September 28, 2022 Posted in How-to
Madison Rogers

Born and raised in Houston Madison is a content writer who loves traveling. She has lived in different states and is always eager to share her knowledge with others.

USDOT Number Check – Where, How, and Why

Once you finally begin your relocation preparations, the first task on your checklist should be to invest in a long-distance moving company that is reliable and reputable. Finding one is simple; the only thing one needs to do is conduct a brief investigation. USDOT number check will provide you with crucial information about any company. Look it up online and make sure that you choose the right firm.

A cross-country moving company overlay
Research online how reliable and safe movers are before you contact them

What Is a USDOT Number and Why It’s Important?

Cross-country moving companies require formal numbers from the United States Department of Transportation in order to be authorized to provide clients with different services. Any firm that transports goods and people across state lines needs to obtain one.

The registered digits are unique, and they can provide instant access to the company’s information during different checkups, such as compliance reviews, inspections, accident investigations, and audits.

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Who Needs to Have a Registered Digit?

There are certain rules for the firms that need to obtain one. The company needs to get the DOT digits if:

  • It has a motor vehicle that transports quantities and types of hazardous materials that need to have a safety permit for interstate commerce.
  • The firm has a gross vehicle rate, gross vehicle weight rating, gross combination weight, or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds.
  • It has vehicles that transport more than eight passengers, including the driver.
  • It has a vehicle that transports more than 15 passengers, including the driver but without compensation.

The relocation companies that want to provide clients with long-distance moving services have a responsibility to obtain the DOT digits since they will be involved in transportation and traffic between states. Also, they have to comply with all FMCSA regulations.

Movers and woman overlay
The DOT digits are a necessity for reputable relocation firms

Searching for a Statewide Mover? This Is Why You Need to Find DOT Numbers

If you want to research whether the mover is legitimate, DOT numbers will be of great help. They can provide you with information that can be integral when making a final decision. Details about past performance, complaints, and ratings of the firm can be searched through these numbers.

The research is not complete without checking the rating on the Better Business Bureau website. Before relocating to a big city, make sure to read the reviews and previous customers’ experiences. Only after gaining a better understanding of the mover’s reputation can you choose a firm you are confident in.

Here is a video on why investigating your movers is essential and how a lack of knowledge can get clients into trouble when relocating to a new state.

Concerned About Fraud – Use the Digits to Ensure You Don’t Hire Rogue Movers

One of the vital relocation tips is to research the firm’s profile in the FMCSA database and make sure you don’t deal with relocation scammers. The obvious red flag is when you cannot find it in the database, or the numbers you have and the one in the database don’t match. What you can expect is to see the company’s operating status, which would be labeled as “authorized for HHG” or “active.” But, in case there is no authorization for HHG (basically, household goods,) or it is listed as “out of service,” you should not risk hiring such long-distance movers.

Don’t Forget About the Safety Rating

The compliance with FMCSA regulations will be evident in the firm’s safety rating. However, not every firm has a rating for packing clients’ belongings and relocating them to a new city. When nothing can be found on their page, dig deeper and search whether you can find their crash history on other websites. Here are the three ratings one will be able to read on the company’s profile:

  • Satisfactory – It is given to movers that have no record or evidence of noncompliance with any safety regulations and requirements.
  • Conditional – There is evidence that the carrier didn’t comply with one or more regulations and requirements.
  • Unsatisfactory – Firms get this label when there are records and evidence of neglect of more requirements.

The benefit of relocating with firms that have a satisfactory rating is that you won’t have to worry about the potential danger of losing belongings or receiving damaged relocation essentials, furniture, and valuables. Even though the cost of a reputable cross-country moving company might be higher, it will be worth it in the end since you won’t struggle with insurance claims or damaged possessions.

Wrapped chair and boxes in a house overlay
Relocating to another state? Better search for the rating of the mover.

The FMCSA Database Should List the Crash History as Well

The database should list the crashes associated with the firm. Search for the data if you want to ensure that you move safely. There are four different columns that specify what type of crash occurred. One can find categories such as “Injury,” “Tow,” “Total,” and “Fatal.”

The numbers in the columns indicate how many times crashes occurred that ended in an injury or a fatality. The “Tow” column indicates how many times the firms’ vehicles were towed. The available data is listed for the USA and Canada.

Unfortunately, US DOT Number Lookup Cannot Provide You With a Complaint History

Another essential thing to think about when relocating is the complaint history. The FMCSA database primarily focuses on the company’s compliance with safety requirements and less on service satisfaction and complaints. Therefore you won’t have a list of complaints and more details about them on the FMCSA website. However, there is another way you can find complaints, and that is Better Business Bureau or reviews and testimonials online.

Woman freelancing with the computer at home after moving cross country overlay
It is possible to find reviews and complaints on other websites

Do You Know How to Check DOT Number? Here Is How to Do It

Make your move easier by conducting thorough research with the company’s registered digits. The US DOT number lookup is not a complicated process. First, you need to find a way to navigate the SAFER (i.e. The Safety and Fitness Electronic Records) system. This is a comprehensive database that has all the details of numerous relocation firms.

It is possible to research the company in this database by using the company’s name, registered numbers, and MX/MC numbers. But, when you want to find the correct DOT digit, you’ll have to type in the company’s name on the search page. Once you obtain it, the search can continue.

How to Type in the Company’s Name?

Selecting the right name is crucial. Once you go to the SAFER system, change the search criteria to “Name.” Before you type in the company’s name, make sure that you have their legal name and not the shortened or advertised name of the brand. Don’t try to type in the shortened version or just one word since the database will offer you numerous firms with similar names. Once you receive the list of firms, select the correct one. It’s easy to miss, so bear in mind that selecting the right one is key.

Match the Location of the Firm to Its Name

In case the legal name provides you with three different results, there is a way to select the right one. If you know where the firm is located, choose the name that matches the location. It is highly unlikely that two or three companies with the same name will have the same location as well. However, if you don’t know the company’s location, use the mover’s website to find it. Generally, it is displayed on the page with details about the firm.

The Company’s Snapshot Page Will Feature the Numbers

Once you click on the company’s name, the digits will be featured on the snapshot page. The page contains vital details about the firm’s records and prior accidents on the road. It is featured in two different places on the company’s profile.

Look at the title “Company Snapshot” in the upper right corner of the page, under it, the digits and the company’s legal name will be displayed. But, it appears in the additional information section, after “Mailing Address” and “Phone.” Now that you know the firm’s registered digits, you can use them for further research. But you won’t have to go through these steps again. Just change the criteria to “USDOT Number,” and the company’s profile will appear immediately.

A handshake deal between a mover and customer after moving cross-country overlay
Finding the right firm in the database is the most important step


What Does USDOT Mean?

USDOT is an abbreviation for the United States Department of Transportation. The digits are given to firms that provide interstate service and, in some cases, intrastate transportation or commerce. Every motor carrier and reputable cross-country movers need to have one because it helps with the monitoring of compliance with FMCSA’s guidelines and requirements, and it is used when conducting accident investigations, reviews, and audits.

Do the Registered Digits Help With Finding Previous Customer Complaints?

Unfortunately, the profiles in the SAFER system do not list any customer complaints. It is more focused on the ratings and compliance or non-compliance with guidelines and regulations. It provides insight into the reputation of the firm but not into the individual experience with relocation services, auto transportation services, and packing services.

Is It Simple to Check the Digits?

One doesn’t need to be tech-savvy in order to research the digits and ensure a stress-free move. All one needs to do is go to the SAFER System and type in the company’s legal name. Then, you are required to select the correct firm among all the results. But once you locate it, the digits will be featured on the company’s snapshot page.

Are There Other Options for Ensuring the Mover Is Legitimate?

There are other ways to find out more about your movers and the quality of their cross-country moving service. Our tip is to ask your friends and colleagues about their experience with different firms and whether they have possible recommendations.

Once you know what firms to avoid and what to potentially hire, you can research them on the BBB website. You can read about customer complaints and how the firm decided to resolve them. Once you are confident that the firm is trustworthy, you’ll be able to move efficiently.

Conduct a USDOT Number Check and See if Your Movers Are Reliable

When you begin to organize your move, the first step towards a well-executed move is to research and hire reputable movers that will have your best interests in mind. The registered digits will provide you with details about the company’s quality of services. But, if you see that the firm isn’t listed in the SAFER, you are probably dealing with rogue movers, and there is a potential danger of losing your possessions if you contact them. Read everything that is available on the company’s profile and make a sound decision when moving cross-country.


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