What Is a DOT Certification?

The trucking industry has had something of a boom over the past few years, with cyber-shopping pushing more and more products onto trucks instead of store shelves. If you’re looking to hop into an ever-expanding industry, getting intro trucking could certainly be lucrative.

Of course, in order to legally operate this kind of vehicle, you’d need to get your DOT certification. What is DOT certification? If you’re not familiar with this kind of requirement, you’ll need to do a fair bit of research before starting your work.

What do you need to know about DOT certification training? Read on and we’ll walk you through the basics.

What Is DOT Certification?

Not just anyone is allowed to operate large commercial vehicles on the American roadways. A DOT certification is something of a seal of quality that drivers need to operate legally.

Nearly all states in the US require a DOT certification for a driver to legally operate commercial motor vehicles. Essentially, any kind of trucking, delivery, or public transportation will require you to get this kind of certification done.

If you want to get a commercial driver’s license (often needed, as opposed to just a personal license) you’ll need to get DOT certified first.

DOT certification is managed by the FMCSA, which stands for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Once certified, this government arm will assign a reference number to each driver and vehicle.

The states in which you plan to do business in will look to this reference number to ensure you’re cleared to do business.

How Does One Become DOT Certified?

A driver must pass a series of tests in order to get their DOT certification. A physical exam is often part of the test, ensuring a driver’s physical capabilities won’t fail them behind the wheel.

A series of safe-driving tests must also be passed. DOT training is recommended for all drivers prior to taking these tests. Everything from basic commercial vehicle procedures to DOT hazmat training should be attempted before applying for the actual certification.

The more experience you have behind the wheel, the better. You’ll want to stay sharp even after you get your certification, of course. Commercial motor vehicle operators across all states must reapply and renew their certification every two years.

If you do not plan on using a vehicle that you purchase for commercial reasons, you likely do not need to get DOT certification. For example, if you purchased a large pickup truck, you could handle it with your personal driver’s license and no further paperwork.

Understanding DOT Certification

If you’re looking to operate a large commercial vehicle anytime in the near future, you’ll want to make sure you give yourself time to get familiar with DOT certification requirements.

Having this kind of certification from the government will be necessary if you want to operate legally.

Need more advice and information? Keep scrolling our blog for more.


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