Table of Contents
What are Vehicle Markings and Identification
Vehicle markings and identification are important elements in the regulated operation of commercial trucks.
Enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in the United States, these markings are integral to maintaining compliance with Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations.
The Significance of Vehicle Markings
Vehicle markings serve as a visual identifier, allowing authorities and other road users to easily recognize and differentiate commercial trucks.
Properly displayed markings are a crucial aspect of DOT registration and compliance, as mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Enhanced Road Safety
Clearly visible markings contribute to safer roadways by providing essential information about the carrier and aiding in the rapid identification of vehicles in emergencies.
Elements of Vehicle Markings
Registered carriers are assigned a unique USDOT number. This number must be prominently displayed on both sides of the commercial vehicle.
Learn more about USDOT Number here.
Motor Carrier (MC) Number
Carriers with intrastate or interstate operating authority also display their MC number, along with their company name or trade name.
Learn more about MC Number here.
Company Name and Address
The carrier’s legal name, trade name, or doing-business-as (DBA) name, along with the city, state, and ZIP code of the main business location, must be legible on the vehicle.
Contrast and Visibility
Markings must be in a color that sharply contrasts with the background and should be readily visible, especially from a reasonable distance.
While there isn’t a specific marking that must be on the fire extinguisher itself, it’s crucial that the fire extinguisher is readily identifiable and accessible in case of an emergency.
Additionally, it’s recommended that carriers have clear and visible signage indicating the location of the fire extinguisher within the vehicle for the safety of the driver and any emergency responders.
Placement and Sizing
Height and Lettering
The USDOT number and company name must be in letters and numerals that are at least two inches in height.
Location on the Vehicle
Markings must be placed on both sides of the power unit (truck cab or tractor) and be clearly visible from the side and rear of the vehicle.
Ensuring Compliance with DOT Registration
Verification of Markings
Carriers must regularly inspect and verify that vehicle markings are in compliance with DOT regulations.
Markings should be maintained in good condition, ensuring they remain visible and legible.
Electronic Displays and Exemptions
Electronic displays may be used to meet marking requirements, provided they can display the required information in a legible manner.
Exemptions for Leased Vehicles
Leased vehicles may display markings that identify the lessee, provided the lessor’s information is also readily available.
Benefits of Proper Vehicle Markings
Compliance with Regulations
Adherence to vehicle marking regulations is a critical component of DOT registration and compliance, preventing potential fines and penalties.
Enhanced Road Safety
Clearly marked vehicles contribute to safer roadways, aiding in the rapid identification of carriers in emergencies and improving overall traffic safety.
Well-maintained vehicle markings reflect positively on a carrier’s professionalism and commitment to regulatory compliance.
Listen to The Article Here
USDOT Number Sticker Decal Regulations & Recommendations Video by US Decals
Vehicle Marking Example