Avoid an Inactive DOT Number Status or DOT Fine

Inactive DOT Number

An alert in red on the SAFER Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) System

Don’t Get Deactivated

If you or your company have a U.S. DOT Number, your Operating Status will be classified in one of five categories:

  • Inactive USDOT Number
  • AUTHORIZED FOR { Passenger, Property, HHG }:

Out-Of-Service or OOS means the operation has no standing to operate due to bad safety performance or a failure to pay a fine. Continued operation is not permitted.

An Inactive USDOT Number status means the number has been suspended or deactivated. Continued operation is permitted, but you can be cited and fined. A deactivated USDOT number occurs when the underlying registration information has not been updated within a two-year period (called the Biennial Update requirement, under 49 CFR 390.19(b)(2) and (4)) or not updated in the correct update period/month per according to the schedule set forth in 49 CFR 390.19(b). See the following chart:

Chart per 49 CFR 390.19(b).

(See our earlier blog on this.)

Under § 392.9b Prohibited transportation. (a) USDOT Registration required. A commercial motor vehicle providing transportation in interstate commerce must not be operated without a USDOT Registration and an active USDOT Number.

(b) Penalties. If it is determined that the motor carrier responsible for the operation of such a vehicle is operating in violation of paragraph (a) of this section, it may be subject to penalties in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 521.  (Effective November 1, 2013)

A deactivated USDOT number, for those in interstate commerce, can result in roadside citations and fines, but not (at this time), being put Out Of Service (OOS).

At a later DOT audit or investigation, your company can be fined $1,000 per day, up to $10,000.

Tip: Check your status at the DOT’s SAFER Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) System webpage: www.safersys.org (click on Snapshot and put in your DOT number). Update the registration information (at the same link), if your DOT Number is Inactive or deactivated, by clicking on: FMCSA Registration & Updates).

You may call the DOT toll-free for help at 1-800-832-5660.