Understand DOT Violations

Written by Jason Rocky

Published on April 22, 2021, 5:06 p.m.

DOT Violations: The Basics of Department of Transportation Violations

The DOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) is serious when it comes to trucking violations. Every motor carrier must ensure that it maintains a safe system for trucking. Otherwise, each business can face severe fines and penalties. Some companies even have to go out of business when they violate DOT rules. The DOT has many rules that apply to commercial vehicles, drivers, and companies. Whenever someone fails to adhere to a rule, an official USDOT violation takes place. Even one single penalty can result in severe infractions. The DOT can provide sanctions that range from fines to jail time. A company might also receive written warnings and the suspension of operations. Please continue reading to learn about the basics of DOT violations. Visit also DOT Authority Package .

Vehicles That Are Subject to DOT Regulations & Violations

Keep in mind that there are many Department of Transportation rules. The rules apply to more than commercial motor vehicles. They can also affect transporting trailers and other equipment. In fact, USDOT regulations apply across all aspects of interstate commerce. Any vehicle with a GVWR of more than 10,0001 pounds is subject to a DOT violation. (GVWR stands for gross vehicle weight rating.) A violation also applies to trucks transporting almost all types of hazardous materials. Must visit FMCSA Hours of Service Suspended.

A truck that transports at least eight passengers for money is also subject to DOT rules.

Of course, these are only general DOT guidelines. The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) can provide a complete list. Or, you're welcome to contact our organization if you have questions. Our DOT experts can inform you about which vehicles are DOT-compliant. How to get Oregon Trip And Fuel Permit?


The Different Types of Department of Transportation Vehicle Violations

There are wide-ranging DOT violations that trucking companies must adhere to. Why? Because there are also wide-ranging USDOT rules in place. Violation criteria can range from vehicle maintenance to a driver’s poor behavior. So, let’s go over some of the most common DOT violations. First up, there’s a violation for a driver exceeding HOS hours. This refers to the hours a driver can operate a vehicle without a rest break. How to get California DOT number ?

The next most common DOT violation concerns drivers not possessing licensing.

Or, not possessing required qualifications. Failing to test for drug and alcohol use while on duty is another common violation. As you may know, the DOT is serious when it comes to drug and alcohol testing. A vehicle not getting inspected or maintained is another frequent violation. Are drivers in your fleet safe when they transport hazardous materials? We hope so. That’s because failing hazardous material safety measures is another common violation. If you'd like to receive DOT compliance safety tips, please contact our organization. Visit Driver Qualification Files .

USDOT & FMCSA Fines & Penalties

2017 was a crucial year for many trucking companies in the US. Why? Because the FMCSA put a revised schedule of fines in place. That schedule references almost all DOT fines. DOT fines became even more expensive for any driver or operator in violation. Of course, the fines range in size, and the financial numbers can vary. So, here are some examples. The falsification of records is now a $12,135 DOT fine. A failure to cease operations/out-of-service order fine is even larger. It will cost a driver or company $26,126. A violation of hazardous materials DOT fine costs $78,376. Say that same violation results in a serious injury or death. Your company could now face a $182,877 fine.

DOT Violation, DOT Violations

Keep in mind that these are only some examples of USDOT violations and fines. Please contact our organization if you’d like to receive the complete list of fines. Of course, you and your drivers must do everything you can to avoid these severe penalties. But remember that sometimes a fine will make you lose more than money. A driver could get a commercial license revoked or suspended. This is why carriers should get familiar with DOT policies and rules. Then, they should enforce that their drivers adhere to each one. If you’d like to learn how to become more DOT compliant, please contact us today. Check MC Number Process.

How Do You Clear a DOT Safety Violation?

Owner-operators have a right to challenge the DOT and FMCSA's CSA violation. (“CSA” refers to the FMCSA's own safety compliance and enforcement program.) The owner-operators can file a challenge within two years of a violation. This way, the DOT can either reduce the severity of a citation or remove points. Say that two years go by. By then, most violations get 110 percent removed from the record of a motor carrier. You can look up past citations using the FMCSA DataQ system. Or, you can submit an RDR to the FMCSA. “RDR” stands for Request for Data Review. Check BOC-3 .

What Is a DOT Rating?

A DOT rating functions as an official safety rating that the public can access. It’s an up-to-date record of safe driving and conduct history. This can apply to either a trucking company or a driver. Each DOT rating gets evaluated by both the DOT and FMCSA. Visit Starting a Trucking Company Package .

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What Do DOT Inspections Look For?

DOT inspections have a reputation for seeming very comprehensive. A DOT inspector will examine tail lamps, steering wheels, and seat belts. But that’s not all. Expect an inspector to look at a truck’s exhaust system too. Everything that involves driver safety is subject to a DOT inspection. DOT inspectors also look at relevant documents. These include medical certificates, driver’s licenses, and waivers. An inspector will also assess hours-of-service documentation. Check Texas DOT Number .

What Is the Clearinghouse Rule?

The Clearinghouse rule refers to both DOT and FMCSA policies. FMCSA personnel must report violations to the DOT Clearinghouse. These are violations of DOT drug and alcohol regulations . Serious infractions exist for violating DOT Clearinghouse drug and alcohol policies.

The Three Top DOT Violations

Let’s now go over three of the top DOT program violations from last year. All three types of violations relate to FMCSA compliance issues and regulations. The USDOT and FMCSA want trucking companies to adhere to regulations for a reason. It is to ensure the safety of US roadways. All commercial vehicle drivers must do more than have active licensing. They must also have the right level of skills and knowledge that promote safety. Written below are three common DOT violations for carriers from the past year.

DOT Violation #1: Allowing the Driver To Operate With a Suspended/Revoked CDL

All drivers must have a valid license when operating motor vehicles on US roadways. Of course, this is common knowledge. But that doesn’t mean that all drivers adhere to this legal notion. This violation accounted for 34 percent of DOT violations last year. Operating with a revoked or suspended CDL creates an automatic out-of-service order. But that’s not all. Motor carriers can receive extensive fines from the DOT. The average amount of this fine is around $9,000. Expect to receive this fine during average inspections. What is DOT Clearinghouse Enforcement ?

Speaking of inspections, do you have any questions about FMCSA inspections? If so, please contact our organization today. We can walk you through how most government inspections operate. This was, your carrier can get prepared for all types of inspections.

DOT Violation #2: Having a Driver With More Than One CDL Operate a CMV

This DOT violation refers to Part 383 of USDOT and FMCSA federal regulations. The rule is clear that a commercial driver can't operate with more than one driver’s license. US states must perform a crucial check that relates to this rule. The check will make sure that each driver doesn’t have a CDL in a different state. This check takes place before a new driver’s license gets granted. But the system that states use to check for this has some flaws. Those flaws lead to drivers sometimes securing a second active CDL. This was another major DOT violation last year. Say that the driver of a motor carrier receives this violation. The USDOT can fine the driver’s motor carrier over $8,000. Visit UCR registration .

DOT Violation #3: Operating Commercial Motor Vehicles When Disqualified From Having a CDL

This was the third most common DOT violation last year. Of course, no one can drive a vehicle without having a driver’s license. But many commercial truck drivers did so anyway. So, why would a driver get disqualified from having a CDL? There are many reasons that this takes place. The driver might have been under the influence of a controlled substance or alcohol. Or, the driver committed a felony or left the scene of an accident. Read about Motor Carrier Authority .

Carriers can expect to pay a large fine when this DOT violation takes place.

Last year, the average USDOT fine for this violation was well over $7,000. But keep in mind that sometimes these violations cost more money. In fact, all violations mentioned on this page are averages. Some violations will cost a carrier more than other carriers. This applies to the same violations in another location. Do you need more information about the cost of violations? If so, please contact our organization about violations today.

What Is an ELD (Sidewalk) Device?

Tips to prepare for 2021 DOT Week . An ELD refers to an electronic logging device. So, what’s the purpose of an ELD? It gets attached to the engine of a vehicle. This is for safety. The ELD records the driving hours of drivers. This way, any government safety agent can track hours if violations take place. Sometimes ELD property gets used during safety inspections. During safety inspections, an agent can see if drivers make any common violations. That’s one reason why program after program in the FMCSA focuses on safety. The FMCSA cares about more than compliance. Its main focus is on preventing safety violations.

Do you want to learn more about the FMCSA inspection and compliance process?

All you've got to do is contact our FMCSA compliance experts. They’ve seen inspection after inspection over the years. They can tell you what to expect at your upcoming FMCSA inspection. Plus, they can provide you with a list of inspection and compliance resources. This way, you’ll know how your property will get inspected by DOT officials. Of course, the inspectors will see if your carrier has any current violations. But do not despair. Our experts know more about violations than any other organization. We can supply you with advice on how to prevent violations and respond to violations. This way, your staff will understand how to stop violations from taking place. Visit DOT Audit .

We’re Ready To Share More Information About Violations With You

Are you ready to learn more about the safety violations of drivers? If so, please contact our compliance department today. We can teach you all about safety violations that the government tries to prevent. Here at FMCSA Registration LLC, we’re serious when it comes to safety violations. The last thing we want is for a customer (or drivers) to fall out of DOT compliance. That’s why we make an effort to educate drivers about safety violations.

All you've got to do is call our FMCSA and DOT compliance experts.

You can tell us all about which safety violations your drivers struggle with. We can then create a custom safety program to help you succeed. The last thing you want is for the government to fine you or seize your property. And it can if your drivers continue to make safety violations. But do not despair. We can create a custom safety and compliance program that does away with violations. And we’ll make sure the safety and compliance program gets results. Plus our experts can ensure that it follows all government requirements. Learn about MCS-150

Contact Us To Learn More About USDOT Rules, Fines, & Violations

Do you work for a motor carrier that wants to learn more about DOT violations? If so, do not hesitate to contact our organization. Our trucking industry experts can supply you with any information that you need. You can also learn more about DOT rules through the articles on our website. An employee at your company can call us at any moment. Our phone numbers are listed at the bottom of this page. Or, you're also welcome to send us a message on our website or email us. We know how frustrating it feels to keep up with DOT and FMCSA policies. But you're not alone. Our organization is here to assist you at all times.

We look forward to serving as your go-to resource for DOT and FMCSA rules.