DOT Rules and Regulations For Trucks and Buses

Do you have a DOT number and need to know the service hours? Or maybe you have questions about your DOT registration. Here’s some helpful information to help you understand your DOT requirements. In addition, learn how to obtain a DOT medical certificate. It can be a bit confusing, but it is crucial to ensure the safety of your passengers and employees. Finally, you should check all paperwork and separate it by the record. Learn more about this through Tenstreet as well.

DOT number

A DOT number is the unique identification number for a commercial truck or bus. These numbers are assigned by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) based on specific criteria. For example, a car or bus must have a DOT number if it carries over 10,000 pounds, has more than 16 passengers, is hauling hazardous materials, or runs on interstate routes. The DOT number is also needed for the driver of a commercial vehicle that will be traveling in another state.

While a DOT number is free, you cannot use it to conduct business. To do so, you must purchase an operating authority, which costs $300 for each classification. You may only need one type, while others may require multiple. The operating authority cost depends on the number of categories you require. For more information, check out the DOT classifications page. You can also check if your company has a DOT number by visiting the FMCSA website.

DOT hours of service rules

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) set the DOT hours of service rules. These regulations are in effect for commercial drivers. They prohibit drivers from driving after 60 hours of duty for seven consecutive days or 70 hours for eight straight days. You may restart the seven/eight-day period with 34 consecutive hours off-duty. Commercial drivers are subject to federal Hours of Service rules, while state regulations may govern intrastate drivers.

HOS rules apply to commercial drivers and school bus drivers alike. They were implemented to reduce the number of traffic accidents caused by fatigued drivers. However, according to the DOT, the new rules have reduced productivity by 3% to 5%. As a result, drivers subject to these rules can expect to lose between $1.6 billion and $3.65 billion in wages yearly. In addition, drivers who are required to drive long hours can expect to receive less pay.

DOT medical certificate

DOT medical certificate rules and regulations can be confusing and may lead to disciplinary action if not followed properly. In addition to examining the driver’s health, the medical exam requires that a driver have normal blood pressure and no pre-existing conditions. High blood pressure is a common problem and requires routine checks. A driver with blood pressure greater than 140/90 must have more frequent tests and a temporary medical card until their blood pressure drops to a healthy level.

The DOT physical exam will typically take between 30 minutes and an hour. Bringing any relevant documentation will be helpful. Drivers with pre-existing conditions must disclose them fully, and failing to tell them will disqualify them from obtaining a DOT medical certificate. Additionally, failing to inform them can result in legal fines. Therefore, it’s best to be prepared. A physical exam may be lengthy and stressful, so bring the appropriate documents.

DOT registration

To transport goods and passengers, commercial vehicles need DOT registration. These vehicles must meet USDOT regulations, including federal motor carrier safety administration rules. Some states also require commercial vehicles to have USDOT numbers, including those used for intrastate commerce. Whether you use a rented truck or own your own, DOT registration is integral to interstate commerce. Unfortunately, the rules and regulations for DOT registration are extensive and confusing. 

Compliance requirements vary depending on your industry and the number of passengers you carry. For example, if you’re hauling passengers for compensation, you’ll need to be registered with the DOT. You’ll need to be DOT-compliant if you’re carrying more than eight passengers. If you’re transporting up to 15 people, you’ll need DOT registration for all your vehicles. If you’re unsure which regulations apply to your business, consider hiring a third-party company.


Commercial vehicle safety is a top priority for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). A reliable national transportation system connects communities and strengthens economic opportunities. It must be efficient and use modern technology while prioritizing safety. Enforcement of DOT rules and regulations is vital to the safety of commercial vehicles. Utilizing a fleet compliance guide, you can achieve dot compliance software

DOT compliance is based on two primary factors: the number of passengers and the purpose of transportation. If transporting more than eight passengers and compensating passengers, you must register with DOT. If you are transporting 15 passengers, you must register with the DOT. Those who operate trucks with more than 15 passengers must also comply with DOT regulations. DOT rules and regulations require that trucks and buses meet certain weight limits and be registered with the DOT.


If you’re a goods carrier, you know how vital DOT compliance is. Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies enforce DOT rules to ensure safe and efficient operations for commercial motor vehicles. Unfortunately, violations of DOT regulations can result in written warnings, heavy fines, suspension of a carrier’s operations, and even jail time. Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Transportation has made it easy to stay compliant and get the fines you deserve.

Violations of DOT rules can carry severe fines, ranging from $334 to $194,691. In addition, each day a violation continues may lead to a separate civil penalty. Penalties for violating DOT rules and regulations vary, but the highest fines are associated with hazardous materials. Ensure your fleet is equipped with the latest electronic logging devices and safety features to avoid a DOT violation.