What is The FMCSA And What Are USDOT Numbers?
As you’ve been preparing for your move and researching how to safely and efficiently transport your vehicle to your new home, you’ve probably encountered certain acronyms and phrases over and over again. Do FMCSA and USDOT look familiar to you? Keep reading this guide to understand what exactly these are and how they will help you during your moving and transportation process. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was established on January 1, 2000. The administration’s primary concern is to prevent motor vehicle-related injuries, accidents, and fatalities. The organization strictly enforces many safety regulations, strengthens motor vehicle equipment and operating standards, and overall aims to increase safety awareness for the public. How are they related to my transportation and moving process? One of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s many tasks lies in handling complaints regarding moving and transportation companies that deal with household and personal goods, such as automobiles. The organization will also help you identify scams and fraudulent movers, so you can avoid those traps and pitfalls. Furthermore, the FMCSA generally oversees and ensures the safety and proper management of motor carriers. All auto transportation companies are required to register with the FMCSA for official recognition. Therefore, there are certain standards that they must adhere to. This is what makes them such a great resource to turn to when deciding on a transportation company to ship your vehicle to your new home. What is a USDOT number? Do I need one? Any company that transports cargo in interstate commerce, for instance A-1 Auto Transport must have trucks and haulers that have a separate USDOT number. It is a unique identifier when collecting and monitoring a given transportation company’s safety investigations and complaint files. While trucks used for personal purposes are not required to register for a USDOT number, any truck operated for business purposes must obtain a USDOT number. When researching various auto transport companies and deciding which one to go with, definitely make sure to check the business’s USDOT numbers. If they are unable or unwilling to provide that information for you, then you know you are dealing with a scam and/or a fraudulent company. The FMCSA has created a helpful page in which you can enter a USDOT number that a transport company has presumably given to you. When you enter the number, the company’s entire records will show up on the site, so you can see their accident reports, safety regulations, and the way they run their business in general. There are a multitude of online resources that can help answer any more questions you may have regarding the FMCSA and its implementation of USDOT numbers. If you need additional guidance, be sure to visit:
- The FMCSA’s Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) System.
- The FMCSA Registration Page
Also, here’s one last tip: be sure to keep in mind that a moving company should have USDOT numbers for both the state they operate their business in, as well as any states they are transporting vehicles to.