In the trucking industry, there are several DOT meanings. Primarily, DOT stands for the Department of Transportation. This is a federal government agency that is responsible for maintaining and developing the United States’ transport system. DOT develops, implements, and enforces federal regulations regarding the use of America’s roads and highways. Finally, DOT provides federal grants to help improve transportation programs around the country.
However, there are several other DOT meanings to be aware of. These include:
- DOT Compliance: In order to drive a CMV, truck drivers must follow federal regulations set up by DOT. All truck drivers are closely monitored to ensure they are not violating safety regulations. This ensures that both the driver and others are kept safe.
- DOT Certification: Earning your DOT certification shows the Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration that you have the skills and competence to safely operate a commercial vehicle. To obtain your DOT certification, you must pass a series of written and driving tests. You’ll also have to complete a DOT physical. The DOT physical ensures that you have no health issues that prevent you from safely operating a CMV.
- DOT Requirements: The Department of Transportation has created a set of requirements that all truck drivers must follow. You must meet each of these requirements in order to obtain your DOT certification. While regulations will vary by state, they typically include:
- Being over the age of 18
- Having a valid driver’s license
- Having at least three years of driving experience
- Passing a drug and alcohol test and a DOT physical
- DOT Inspection: All truck drivers must complete an annual DOT inspection of their vehicle. The inspection must be completed by a licensed professional from the Department of Transportation. They will check to ensure that your vehicle and all its parts are working correctly. You must pass each item on the DOT inspection checklist to complete a DOT inspection.
- DOT Number: Do I need a DOT number? Probably. Every truck driver who meets certain requirements will receive a unique identifier known as a DOT number. This number allows for easy access and monitoring of vehicles to ensure trucking companies are following safety regulations. To find out if you need a DOT number, figure out if the vehicle you’re driving weighs more than 10,000 pounds, if you’re transporting hazardous material, if your vehicle is used to transport more than 15 passengers, and if you’re going to be involved in interstate commerce. You can learn more about your state’s DOT numbers requirements at your local DMV.