U.S. Department of Transportation change requirements for commercial vehicle owner

Beginning October 23, 2015, businesses that need US Department of Transportation (USDOT) numbers for company vehicles will be required to obtain and renew the numbers in one, convenient, on-line web site.

The Unified Registration System (URS) is a new electronic registration system that will streamline and simplify the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) registration process.  It will also serve as a clearinghouse and depository of information on all entities regulated by the FMCSA. The URS will combine multiple registration processes, information technology systems and forms into a single, convenient electronic and on-line registration process

The Washington State Patrol reminds business owners that per Washington State law (RCW 46.32.080) if you operate any of the following commercial vehicles within Washington State, you must get a DOT number and display it on the vehicle.


• Commercial motor vehicles with Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 16,001 pounds or more.

• Combination of commercial motor vehicles including a towed unit with a total GVWR of 16,001 pounds or more.

• If crossing State lines, refer to the FMCSA website for regulations.

This requirement is not only for traditional trucks and buses. Some types of vehicles operated by small businesses such as landscapers and equipment repair companies are heavy enough to trigger the requirement for a USDOT number.

USDOT numbers are FREE; business owners can go to the FMCSA’s website at www.fmcsa.dot.gov and apply on-line or contact the Washington State Patrol’s Commercial Vehicle Division Office at (360) 596-3812 for assistance.  Carriers can request an application form be faxed or mailed until October 22, 2015.  For more information about Commercial Vehicles, go to Washington State Patrol’s Commercial Vehicle Division’s website.

Having a USDOT number helps ensure that businesses with commercial motor vehicles are operating in a manner that meets state and federal safety requirements and regulations.