If you operate a commercial vehicle, you may be required to have a United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) number. Learn the requirements in Washington, if your activities are considered "intrastate commerce,” and how to apply for a USDOT number.
What is intrastate commerce?
Intrastate commerce is when you use a commercial driver license to drive a commercial motor vehicle only within a single state and your final destination is within the state it originated from.
You may need a USDOT number to participate in intrastate commerce
If you operate any of the following commercial vehicles within Washington State, you must get a USDOT number and display it on the vehicle:
- Commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) with Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 16,001 pounds or more.
- Combinations of CMVs including a towed unit with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or more and having a total GVWR of 16,001 pounds or more.
- CMVs of any size used in the transportation of placarded hazardous materials.
- CMVs designed to transport 16 or more passengers including the driver.
- Private school buses of any weight or size.
A USDOT number provides you with a unique identifier that is used when monitoring and collecting a company's safety information during audits, crash investigations, compliance reviews, and inspections. Learn more about USDOT numbers from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Farm vehicles must have a USDOT number, but they are exempt from safety audits and compliance reviews. CMVs owned and operated by farmers must have a USDOT number if they are:
- One of the types of vehicles described above, and
- Used to transport the farmer's own orchard, farm, or dairy products, livestock, or plant/animal waste within the state.
- How to find your vehicle's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR)
The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of a commercial vehicle is:
- For a single vehicle, the value specified by the vehicle manufacturer as the maximum loaded weight of the vehicle.
- For a combination of vehicles, the value specified by the vehicle manufacturer as the maximum loaded weight of the towing unit plus the GVWR of the towed unit or units.
Finding your vehicle's GVWR
The GVWR can be found in several places
- In the vehicle owner's manual or sales brochure.
- A label on the inside frame of the driver's door.
- In the engine compartment.
- For trailers, a label towards the front of the trailer on the left side.
If you can't find the GVWR
If you can't find your vehicle's GVWR, call Washington State Patrol at 360-596-3810.
How to apply for a USDOT number
To get a free USDOT number, you must apply online using FMCSA's Unified Registration System.
If you need more help determining whether or not you need a USDOT number, use FMCSA's "Do I Need a USDOT Number?" tool.