As A LCO Do You Need A USDOT Number - The Answer

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MMLawn, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569


    This question as been ask alot on LS and I have seen a lot of guys say yes and no. Well, because I am thinking about possibly about crossing the state line (I'm only 35 miles from the VA line) for commercial accts that I have received RFQ's for I spent some time on the www and the phone today with the US DOT and the regs. The biggest one I keep seeing on here is guys saying that you need a US DOT Number even if you do not leave the state. Well, US DOT says that just isn't the case.

    Bottom line is you only have to have a USDOT Number if your GVWR or CVCW is 10,001 pounds or more AND you do cross state lines as part of your trade or business (Interstate). If you do NOT cross state lines as part of your business (Intrastate) then none of the US DOT stuff applies except CDL license at certain weight levels which your state law would also cover anyway as it is taken from the Fed Regs. Also check because some state do as NC does and have agreements with other states that you can travel 10 miles into that other state and still not be an "Interstate" carrier by Fed regs. They do this because some times where you are going is still actually in your state but they is not a "turn around" or exit until just into the next state. NC does this with Virginia and Tenn because of the mountains and limited exits there.

    I also ask about having to have the US DOT Number due to the hazardous materials and substances clause stated in Intrastate travel due to fertilizers and such we carry. US DOT said that only applies if you are carring an amount that would require hazardous materials and substances placards, which is several thousand pounds, so that doesn't apply for the average or even bigger LCO's either.


    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


    1. What is the difference between interstate commerce and intrastate commerce?

    Interstate commerce is trade, traffic, or transportation involving the crossing of a State boundary. Either the vehicle, its passengers, or cargo must cross a State boundary, or there must be the intent to cross a State boundary to be considered an interstate carrier. Intrastate commerce is trade, traffic, or transportation within a single State.

    If your operations include interstate commerce, you must comply with the applicable Federal safety regulations and operating authority rules, in addition to State and local requirements. You must notify the State in which you plan to register your vehicle(s) of your intentions to operate in interstate commerce to ensure that the vehicle is properly registered for purposes of the International Registration Plan (IRP), and International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA). The base State will help you by collecting the appropriate fees and distributing a portion of those fees to the other States in which you operate commercial motor vehicles.

    If you operate exclusively in intrastate commerce , you must comply with applicable State and local regulations. The only Federal regulations that are applicable to intrastate operations are: the commercial driver's license (CDL), for drivers operating commercial motor vehicles as defined in 49 CFR 383.5; controlled substances and alcohol testing for all persons required to possess a CDL; and minimum levels of financial responsibility for the intrastate transportation of certain quantities of hazardous materials and substances.
  2. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    I tried to say that last year.

    Also, MN, you can travel up to 30 miles into boarding states and still not need a USDOT number.

    In fact, any Minnesota guys, here's the commercial vehicle enforcement's own website.... You might want to print off these FAQ's and carry them in your truck.

    Last year I was pulled over and inspected, and told something that contradicted their own website, so I pulled the FAQ's out and showed the officer. Needless to say I got a warning.
  3. CrewCutEnterprises

    CrewCutEnterprises LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 898

    Well a note, I went down that road and found out Maryland has different laws.

    This is for MARYLAND
    DOT is required when a commercial carrier (lawn mowers trucks etc.)
    #1 Truck is over 10,001 lbs, need dot number, driver needs med cert
    #2 Trailer is over 10,001 lbs, need dot number, driver needs med cert.
    #3 Combined weight rating of truck and trailer over 10,0001 lbs.
    #4 CDL license is needed of truck gvw is over 26,000 lbs.
    #5 CDL license is needed if trailer is over 10001 gvw
    #6 CDL license is needed if combined weight is 0ver 26,000 lbs

    F250,(8800 gvw) 7k gvw trailer, Need DOT
    F350 with no trailer( 9900 gvw) no need a DOT number.
    F550 (17,500 gvw) needs a dot number
    F550 (17,500 gvw) towing a 7000 gvw trailer doesnt need a CDL
    F550 (17,500 gvw) towing a 10,000 gvw trailer NEEDS a CDL (Combined over 26,000 lbs

    Everyones best bet is to call dmv and local dot. Maryland has been cracking down lately, they are waiting on corners and pulling over 4 or 5 trucks at a time.

    They are everywhere
  4. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569

    But you are talking about STATE LAW....and State DOT numbers......I am not. Hence the title and contents of this thread....US DOT.

    Note, that what I quoted form US DOT very clearly stated that you had to comply with your state law as we all know. I am talking only about FEDERAL DOT LAW and specifically the US DOT Commercial Vehicle Registration Number only.
  5. CrewCutEnterprises

    CrewCutEnterprises LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 898

    Yes I know, I was listing the law for Maryland specifically, Therefore when people find this thread, they have the information. I was just listing the guidelines for Maryland, not federal, as what your quoted is correct. As some of the users here are from maryland and as you and I know, State law superceeds Federal law. I wanted people from MD to know Our State law. Thats all, not to bring down your thread. I have a Federal US DOT number not an MDOT, incase we do intrastate work in the future.
  6. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,282

    we don't need them here unless your going over state lines or cross the state highways, I don't even think Big trucks need them over 26,000 GVW if they are just doing local stuff, like delivering produce, or hauling landscape type materials.
  7. chuck bow

    chuck bow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 701

    So say you are pulling a 14 ft single axel trailer with a 3500 what are the laws , i know the truck is overkill but i like a powerful dually and besides they look good too . Some of these state laws and fed laws confuse me to know end, also sounds like some of the state patrol guys or truck enforcement people dont even know there own rules
  8. lawnwizards

    lawnwizards LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,439

    what about tags on your trailer? in kentucky i don't have to have them but i'm just across the river from west virginia and ohio where you do have to have them. how would i deal with that?
  9. Trinity Lawn Care  LLC

    Trinity Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 946

    This may be a silly question. How about if you are crossing the state line to pick up equipment that you bought? It is not your regular practice, and you do not work across state lines per say. However, you are using your commercial vehicle to pick up a couple of mowers in your neighboring state.

    CLARK LAWN LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,526

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