Commercial Vehicle Enforcement
Florida USDOT Number FAQs
The Florida Highway Patrol, Bureau of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement (CVE), and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), have implemented a Motor Carrier Registration Program for Interstate and Intrastate motor carriers. By law, your company is required to obtain a USDOT or Florida DOT number and display it on all of your commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) (see intrastate exemptions). Once you receive the DOT number, it must be affixed on both sides of the power unit, in a color contrasting with the background of the vehicle, and the numbers must be large enough to be readable fifty feet from the vehicle.
Additionally, interstate motor carriers are subject to a Safety Audit after registering. Intrastate carriers will be required to attend a New Entrant seminar within 180 days of registering for their DOT number.
How do I know if I am an intrastate or interstate carrier?
The Code of Federal Regulations offers the following definitions that provide guidance in answering this question.
Interstate commerce means trade, traffic, or transportation in the United States:
Between a place in a State and a place outside of such State (including a place outside of the United States);
Between two places in a State through another State or a place outside of the United States; or
Between two places in a State as part of trade, traffic, or transportation originating or terminating outside the State or the United States.
Intrastate commerce means any trade, traffic, or transportation in any State which is not described in the term “interstate commerce.”
In short, if your operation is solely within the State of Florida, and the commerce you engage in is solely within the State of Florida, e.g. no straight-through shipments, you are an intrastate carrier.
The following scenarios are provided to further assist you in determining carrier status.
If you are an aggregate hauler loading lime rock from a mine in Center Hill, Florida and delivering to a job site in Orlando, Florida, you are engaging in intrastate commerce.
If you are hauling general freight originating at a manufacturing facility in Lakeland, Florida and delivering to a retail store in Arcadia, Florida you are engaging in intrastate commerce.
If you are transporting household goods from a warehouse in Ocala, Florida to a residence in Belleview, Florida and the load originated in New York City, New York as determined by the load’s manifest, you are engaged in interstate commerce.
The tractor trailer you are operating is loaded with logs. The movement originates near Fernandina Beach, Florida and is to be delivered in Macclenny, Florida. The route you choose takes you through Georgia. Though you only passed through Georgia, you are engaging in interstate commerce.
What is a motor carrier required to do before beginning intrastate operations?
Before a motor carrier of property or passengers begins intrastate operations, it must register with the FHP-CVE and receive a Florida DOT number. Upon receiving the number it must be displayed prominently on each side of the truck or tractor. In addition to the number, the letters “FL” must be displayed immediately after the number.
How does a motor carrier register for an intrastate DOT number with the FHP-CVE?
A motor carrier may register with the FHP-CVE online at www.fmcsa.dot.gov. You will be assigned your personal DOT number at the completion of the application process.
How does a motor carrier register for an interstate DOT number with the USDOT?
Please contact the FMCSA at 1-800-832-5660 or at www.fmcsa.dot.gov
What happens if an intrastate or interstate motor carrier operates without registering and displaying a DOT number?
Failure to register and obtain a DOT number and clearly display the number on all trucks owned or operated by the carrier will subject the carrier to civil penalties to include:
A $500.00 fine per occurrence for operating without registering for an interstate or intrastate DOT number pursuant to F.S.316.3025(3)(d) (2), OR,
A $50.00 fine per occurrence for operating a vehicle without the DOT number displayed pursuant to F.S.316.3025(3)(a) .
What happens after a motor carrier begins operations as a new entrant?
After an interstate new entrant satisfies all applicable pre-operational requirements, the transportation operation will be subject to the new entrant safety monitoring procedures for a period of 18 months. During this 18-month period:
The new entrant’s roadside safety performance will be closely monitored to ensure the new entrant has basic safety management controls that are operating effectively. An accident rate or driver or vehicle violation rate that is higher than the industry average for similar motor carrier operations may cause the FMCSA to conduct an expedited safety audit or compliance review at any time.
A safety audit will be conducted on the new entrant, once the carrier has been in operation for enough time to have sufficient records to allow the agency to evaluate the adequacy of basic safety management controls. This period will generally be at least 3 months.
All records and documents required for the safety audit shall be made available for inspection upon request by an individual certified under FMCSA regulations to perform safety audits.
What is the purpose of the safety audit?
The purpose of a safety audit, conducted only on an interstate carrier, is to:
Provide educational and technical assistance to the new entrant; and
Gather safety data needed to make an assessment of the new entrant’s safety performance and adequacy of basic safety management controls.
What will the safety audit consist of?
The interstate-only motor carrier safety audit will consist of a review of the new entrant’s safety management systems and a sample of required records to assess compliance with the FMCSRs, applicable HMRs and related record-keeping requirements as specified in Appendix A of this part. The areas for review include, but are not limited to, the following:
Driver duty status;
Accident register; and
Controlled substances and alcohol use and testing requirements
Who will conduct the interstate safety audit?
The FHP-CVE’s Compliance Review Section, or an individual certified under the FMCSA regulations to perform safety audits, will conduct the safety audit.
Where will the interstate carrier’s safety audit be conducted?
The safety audit will generally be conducted on the new entrant’s business premises.
What happens after the completion of the interstate carrier’s safety audit?
Upon the completion of the safety audit, the auditor will review the findings with the new entrant.
If the FMCSA determines that the safety audit discloses that the new entrant has adequate basic safety management controls, the FMCSA will provide the new entrant written notice as soon as practicable, but not later than 45 days after the completion of the safety audit, that it has adequate basic safety management controls. The new entrant’s safety performance will continue to be closely monitored for the remainder of the 18-month period of new entrant registration.
If the FMCSA determines that the findings of the safety audit disclose that the new entrant’s basic safety management controls are inadequate, it will provide the new entrant written notice, as soon as practicable, but not later than 45 days after the completion of the safety audit, that its USDOT new entrant registration will be revoked and its operations placed out-of-service unless it takes the actions specified in the notice to remedy its safety management practices. These actions must take place within:
45 days of the date of the notice if the new entrant transports passengers in a CMV designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, or transports hazardous materials requiring placarding; or
60 days of the date of the notice for all other new entrants.
What happens if a new entrant refuses to permit a safety audit to be performed on its operations?
If a new entrant refuses to permit a safety audit to be performed on its operations, the FMCSA will provide the carrier with written notice that its registration will be revoked and its operations placed out of service unless the new entrant agrees in writing, within 10 days from the service date of the notice, to permit the safety audit to be performed. The initial refusal to permit a safety audit to be performed may subject the new entrant to the penalty provisions in 49 U.S.C. 521(b)(2)(A).
If the new entrant does not agree to undergo a safety audit as specified in paragraph 1 of this section, its registration will be revoked and its interstate operations placed out of service effective on the 11th day from the service date of the notice issued under paragraph 1 of this section.
Additional detailed information regarding interstate Safety Audits can be found in CFR Part 385.
Are my operations exempt from the DOT number and New Entrant programs?
A person who operates a commercial motor vehicle having a declared gross vehicle weight of less than 26,001 pounds solely in intrastate commerce and who is not transporting hazardous materials in amounts that require placarding pursuant to 49 C.F.R. part 172, or who is transporting petroleum products as defined in s. 376.301, is exempt from DOT number and New Entrant Programs. Reference F.S 316.302.
A person who operates a commercial motor vehicle solely in intrastate commerce is exempt from DOT number and New Entrant Programs while transporting agricultural products, including horticultural or forestry products, from farm or harvest place to the first place of processing or storage, or from farm or harvest place directly to market. Reference F.S. 316.302.
What is a New Entrant Seminar?
The FREE seminars provide education and technical assistance to motor carrier officials regarding laws and regulations applicable to intrastate operation. All necessary materials are provided free of charge! This is not an inspection venue. Thus, it is not necessary to bring commercial motor vehicles, vehicle files, or driver qualification files.
All interested motor carriers are encouraged to attend, provided that they operate solely in intrastate commerce.
Seminars are held from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at various locations throughout the state.
Schedules can be accessed here. Contact (850)617-2282 or AshleyMcClellan@flhsmv.gov to schedule your appointment; please leave your company name, DOT#, and seminar date you would like to attend to be added to a roster. A notification letter will be sent once the seminar date approaches.”
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