Six Critical Facts about DOT Compliance

DOT Compliance Facts

Companies that own or manage fleets – whether fleet management companies (FMCs), government fleets, rental car companies or company-owned fleets – must all adhere to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) standards in order to stay in full compliance. If a fleet operator falls out of compliance with the DOT, it can face serious consequences like more audits or hefty fines.

While most carriers know the basics, there are a number of lesser-known facts that are important to account for when it comes to staying compliant and mitigating unnecessary risks.

The ACERTUS team has broken down six critical DOT facts that are key to staying compliant:

  • The Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA) score determines a carrier’s risk profile: The better a CSA (the closer it is to zero), the more likely a carrier is operating in a safe and compliant manner. High CSA scores indicate a carrier has more risk, which can lead to non-compliance, a high susceptibility to accidents, higher insurance premiums or even insurance cancellation.
  • The DOT has strict rules on hours of service: To remain compliant, carriers must adhere to hours-of-service rules at all times, which includes using electronic logging devices (ELDs) to keep a record. There are exceptions to this policy for vehicle models older than 1999, as they do not have the proper equipment to ensure these devices can function.
  • There is some flexibility when it comes to ELDs: DOT rules on ELDs allow for the use of mobile devices (commonly called portable units). However, portable devices must be mounted in a fixed position during vehicle operation and visible to the driver from a normal seated driving position. Mobile apps are also allowed to serve as ELDs, as long as they are connected to the electronic control module of the vehicle, so the required data can be secured.
  • Drivers can use on-duty, non-driving time in a road inspection as a 30-minute break: If a driver is stopped for at least 30 consecutive minutes for a roadside inspection, this time should be logged as on-duty, non-driving time. This would satisfy the DOT’s 30-minute break requirement.
  • The DOT has strict rules on tires: To be compliant, vehicles cannot operate on any tire that has body ply or belt material exposed through the tread or sidewall or that has any tread or sidewall separation. Likewise, no tires can be flat, have an audible lead or have a cut to the point where the play or belt material is exposed.
  • The DOT has specific definitions of personal conveyance: A move is considered personal conveyance if the driver is off duty and the transport is not for the motor carrier, shipper or the receiver’s commercial benefit. (Examples include moving a vehicle from one parking space to another at a port and driving to a truck stop or rest area.) An on-duty yard move, such as moving the vehicle a short distance while waiting to load, would not qualify as personal conveyance.

How an Expert Compliance Provider Can Help

Staying on top of DOT regulations and ensuring compliance can be complicated and time-consuming. Expert providers like ACERTUS can help companies with fleets stay on top of all these standards, ensuring companies stay compliant at all times and mitigating any unnecessary risks.

In fact, the ACERTUS team can assist with a wide range of compliance needs, including International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) and International Registration Plan (IRP) reporting, tax support for highway use taxes (HUT) and weight/mile taxes, toll and transponder management, driver qualification (DQ) file management, license plating, sticker application and more.

ACERTUS’ expertise doesn’t just stop at compliance, however. As the only full-scale, tech-enabled automotive-logistics platform designed to move, store, recondition and title and register finished vehicles, ACERTUS delivers proven, complete and start-to-finish service. Through a transformative combination of technology, people and experience, ACERTUS turns logistics into a competitive advantage for anyone moving vehicles.

Learn more about ACERTUS’ compliance services, as well as its full rangeoffleet-logistics solutions,at To connect with one of our team members or receive apricingquote,contact us here or call us at:855-ACERTUS (855-923-2655).

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