For most people moving, a USDOT number is a foreign concept. Why worry about a string of letters when you are busy trying to pack up and move? For interstate moves especially, it is important to understand what this number is and how it can benefit you as you select a moving company.
A USDOT number is administered to registered vehicles operating in interstate commerce, like interstate moves of household goods. While under the agency realm of the Department of Transportation, it allows local and state agencies in addition to national regulators to identify and track commercial vehicles. This includes the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which monitors safety practices and ensures regulatory compliance of registered carriers.
So it’s a form of identification. How does this affect you when moving across state lines? Beyond verifying that you are hiring a registered mover, this number can help you investigate the reputation of the company. Perusing the Better Business Bureau and FMCSA websites will give you a better understanding of whether or not people have complained about the business operations of a moving company. Seeing multiple complaints filed against a mover is probably a good indication to select a different company for your relocation. In the event that you encounter problems with your moving company, knowing the USDOT number allows you to report any complaints to FMCSA as well as the Better Business Bureau in the hope that others will not choose this company.
This number might still be of importance to you even in an intrastate move. 32 states require movers to register and receive a USDOT number for intrastate commerce. if your state does not require a USDOT for intrastate moves, you still can protect yourself by researching the moving company and its reviews to help determine the reputability of moving companies before you select a mover.