SCDMV drops requirement for leased operators to get U.S. DOT number

February 11, 2019

Greg Grisolano


A new requirement from the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles that began Jan. 1 has already been ended.

The SCDMV was requiring commercial motor vehicle owners who were leased to motor carriers to register for a U.S. DOT number to renew their International Registration Plan, or IRP, account. The requirement was dropped on Feb. 8, thanks to the efforts of employees in the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s Permits and Licensing Department.

Registrant DOT numbers haven’t existed since 2011, when the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ended that practice.

The problem, says Crystal Minardi of OOIDA’s Permits and Licensing Department, is that such registrant DOT numbers haven’t existed since 2011. Owner-operators who are leased to carriers may have found themselves in automatic violation of their lease agreements by obtaining their own U.S. DOT numbers.

“These are owners that are leased to a motor carrier,” she said. “The problem with that is FMCSA no longer issues DOT numbers to registrant-only … so they’re applying for DOT numbers as intrastate carriers.

“If you’re not the motor carrier responsible for safety, you should not have a DOT number, period,” she said.

Going forward, the South Carolina DMV will only require the DOT number of the motor carrier responsible for safety in order to complete the IRP registration application.

Minardi says that CMV owners who have those intrastate DOT numbers need to deactivate them.

“What we need to do is focus on the South Carolina owners of those vehicles that did obtain a DOT number. We need to work on getting those DOT numbers inactivated.”

South Carolina members with questions can call OOIDA’s permits and licensing department at 816-229-5791.

Land Line Now news anchor Terry Scruton contributed to this report.