Short version: Hourly employee in company truck hauls company property across state lines to complete construction projects. Do I need to register for a US DOT number, and if so, what other regulations and government programs do I need to comply with?
Hello all, I recently had one of my employees get pulled over and issued a citation for driving without a US DOT registration number. I assumed we were in the wrong, and started the application process, but the more paperwork and regulations I go through, the more I question whether or not I need any of it in the first place. I've tried to find more information on my own, but Google has not been kind to me.
The employee in question is our striper, and he is driving a 2017 Ford E-350 box truck with a 12,500 GVWR. He is transporting our striping cart, various marking paints, and stencils, all of which are job materials purchased for our use in completing striping projects, but never for direct sale. Now I'm reading that the stated GVWR puts us above the 10,000 minimum, but the thing I'm hung up on is where it mentions interstate commerce.
Our work does occasionally require us to cross state lines, but all of this paperwork I'm filling out seems to be referencing carrying freight and cargo for resale or passengers for direct compensation. Our company is completing work outside the state of Ohio, where the company is registered, so in that sense we are participating in interstate commerce, but we only ever carry personal or company property used for the completion of the work on site. None of what is on the truck is for sale.
Another complication is the flood of calls, emails, and mailings I have received from insurance providers, compliance departments, and other solicitors. Filing the US DOT application was simple enough, but I'm getting so much junk that I'm having trouble sifting through what I need to be compliant and what's a scam. I am thankful that the FMCSA let me know this was going to happen, but it's pretty crazy to me that they can't do anything about it. Do I need an MC#? Do I need to schedule a safety inspection? Do I need special carrier's insurance? Do I need to join the Drug and Alcohol Consortium? I've received letters about all of these things and read through them, only to notice at the end in very small print "X is not a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation nor is it a government agency." It's very frustrating.
Sorry for the novel, but this whole ordeal has been a bit stressful for me, especially when I consider that the kind of jobs I'm talking about could be done with a small lawnmower trailer and a pickup truck. I'm hoping someone here with more experience can help me make heads or tails of this whole thing, or at least point me in the right direction so that I can get more information from an official source.
Thanks for your time.
Questions About US DOT Registration For Construction Company
You are engaged in Interstate commerce. You are in commerce (attempting to make money) and crossing state line. Your are not, however a cartage company.
Basically you need a US DOT number, but you do not need an MC number. Just because you aren't selling what you are hauling doesn't mean anything. it's the fact you attempt to make money is what matters.
Heck, even people pulling a horse trailer and racing need a DOT number. The logic the government uses it if you attempt to make money you are engaged in commerce. Doesn't matter if you actually make money, just that it's possible.
You will need a DOT number.
Driver quals/ file. DOT medical/med card for driver. Annual inspection w/ report or decal on all equipment.
Logbooks, or must stay within the 150 air mile exemption. If you need to log you will need elogs as well unless you fall under the 8 day a month exemption.
This is off the top of my head. You may need more stuff, THIS IS NOT A COMPREHENSIVE LIST.