The number is an integral part of reforming the BIT Program
California is one of the last states to have never required a motor carrier that solely operates within its borders (intrastate) to have a U.S. DOT number; everyone has used only the assigned A number issued by CHP. That has changed as a result of legislation passed in 2013 requiring reform to CHP’s BIT Program. The assignment of a U.S. DOT number was completed earlier this year and is necessary so that CHP can upload the results of carrier and vehicle inspections into a federal database that tracks motor carrier safety performance.
When a U.S. DOT number is assigned to a motor carrier, there is more information about the carrier available on the federal website compared to the California DMV’s online Motor Carrier Permit active list of motor carriers (found at https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/?1dmy&urile=wcm:path:/dmv_content_en/dmv/vehindustry/mcp/mcp_actve_carrier:path:/dmv_content_en/dmv/vehindustry/mcp/mcp_actve_carrier ).
If you would like to discover your U.S. DOT number or view the data displayed by the feds on your company (you will need a U.S. DOT PIN to access your data) follow these directions:
- Go to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) homepage. The URL is: www.fmcsa.dot.gov.
- Once on the page, there is a navigation tab at the top that says, “About Us, Regulations, Registration, Safety, and News.” Place your cursor over the “Safety” tab and another window will open that says “Resources.” Go to the very bottom of that column where it says “Company Safety Data” and click on that clink. Another page will open.
- The next page that opens will say “Company Safety Records.” Scroll down the page to where it says “Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) System. The first paragraph contains the words “Company Snapshot” that is hyperlinked to FMCSA’s search engine for company records – click on that link opening the search engine.
- You should now be on the Company Snapshot page of the SAFER System. Enter in the search engine your U.S. DOT number/MC number or the legal name of your company. If you need to find out what U.S. DOT number was assigned (you need to pick one of the three search functions). If the name of your company uses symbols such as an ampersand (&) instead of the word “and,” you must enter the ampersand. If there are spaces between words for the name of your company, those must be included or you will not get a result. You can avoid all the steps above by manually entering this address in your computer: http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/CompanySnapshot.aspx
- If you are searching by name, a screen will open up with “Possible Keyword Matches” of all motor carriers with similar names. Scroll down the list to find your company name. If you already know your U.S. DOT number and have entered it, you will be taken to your “Company Snapshot.”
The company snapshot screen is your gateway to drill into further information contained within the federal database. On the screen above in the upper-right is a link for “SMS Results.” SMS stands for Safety Measurement System and will contain your crash and inspection histories. As of December 4, 2015 none of the data contained in the SMS is publicly viewable, you will need your U.S. DOT PIN to access that portal.
Requesting Your U.S. DOT PIN
You can get real-time notification (emailed to you immediately) about your PIN by entering this URL on your computer – https://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/AutoPin/index.xhtml. You will need to know your U.S. DOT number and just as important, your Federal EIN. If you are a sole-proprietor/owner-operator and do not have a federal EIN, you will need to contact the office because a special code needs to be entered in the data field for the EIN. We have the code and will get you your PIN.
We are already hearing from members assigned U.S. DOT numbers that there are errors in data displayed which needs to be corrected. Data is also incomplete for ALL motor carriers such as the number of miles traveled by a fleet in the previous year. Not having the accurate Power Units or the previous year’s mileage can have a negative effect on your overall safety profile since those factors are used in an algorithm within the SMS that determines your company percentile rankings (scores).
The good news is you can have this fixed immediately through what is termed a MCS-150 update online. You will need your U.S. DOT PIN to make corrections. As a membership benefit, the association can perform MCS-150 updates for our members at no charge. Non-members are charged a fee of $25. If you need this type of assistance or have questions please call the office (909) 982-9898 and ask to speak to Shantal or Joe.
This post is also available in: Spanish