an online search. Having a trustworthy website is also a sign that a company is legitimate and that there is a smaller risk you’ll become a victim of a moving scam.

Step Four

On the company overview page, locate the USDOT. If you choose the right business, you’ll be taken to a snapshot page with further information on that firm. The website provides valuable details, such as the company’s complaint record and a list of any road mishaps that they have been involved in. The US Department of Transportation number for this business appears twice on this page. The official name and USDOT number can be found in the “Company Snapshot” section at the top right corner of the page.

The DOT number is listed below the “Phone” and “Mailing Address” sections of the firm details. Your newfound familiarity with the USDOT number will allow you to quickly and readily locate this record in the future. Simply enter the number and select “USDOT Number” as the search criterion on the SAFER System’s main page.

For What Kinds of Vehicles Is a DOT Number Absolutely Necessary?

Performing relocation and packing services isn’t easy, and there are many regulations that professionals need to follow in order to meet safety standards and help you move large items or different kinds of fragile objects without risk. A USDOT number is necessary for businesses that engage in interstate commerce with relocation trucks and meet the criteria for at least one of the following categories, as stated on the FMCSA’s website:

  • “Have vehicles that weigh more than 10,000 pounds,”
  • “Transport between 9 and 15 individuals for compensation, either directly or indirectly,” including the driver,
  • “Transport 16 or more passengers,”
  • “Haul dangerous items.”

Take some time before organizing your move and starting anything major to understand exactly what you need for a USDOT-regulated transfer of goods or some other white glove moving service.

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Advice for Obtaining a USDOT Number

If you discover that your business lacks the necessary USDOT number and that you have to apply for one in order to operate, it’s crucial to take some time to get ready. Although there are businesses that specialize in helping with this application procedure, you are not required to use their services if you don’t want to. Here are some suggestions to help you obtain your USDOT registration as quickly and as possible.

A white relocation truck
USDOT number is mandatory in most states, but there are still some exceptions

Collect the Required Data and Information

You will need to provide specific information concerning your business and company vehicle in order to successfully complete the DOT application. The best relocation tip for those who want to apply for this number is to gather all the necessary information and important documents in advance. Do this before even starting to fill out the application form because this will make the whole process much easier. Basically, if you do this, you can go through the relocation process efficiently without any hiccups.

You’re going to want to make sure you have the following on hand:

  • Details about the status of the driver,
  • Details regarding vehicle ownership,
  • Information regarding the number of cars as well as the types of vehicles,
  • Information about the classification of both cargo and operations,
  • Details regarding the operations of the company,
  • In the event that it applies, details concerning the certification and classification of hazardous materials.

Be Sure to Do a USDOT Number Check Before You Book a Move

If you are considering hiring a moving company, you should always check their USDOT number first. This will ensure that they are a legitimate business and have proper insurance. You can enter the USDOT number on the FMCSA’s website of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which will allow you to see if there have been any accidents or incidents reported. In most cases, those are essential workers that will make your move much safer, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry and do the necessary checkups.

Frequently Asked Questions About USDOT Number Check

What Information Can I Obtain Through a USDOT Number Check?

A USDOT number check can provide information such as a carrier’s safety rating, inspection and crash history, and insurance and authority status.

How Can I Tell if a USDOT Number Is Valid?

You can tell if a USDOT number is valid by using the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) System. This system allows you to search for a carrier’s USDOT number and view their safety record, including their safety rating, inspection, and crash history, and insurance and authority status.

If a carrier’s USDOT number does not appear in the SAFER System, or if the information listed is outdated or inaccurate, this may be an indication that the carrier is not in compliance with FMCSA regulations. It is important to verify a carrier’s USDOT number and safety record before entering into a contract or agreement to do business with them.

What Should I Do if I Discover That a Carrier I Am Working With Does Not Have a Valid USDOT Number?

If you discover that a carrier you are working with does not have a valid USDOT number, it is important to take immediate action to protect your business and ensure compliance with FMCSA regulations.

Stop doing business with the carrier. If a carrier does not have a valid USDOT number, they may be operating illegally and could pose a risk to your business and your customers. The first step is to stop doing business with the carrier immediately.

Report the carrier to the FMCSA. You can report the carrier to the FMCSA through the agency’s National Consumer Complaint Database. This will alert the FMCSA to the carrier’s non-compliance and may result in enforcement action.

Review your contracts and agreements. If you have a contract or agreement with the carrier, review it carefully to see if there are any provisions that address non-compliance with FMCSA regulations. You may need to terminate the contract and seek alternative carriers.


What Steps Can Carriers Take To Improve Their Safety Ratings and Compliance With FMCSA Regulations?

Carriers can take several steps to improve their safety ratings and compliance with FMCSA regulations. They can maintain good safety practices. Carriers should develop and implement comprehensive safety policies and practices to ensure compliance with FMCSA regulations. This includes conducting regular vehicle inspections, providing training for drivers and other personnel, and promoting a culture of safety within the organization.

Carriers should also regularly review their safety record to identify and address any safety violations. This includes reviewing driver logs, addressing any issues related to driver fatigue, and addressing any issues related to vehicle maintenance.

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