Do you own your own company and have a USDOT number you no longer need? You may be wondering if you can sell or transfer the USDOT number. USDOT numbers are given to companies that employ trucks to transport passengers or haul cargo – but are they able to be given to other companies when they are no longer in use by yours?

Can you sell or transfer your USDOT number? No, these numbers are not transferrable. Once a number is assigned to you, the same number cannot be transferred to someone else. 

If you are looking for more information about whether or not you even need a USDOT number, read on as this article includes information about USDOT numbers and the answers to many questions you will need to know before you decide to get a USDOT number for your company.

Can You Sell or Transfer Your USDOT Number?

When you are assigned a USDOT number, it is linked to you and your information forever. As of right now, you cannot sell or transfer that number to a different individual. Each person has to have a unique number and separate registration.

If you are a corporation or have a partnership and change leadership, the number will stay the same. You can even have a change of address, and the number won’t change. If your company changes its demographics, there is an update form that you must fill out within 30 days and is located on the FMCSA website.

In situations where the legal name changes or the ownership of the company changes, you would have to acquire a new USDOT number.

If you need to change the company name or phone number on your USDOT number registration, you will need to fill out the appropriate form to officially change that information. You can either mail or fax the form with the changes. All of the information on how to do that is located on the FMCSA website listed above.

Do You Need to Have a USDOT Number?

If you own your own commercial vehicle company or are thinking about starting one, you might be wondering if you need a USDOT number. There are some situations where you might not; however, if you are going to be doing any of the following, you will need to have a USDOT number attached to your company and name.

  • If you are using the interstate in any way to move your product
  • If your vehicle weighs more than 10,000 pounds
  • If you are going to be transporting hazardous materials of any kind
  • If you are carrying 9 to 15 passengers (including the driver) for compensation,
  • Transporting 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation

If any of these pertain to your company or vehicle, you will need to fill out the proper application and request to get your USDOT number before operating on the roadways.

How Do You File for a USDOT Number?

You must determine which form you will need before you apply. There are three forms to pick from, and depending on what you will be doing, it will determine which form you will need.

These are the three different forms:

  • MCS-150 – This is the primary application for almost all carriers.
  • MCS-150B – This is a combination of both a USDOT and HazMat application.
  • MCS-150C – This combination is both a USDOT and an intermodal equipment provider application.

Choosing the correct application will save you a headache and time. If you apply online, the system may be able to help you select the appropriate classification that you and your company need.

If you file online, you have to use a credit card in your name. There isn’t a fee for the application, but they require the use of a credit card to prove your identity. This helps avoid fraud and keeps people honest.

Information Needed to Get a USDOT Number

One thing you are going to want to do before you start filling out your paperwork is to make sure you have all of the required information needed. Gathering everything ahead of time will help save you time when you are filling out the application.

Information needed to file your USDOT application is:

  • Company Operation
  • Operation Classification
  • Cargo Classification
  • HazMat Classification (if applicable)
  • Number of Vehicles
  • Type of Vehicles
  • Ownership Status of Vehicles (own, term lease, trip lease)
  • Driver Status (intrastate, interstate, total drivers, total CDL drivers)


Q. What is a USDOT number?
A. Any company that is transporting passengers, cargo, or hazardous materials on the interstate, must register with FMCSA and have a USDOT number assigned to them.

Q. How much does it cost to get a USDOT number?
A. There is no fee to obtain a USDOT number. If you file online, they do ask for a credit card to make sure you are who you say you are. They will not charge your card for the application.

Q. Can you use someone else’s credit card for the online application? 
A. No, you cannot use someone else’s credit card to apply for a USDOT number. They ask for your credit card number to ensure the person that is applying is the person they say they are. It helps to avoid fraudulent applications.

Q. How long does it take to get a USDOT number?
A. If you are filing online, the number will be assigned to you instantly (unless the application is rejected). If you are filing through the mail, there will be a four- to six-week wait time for your application to process. One thing to remember is, if they can’t read your application, it will be rejected. Make sure that your application is written as neatly as possible.

Q. Do USDOT numbers expire?
A. You will need to update your information once every two years unless there is a change of address or phone number. If you need to update your address and phone number, you need to complete that within 30 days of the change. The FMCSA requires you to update your information every two years, even if nothing has changed within the company.

Q. Can you reinstate an expired USDOT number?
A. Yes, if your number expired because you missed the two-year update, you can do this one of three ways: email, online, or through the mail. The best thing to do is not to miss your biennial update to avoid the headache of going through this process. It will help keep you on the road without any interruptions.

Q. Does every state require a USDOT number?
A. While most states (and Puerto Rico) require commercial trucking companies to have USDOT numbers, some states do not need a USDOT number.

States that do not require a USDOT number for commercial intrastate travel include:

  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Louisiana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • Virginia

In Conclusion

If you are wondering if you can sell or transfer your USDOT number, the answer is no. This number will stick with you for life. If you sell your company, the new owner will have to apply for a unique number. You can change the address and phone number without filing for a new USDOT number.

Make sure you are keeping up with your biennial updates to ensure your trucks stay on the road legally without any worry. The last thing you want is to stop operations because of paperwork that is easily updated!

About the Author

Blythe Brumleve
Blythe Brumleve
Creative entrepreneur in freight. Founder of Digital Dispatch and host of Everything is Logistics. Co-Founder at Jax Podcasters Unite. Board member of Transportation Marketing and Sales Association. Freightwaves on-air personality. Annoying Jaguars fan. test

To read more about Blythe, check out her full bio here.