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DOT Decal Requirements

Written by Nick Webster

Published on Dec. 11, 2023, 4:10 p.m.


Here are some of the most essential DOT decal requirements:

  • Ensure the decal is displayed on both sides of your commercial vehicle.
  • Decals must be placed in a conspicuous location, such as the lower left corner of the front and rear windows.
  • The DOT number should not be obscured or otherwise hidden from view.
  • All vehicles must have valid and current decals to operate on public roads and highways.
  • The decal must remain visible at all times while operating the vehicle.
  • Violators may face citations, fines, or other penalties for failure to comply with these requirements. You must visit the USDOT Number to learn more information.

What Are USDOT Numbers?

If you're in the trucking or freight industry, you've probably heard of USDOT numbers. But what exactly are they? Well, USDOT stands for United States Department of Transportation and a USDOT number is an identification number assigned to commercial motor carriers by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

Each USDOT number tracks information related to safety performance records, such as crash data, compliance reviews, inspections, hazardous materials transport, and more. Think of it like your driver’s license – but for businesses. So,, having their DOT number is critical if you want to stay up-to-date on driver safety ratings and other important info about carriers you do business with. For More info please visit at Trucking Authority Packages.

Who Must Use a USDOT Number?

Any business involved in the interstate transportation of passengers or hazardous materials must be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and have a USDOT number. This includes motor carriers, freight forwarders, brokers, intermodal equipment providers (IEPs), hazardous material safety permit (HMSP) applicants, cargo tank facilities, and liquefied gas plants. All entities must apply to the FMCSA for their USDOT numbers, regardless of size. Read here about Starting a Trucking Company Correctly.

These regulations are essential for ensuring highway safety and beneficial for businesses as they distinguish between legal and illegitimate operations and provide an avenue for dispute resolution. So, if you're involved in any type of commercial activity requiring travel across state lines, go ahead and get yourself a DOT number here on Also, check the Unified Carrier Registration, and UCR filing .

Requirements To Display DOT Numbers

The US Department of Transportation requires a USDOT Number on both sides of the vehicle. The numbers need to be readable from 50 feet away during daylight hours. To make them visible, you must use a font that stands out, and the letters should strongly contrast color from the background they are placed on. Many states have size requirements for the lettering between 2” and 4”. The sticker or decal must be applied directly to the vehicle, not on trailers, fuel tank covers, or other removable parts. It also needs to stay put permanently. Visit DOT Authority Package, Tips to prepare for 2022 DOT Week filings in minutes. How do you get an Oregon Trip And Fuel Permit?

If you're based in Colorado or California, don't forget to include the last eight digits of your VIN. And make sure to check if other states have their own special requirements! Some might need a combination of USDOT numbers and state abbreviations. So, do your due diligence before hitting the road! Drive safe and be prepared! Must visit the link.

What Decals Need To Be on a Semi Truck?

If you're a semi-truck driver, you know there are a ton of rules and regulations that go along with the job. One of the most important things to know is what decals need to be on your semi truck for it to operate legally. Each state has specific requirements, so make sure you do your research and adhere to those guidelines. Read about Texas DOT Numbers and USDOT Numbers. Learn here How to Prepare for a Compliance DOT Audit.

Generally speaking, there should be a USDOT number, IFTA sticker, weight class label, HAZMAT placards (if applicable), registration stickers, and fuel tax labels visible on your vehicle at all times. Don't take any chances with having the proper decals - it could cost you down the line! Check out The Basics of Farm Exemptions. You will then be able to maintain complete motor carrier authority or broker. What are the Top 3 DOT paper-appointedViolations?

What Size Lettering Does the DOT Use?

The Department of Transportation has a set of rules and regulations for lettering size on things like road signs, so you can be sure that all the information is legible from the driver’s seat. The minimum size for letters on roadside signs is 1 inch in height, with the upper limit being 12 inches, depending on how far away you are from the sign. Also, take a look at the Drug and Alcohol Program policy. What is DOT Clearinghouse Enforcement?

This size standard helps ensure drivers have enough time to read and understand what they're seeing while on the road. So if you ever see something out there that looks like it could use some more giant letters, now you know why! That's why DOT sets those size standards - to keep everyone safe while they're driving around. Also, Visit the link.

Stay on Top of Your DOT Decal Requirements

Let your company shine bright with a spiffy US DOT decal! Make sure everyone knows who's behind the wheel by ensuring your logo or operator name is prominently displayed. Plus, you'll follow all the regulations - so no need to worry about getting into hot water. Just make sure to write down that assigned number, add in any required state abbreviation, and provide the GVW or GVWR. Don't forget to make it legible from 50 feet away during daylight hours, and choose a color that contrasts nicely with its background. You will need driver qualification files filed out by all employees who drive for you working. Also, take a look at what IRP or Apportioned Registration is.

Last but not least - let's not get too sticky; make sure to attach this bad boy directly onto the vehicle itself - nothing removable here! Now, you'll look great and drive safe as a trucking professional with official DOT and FMCSA registration. If you need help or have any questions about requirements, do not hesitate to contact our organization. Our third-party experts cannot wait to assist you. Visit BOC-3.

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