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      Trucker News — USDOT Lettering

      How to Display Your USDOT Number Legally on your Commercial Vehicle | USDOT Number Sticker Decal Regulations Tips

      How to Display Your USDOT Number Legally on your Commercial Vehicle | USDOT Number Sticker Decal Regulations Tips

      There are several requirements pertaining to displaying a company’s USDOT number and other regulation numbers in a professional and legal manner.  All commercial vehicles must adhere to all regulations in 49 CFR 390.21 Marking of Commercial Motor Vehicles.

      The regulations specified include USDOT number, (Motor carrier identification number, proceeded by the characters USDOT) & the trade name of the motor carrier operating the commercial vehicle; “Operated by” information is also required if applicable. 

      USDOT numbers are issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and are used to track safety scores and carrier information for all carriers across the country. Regulation number requirements vary by type of operation and state of operation. Please see your local requirements in order to insure you are in compliance for your specific state.

      All regulation numbers are required to be displayed in a contrasting color to the commercial vehicle, they must be displayed in an easy-to-read font, and they must be visible from a minimum of 50 feet away. For most fonts, the character size should be a minimum of 2 inches in height, though 3 inches or larger is recommended across the board.

      All companies should also display their point of origin and company name, along with other identifying information such as phone number, vessel number or operated by information if needed. All other regulation numbers should also be displayed following the proceeding guidelines according to operation requirements. Some cities have specific character sizing requirements, so always be sure to reference your local vehicle code.

      If you have any questions please contact us and we would be happy to help.


      usdot number decal sticker lettering tips to display

      Vinyl VS Magnet VS Spray Paint VS Paper & Pen USDOT Lettering

      usdot lettering vinyl vs magnets vs spray paint vs pen and paper

      When it comes to USDOT Lettering, there are many options to displaying your US DOT & other important regulation numbers such as MC, KYU, CA & GVWR. In this short blog, we’ll go over the basics of each.

      Vinyl Lettering

      Vinyl lettering is great since it’s easy to place, it looks professional and it’s customizable. Vinyl lettering will also last a long time and will withstand all of the elements. You don’t have to worry about your important regulation numbers falling off and failing a USDOT inspection. Another great feature is that when you are ready to sell your commercial vehicle or go out of business you can easily take off the vinyl lettering and the vehicle will look like before. It won’t damage the paint and it will not leave any residue behind.


      Magnets are another method of displaying your regulation numbers. This method is a bit riskier since your magnets can be easily stolen (yes this happens quite often) or your magnets tend to fall off at high speeds (60 MPH +). A lot of truckers have been fined heavily when they have lost their magnets. Let’s say you are doing business and you get stopped at a truck scale by a DOT officer and your magnets are nowhere to be found. Do you think the DOT officer will believe you? No! It is your responsibility to display all of your lettering on your cabin at all times. Magnets are good for individuals who use their personal vehicle for business and vice versa. In our opinion, magnets do not look very professional. Do you ever see law enforcement vehicles displaying magnets? Never!

      Spray Paint Lettering

      We have seen hundreds of people display their US DOT regulation lettering with spray paint (stencils). This is by far the worst thing you can do as it will damage the paint and it will not look very professional. This is an immediate solution, but we recommend against this method. Getting spray paint off vehicle paint is extremely difficult and will hurt the value of the commercial vehicle.

      Pen & Paper Method

      We’ve seen hundreds of carriers displaying their regulation numbers on a piece of computer paper taped on their cabin. While this is technically compliant, we strongly recommend against this method. Rain will destroy the paper and you’ll be out of compliance immediately. Besides, it’s your business, would you really want to display your carrier name and USDOT on a piece of paper?