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July 7, 2020

How Long Does It Take To Get a DOT Number?

A blue semi truck on the road.

If you’re thinking about getting your trucking authority, chances are, you’ll need either a DOT Number, an MC Number, or both.

But, how long does it take to get one?

You can get your DOT number in as little as an hour and that number is active immediately. The DOT Number allows you to:

  • Haul your own property
  • Haul your own equipment
  • Haul in only one state in intrastate commerce

Read more about the differences between DOT and MC Numbers.

How Long Does It Take To Get an MC Number?

You can get your MC Number at the same time as your DOT Number, but unlike a DOT Number, it is not active immediately. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires a 21-day vetting and protest period before the number becomes active.

Learn more about DOT Numbers, MC Numbers, and operating authority in episode 3 of our podcast Haulin Assets.

Can You Haul Loads While Waiting For Your MC Number To Be Active?

While you can haul loads immediately after getting a DOT Number, you cannot haul loads while waiting for the MC Number to become active. Doing business with an inactive MC Number can get your trucking company in big trouble for not being compliant.

While you can’t start hauling your loads, these 21 days are a good opportunity to put everything else in place to get your trucking company started.

What Should I Do While Waiting For My MC Number To Become Active?

One of the most important things you should get while waiting for your MC Number to become active is getting the appropriate trucking insurance. While you can start getting quotes before you have a DOT Number, you’ll get much more accurate quotes with one.

You can listen to episode 9 of Haulin Assets for more information about commercial trucking insurance. Waiting to activate your insurance when your MC Number becomes active can save you quite a bit of money in the long run.

You can also work toward getting:

You can learn more about what you need to start a trucking company from us, which includes some things you can also work toward getting while your MC Number is not active.

A white semi truck driving down a road.

We Can Get Your DOT Number for You

If you only need your DOT Number, you can get it with the help of Motor Carrier HQ for just $99. The whole process takes about an hour.

If you need your MC Number At Motor Carrier HQ, we can get your DOT Number, MC number, and more as part of our new operating authority package. We take the hassle out of the paperwork and can send you your numbers as soon as we get them from the FMCSA.

With our measure twice, cut once methods, we can help you get only what you need for your trucking company, never what you don’t.

Get Your DOT Number

What Is a DOT Number?

A DOT Number is a verification with DOT that you’re operating a commercial motor vehicle. It acts as a personal identification number for your business. The FMCSA is starting to tie the DOT Number and MC Number together in one number, but they still mean two separate things.

Who Needs a DOT Number?

The FMCSA has a helpful quiz you can take to determine whether or not you need a DOT Number. As a general rule, you need a DOT number if you operate a commercial motor vehicle that meets one of these requirements:

  1. Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight of 10,001 lbs. or more
  2. Transports more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  3. Transports more than 15 passengers (including the driver) and is not done for compensation

No matter the weight of the vehicle, you are also required to have a DOT Number if it’s used to haul hazardous goods, both intrastate or interstate.

Do I Need an MC Number or a DOT Number?

If you’re staying in one state, you may only need a DOT Number and not an MC Number. The best way to know whether or not you need an MC Number or a DOT Number is to get in touch with one of the coaches at Motor Carrier HQ.

Read More: What’s the Difference Between a DOT Number and MC Number?

How Do You Get a DOT Number?

You can get a DOT Number by filling out the appropriate paperwork online. It may not take a ton of time to fill the appropriate forms out, but mistakes are common. It’s important to provide all the information as accurately as possible, or you could run into some problems.

While it is possible to get your DOT Number yourself, it’s often better to use a third-party to take care of the registration process for you for a small additional fee. Plus, they can help you determine whether or not your company actually needs a DOT number, saving you money on registration.

How Much Does It Cost To Get a DOT Number?

We can fill out the paperwork for you to get your DOT Number for $99.

If you’re planning on getting your operating authority and MC Number, it requires a $300 registration fee paid to the FMCSA. If you’re planning on getting a DOT Number through Motor Carrier HQ, it costs $499 for the complete package, including the MC Number, BOC-3 Process Agent Filing, FMCSA fee and more.

What Should You Do Before Applying for a DOT Number?

You’ll need to have your business registration in place, such as setting your business up as an LLC or sole-proprietorship. The coaches at Motor Carrier HQ can even help you quickly set up your business if you haven’t done it already. You can also look at the type of truck you’re looking to purchase to get a rough estimate of how much your trucking company might cost.

You can use our free start-up cost calculator to do the math for you and see actual numbers of how much it might cost.

I Need More Information. Where Do I Get It?

Our podcast Haulin Assets covers a variety of topics, such as DOT Numbers and MC Authority, How Much Does It Cost to Start a Trucking Company, and more! We started our own trucking company and walk through the process from start to finish. Give it a listen!

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