How to Do a USDOT Number Check and Why It is Important

Move into a new home happy, fulfilled, and satisfied. With the right moving company, this is possible. The first step in executing a successful relocation should be to do a USDOT number check to be sure about your mover’s reliability. Taking this factor into account, along with other indicators, will guarantee you high-quality moving services and lead to a safe and painless relocation experience.

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October 28, 2019 Posted in How-to

What to Look for When Choosing a Moving Company

Relocation is a highly stressful process, especially when it comes to packing, loading, and transporting your belongings. It can take several weeks, and sometimes months of careful preparations and planning. However, if you choose the right professional mover with top-notch packing services and state-of-the-art storage solutions, everything will go smoothly. The truth is, you should have confidence in your movers since they are responsible for all your valuable belongings. So, before you call and book your relocation, keep in mind that your movers should:

  • Be reliable and trustworthy
  • Be legitimate professionals
  • Have a valid USDOT number
truck on the open road
Only with reliable, legitimate, and USDOT-registered movers, you will be satisfied

What is a USDOT Number?

It is a must for any professional mover that operates a commercial vehicle transporting passengers or hauling cargo across state borders. It’s issued by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) and stands for the United States Department of Transportation. This number is unique for each firm and allows the government to track the vehicles that transport people and cargo.

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Where to Find a DOT Number?

Just follow these several simple steps and get all the information you need:

  • Go to the website of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration(FMCSA)
  • Click on the “USDOT Number” text box
  • Type in the number you want to check. In case you don’t know it, type in the mover’s name in the “Legal Name” text box
  • Click on“Search”
  • A Carrier Search page will appear with the legal name, DBA name,and city and state related to a particular USDOT
  • Click on “View Details”
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Make sure to check the movers before hiring them

General Company Information

Having insight in so many vital facts, here’s what you will able to determine:

  • The type of operations a firm engages in
  • The company’s operating status– whether it is “active”, “authorized for”, “out of service,” “not authorized”, or “inactive USDOT number”
  • Identification and contact information
  • ID and registration numbers
  • Power units– the total number of the company’s vehicles
  • Drivers– the number of employed drivers
  • The type of motor carrier – marked with an X if it is relevant to the company
  • The range of carrier operation
  • The type of cargo

After reviewing all the information, make sure that the movers are properly licensed and certified. For your relocation, besides these facts, you should know how reliable they are. In this process, the DOT can give you some useful information, but don’t hesitate to look at a company’s testimonials as well.

Inspections and Crash Reports

Knowing the total sum of inspections and crashes will help you create a more detailed picture of the company’s security, reliability, and professionalism. The table with the information about inspections is placed below general information and shows the total number of controls carried out during the last two years. Crash tables provide data about the history of accidents in the US within the previous 24 months related to motor vehicles owned by the moving company you are interested in.

friends looking for a new place
It’s crucial to analyze your mover’s crash history

Safety Ratings

This feature shows the carrier’s compliance with the FMCSA regulations and includes three types of rating:

  • A satisfactory rating– in accordance with the safety requirements
  • A conditional rating– one or more safety regulations are abused
  • An unsatisfactory rating– non-compliance with the federal rules

USDOT Number Check and Search – Why is It Important?

With DOT checking, you won’t find enough information for an entirely successful relocation, but it will surely assist you in finding a reliable mover. By verifying it, you will be able to confirm the company’s legality. If professionalism and proper licensing are in order, then you should think about hiring that mover.

Hire a Company with Valid Registration and Avoid The Most Common Moving Scams

Don’t hesitate to resort to a more in-depth analysis of the moving company you are planning to hire. The review of all details can ensure a stress-free relocation and will help you avoid being scammed by movers. You won’t have to worry about:

  • Late delivery
  • Unprofessional behavior
  • Bait and switch
  • Holding your belongings hostage
  • Outrageous delivery charges
Trico mover in the truck checking his phone
A mover with valid DOT registration won’t cause you any trouble

Do a Deeper Research

You should assemble as much information as possible in order to prevent fraud, damage, and delays. If you don’t know how to get additional information, consider the following tips:

  • Call FMCSA to find out about movers’ insurance and liability
  • If your mover belongs to AMSA,that should be a guarantee of reliability and professionalism
  • Consider other people’s references, recommendations, and reviews
  • Visit the mover’s website, social media pages, and local forums to get feedback from people who have hired them before
  • Visit client protection sites, such as ProtectYourMove or MovingScam.
  • Make sure that mover’s paper work is transparent and complete
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Find out everything you can about movers before booking

Rights and Responsibilities Under Federal Law

Commercial vehicles transporting passengers or hauling cargo over state lines must have this number. But certain states require it for intrastate moves by commercial motor vehicles as well. That means that a mover would violate federal law if it fails to obey this regulation.

Who is Required to Register with the DOT and Receive a USDOT

Generally, all commercial vehicles are required to have this number, and more specifically, motor vehicles operating under one or more of the following criteria:

  • Transportation of hazardous materials, whether they are crossing state borders or not
  • A gross vehicle weight rating of 10,001 lbs or more
  • Transportation of more than eight passengers for compensation
  • Transportation of more than 15 passengers
Hannah Michaelson

Hannah is a freelance relocation writer from NYC that has become an expert on packing and unpacking.



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