Commercial Vehicle Enforcement
Florida USDOT Number
PROCESS FOR OBTAINING FEDERAL AND STATE DOT NUMBERS
Florida has adopted many Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations for property carriers and passenger carriers. These regulations have been adopted in Florida State Statutes 316.302 and 316.70. This page is intended to provide conceptual information to assist the industry with compliance with regard to registering for a USDOT Number, but is not intended to replace or interpret statute and regulation. We recommend you review referenced statutes and regulations, and consult your legal counsel for specific guidance.
US DOT Number Registration
By law, your company is required to register for a USDOT Number and display it on all your commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) power units and intermodal equipment chassis. A company official can apply for a DOT Registration online at: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration. For additional information, you may contact the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration directly by calling their toll free number at 800-832.5660 or by accessing the FMCSA assistance web site to chat or send an email (http://ask.fmcsa.dot.gov/app/ask). Registration fees may be applied for companies engaged in interstate commerce, but are not applied for companies solely engaged in intrastate operations. During the application process, a Visa or MasterCard must be provided to ensure a digital signature is on file for the official record.
All companies must update their Registration every two years, regardless of whether your company has changed information, ceased operation, or has gone out of business. There is generally no fee for updating Registration, unless the company begins operating as an interstate, for-hire motor carrier and has not previously paid a registration fee. In addition to biennial updates, companies are encouraged to update their information with normal changes of operations as these updates may impact a motor carrier’s Compliance-Safety-Accountability scores.
Fines and penalties for operating a CMV with USDOT Number violations can vary by state, jurisdiction and enforcement entity taking action. In Florida, motor carriers and officials can be issued penalties and fines through civil citations and traffic citations, respectively. Some violations for USDOT Number display and operating violation of an Out-of-Service Order can be criminal. Below are some of the more common violations and references.
- 316.3026, F.S. Violation of an Out-of-Service Order- $10,000 and 3rd Degree Felony
- 316.302(11), F.S. CMV Falsely Displaying a USDOT Number- 1st Degree Misdemeanor
- 316.3025(3)(d) (2), F.S. Failing to Register – $500.00 penalty
- 316.3025(3)(a), F.S . Failing to Properly Display- $50 penalty pursuant
Federal Regulation and Florida Statutes do provide some regulatory relief for certain entities from complying with USDOT Number registration. We strongly encourage you to review these exemptions with your legal counsel prior to taking advantage of regulatory relief. The following are some of the more common exemptions:
- CFR 390.3(f) Exceptions Provided in Regulation
- 316.302(2)(e), F.S. Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry during Seasons of Harvest
- 316.302(2)(f), F.S. Vehicles with a Declared GVW of Less Than 26,001 Pounds Transporting Property Not Requiring Placards
Motor carriers that have recently applied for USDOT Registration are considered “new entrants” in the industry. In an effort to assist new entrant motor carriers with statutory and regulatory compliance, the Florida Highway Patrol has developed a New Entrant Seminar program where motor carriers can register to attend a 1-day educational outreach session to learn about regulatory requirements and best safety practices. While not currently a requirement, the Florida Highway Patrol strongly encourages motor carriers to take advantage of this free outreach opportunity. For more information about our New Entrant Seminars, please contact us at 850-617-2282 or NewEntrant@flhsmv.gov.
Below are links to the current New Entrant Seminar schedule.
The links below contain the New Entrant Seminar training material:
- New Entrant Seminar (pdf – file size 5M)
- New Entrant Seminar (powerpoint – file size 5M)
- Spanish New Entrant Seminar 2016 (powerpoint – file size 20M)
Motor carriers that apply for interstate USDOT Numbers, may be required to complete a New Entrant Safety Audit. This is a program mandated by Congress via FMCSA which requires a motor carrier official complete the safety audit process. A New Entrant Safety Audit is generally considered an outreach opportunity for the motor carrier to demonstrate knowledge and compliance with federal regulations; however, the audit may result in the motor carrier official being responsible to take corrective actions for safety fitness concerns.
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