Can I get a dot number without a truck?

August 30, 2023 News

Getting a DOT number without a truck is possible. If you’re interested in entering the transportation industry, you’ve probably wondered if you can do it without owning your own truck, and you’ll know that the DOT number is the first document you need to have to enter this world. 

In the transportation and logistics industry, there are different regulations and requirements that ensure safety on the roads. One of these requirements is the USDOT Number. The DOT plays a fundamental role in the transportation industry due to its focus on road safety, regulation of commercial vehicles, and promotion of safe practices in the transportation of goods by road. 

In this Blog, we will tell you how it is possible to obtain a DOT without a truck, why it is necessary for a transportation company to have a DOT number, the types of companies that need a DOT, and general recommendations you should consider to avoid bad advice and prevent being deceived.


How to get a DOT number without a truck? 

Obtaining a DOT number without owning a truck is possible. Most people who want to start their own trucking company believe they must buy a truck to get started, and while the truck is the most important tool for a transportation company, there are several requirements and paperwork you can complete while purchasing your truck. 

The first requirement you must meet to start your transportation company and transport goods from one place to another is to fill out the DOT number or USDOT Number. Getting it is easy, and the process may vary depending on the state where you want to open your company in the United States. Although there are federal requirements established nationwide, the administration and processing may be handled by different state agencies in each state. Therefore, the location and exact procedures for obtaining a DOT number may change depending on the state where you are located.

The time it takes to obtain a DOT number can vary depending on several factors, such as the efficiency of the process in your state, the number of ongoing applications, and the accuracy of the information provided in your application. If everything is in order, it can take 24 hours.


Requirements to obtain the DOT without a truck:

  • Name of the entity or company
  • Physical address
  • Phone number
  • Email
  • Name of the company’s legal representative
  • EIN (Employer Identification Number)
  • The license of the person applying can be regular, not necessarily commercial

The DOT number is used to track and regulate companies that have an impact on the transportation industry. By obtaining a DOT number, your company demonstrates its commitment to legality and safety in the industry. This can increase the confidence of business partners and customers.


Types of companies that need a DOT Number 

A DOT Number is required for companies engaged in transportation activities that meet certain criteria defined by the United States Department of Transportation. Some of the types of companies that need a DOT number include:

  • Companies with their own trucks: Companies that own and operate trucks for the transportation of cargo or passengers on the road, such as freight trucks, delivery trucks, and moving services.
  • Companies with leased trucks: These are companies that operate trucks that are not their own.
  • Companies that offer logistics and transportation services: These companies act as intermediaries and provide transportation planning and coordination services for other companies. They also need a DOT number.


Does a company without its own trucks need a DOT number?

If your transportation company works with leased trucks or if it is a company that offers logistics and transportation coordination services, even if they do not have their own trucks, they need to obtain a DOT number to operate legally.

If a company has borrowed trucks and uses those trucks for commercial transportation activities, they may be required to obtain a DOT number. Regulations may vary depending on jurisdiction and the nature of operations. Companies involved in the transportation of goods, whether with their own trucks or borrowed trucks, must comply with safety and registration requirements established by the government.

Freight brokerage and logistics coordination companies fall within the scope of regulation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in the United States; they also need to obtain a DOT number to operate.

Additional permits for starting your transportation company 

Obtaining a DOT (Department of Transportation) Number is a crucial step, but it is not the only requirement for successfully creating and managing a trucking company. Unfortunately, some transportation service companies deceive people by making them believe that obtaining a DOT Number is equivalent to having a company, which is not true. Creating and managing a successful transportation company goes far beyond obtaining a DOT number. Some key aspects to consider include:


  • Permits and licenses: Depending on your location and the type of cargo, you may need to obtain additional permits and licenses.
  • Company registration: You must legally register your company, obtain a tax identification number, and comply with business requirements.
  • Finances and accounting: Maintaining accurate financial records, setting budgets, and managing financial aspects are essential.
  • Appropriate Commercial Insurance: In addition to the insurance required by the DOT, you need adequate coverage to protect your business and assets.
  • Cargo transportation: Planning routes, managing schedules, maintaining the fleet, and ensuring compliance are essential for successful operations.


How to avoid deception and bad advice? 

Seek professional advice to make informed decisions and achieve success in the transportation industry. Make sure you have a comprehensive understanding of the requirements, regulations, and challenges involved in running a transportation company. 

  • Do your own research. 
  • Consult with reliable experts. 
  • Know the regulations of the transportation industry.
  • Continuously educate yourself about business management.


In summary, 

Obtaining a DOT number without a truck is possible. A DOT number is an important step to operate legally in the transportation industry, but it is also essential to understand that there are additional permits. Trucking permits for transportation companies can vary depending on the state where you plan to operate. While it is possible to complete the DOT number application process on your own, it is not an easy process to do for the first time, and making mistakes can lead to inconveniences later when you decide to obtain your commercial insurance or during audits with regulatory authorities. With the help of professionals with experience in the transportation industry, the DOT number will be properly processed and will provide you with the peace of mind of complying with the relevant regulations.