DOT Numbers - Motor Carrier Education - Washington State Patrol
skip to left menu
skip to main content


Motor Carrier Education · DOT Numbers

Washington State law now requires commercial motor vehicles to have an intrastate DOT number. The number will be used to track the owner and the vehicle’s safety fitness rating. Owners of any vehicle that meets the definition of a commercial motor vehicle must register through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

There is no application fee ever associated with the U.S. DOT Number. You must complete the MCS-150 (Motor Carrier Identification Report) to obtain a USDOT Number. The MCS-150 can be completed on line or you can print out a copy of the form, complete and mail to the address indicated. If you do not have access to the Internet, you can call our toll-free number at 1-800-832-5660 to have one mailed to you.

What Is A Commercial Vehicle?

For purposes of obtaining an intrastate DOT number, "Commercial motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle:

  • (1) Has a gross vehicle weight rating of 16,001 pounds or more, inclusive of a towed unit; or
    (2) Is designed to transport sixteen or more passengers, including the driver; or
    (3) Is of any size and is used in the transportation of hazardous materials requiring placards; or
    (4) Is a school bus regardless of weight or size.

For interstate purposes, DOT numbers are required for the following commercial vehicles:

  • (1) Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight, of 4,536 kg (10,001 pounds) or more, whichever is greater; or
  • (2) Is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation; or
  • (3) Is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation; or
  • (4) Is used in transporting material found by the Secretary of Transportation to be hazardous under 49 U.S.C. 5103 and transported in a quantity requiring placarding under regulations prescribed by the Secretary under 49 CFR, subtitle B, chapter I, subchapter C.

What Is "In Commerce"?

If you meet any of these, you are operating in commerce:
Are the underlying activities undertaken for profit, i.e.

  • Prize money is declared as ordinary income for tax purposes, or
  • The cost of the underlying activities is deducted as a business expense for tax purposes; or, where relevant, corporate sponsorship is involved.

Drivers must confer with their State of licensure to determine the licensing provisions to which they are subject.

What's The Difference Between Intrastate vs. Interstate?

Interstate commerce means trade, traffic, or transportation in the United States:

  • Between a place in a State and a place outside of such State (including a place outside of the United States);
  • Between two places in a State through another State or a place outside of the United States; or
  • Between two places in a State as part of trade, traffic, or transportation originating or terminating outside the State or the United States.

Intrastate commerce means any trade, traffic, or transportation in any State which is not described in the term "interstate commerce."

What Are The Rules For Farmers?

Under the FMCSA rules, interstate farmers are required to follow the regulations below within the 150 mile radius of the farmer’s farm.  Farmers that operate outside these exemptions are required to have all files and documents as any other commercial carrier.

CFR 383 - CDL – Exception for farmers: A State may, at its discretion, exempt individuals of the requirements of this part. The use of this waiver is limited to the driver's home State unless there is a reciprocity agreement with adjoining States. (1) Operators of a farm vehicle which is:(i) Controlled and operated by a farmer, including operation by employees or family members;(ii) Used to transport either agricultural products, farm machinery, farm supplies, or both to or from a farm;(iii) Not used in the operations of a common or contract motor carrier; and (iv) Used within 241 kilometers (150 miles) of the farmer's farm.

CFR 390 – Company name and USDOT number markings on vehicle.

Farm vehicle driver means a person who drives only a commercial motor vehicle that is— (a) Controlled and operated by a farmer as a private motor carrier of property;(b) Being used to transport either—(1) Agricultural products, or(2) Farm machinery, farm supplies, or both, to or from a farm;(c) Not being used in the operation of a for-hire motor carrier;(d) Not carrying hazardous materials of a type or quantity that requires the commercial motor vehicle to be placarded in accordance with §177.823 of this subtitle; and(e) Being used within 150 air-miles of the farmer's farm.

Farmer means any person who operates a farm or is directly involved in the cultivation of land, crops, or livestock which— (a) Are owned by that person; or(b) Are under the direct control of that person.

CFR 391 – Medical certificate required for combination vehicles

CFR 395 –  Maintaining log books - Agricultural operations; The provisions of this part shall not apply to drivers transporting agricultural commodities or farm supplies for agricultural purposes in a State if such transportation:

  • Is limited to an area within a 100 air-mile radius from the source of the commodities or the distribution point for the farm supplies, and
  • Is conducted (except in the case of livestock feed transporters) during the planting and harvesting seasons within such State, as determined by the State.

    Livestock feed transporters are exempt from hours of service year round within a 100 air mile radius.

    The planting and harvesting season for Washington state starts on Feb. 1 and concludes on Nov. 30 of each year.

CFR 396 – Maintain vehicle maintenance files and annual periodic inspections.

Contact Information

If you have additional questions about the DOT regulations or application process, please call or write to:

Commercial Vehicle Division
Washington State Patrol
PO Box 42614
Olympia WA 98504-2614
Phone: (360) 596-3800
Fax: (360) 596-3829


Adobe Reader Link Icon Please note that some of the documents provided on this page are available in Adobe® PDF format only and will require the Adobe® Reader in order to view or print them from your Web browser.

Back to Top

Quick Links

Downloadable DOT Poster
DOT Poster
Adobe PDF File