Car Decals Ensure Your Vehicles Meet Compliance Requirements

If you’re a business owner with commercial vehicles, you may or may not know that you need to include your Department of Transportation (DOT) numbers on your vehicle.

Required by law, these numbers communicate the following information:

  • Your driver is certified to operate a commercial vehicle on interstates (across state lines).
  • Your commercial vehicle weighs more than 10,000 pounds.
  • You transport 9 to 15 passengers for compensation.
  • You transport 16 or more passengers without compensation.
  • You transport hazardous materials.

How Do I Know I Need to Mark My Commercial Vehicle?

As a business owner, it is your responsibility to obtain DOT numbers for your commercial vehicles. You can visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s resources to confirm that your vehicles need DOT numbers in your state and get instructions on how to obtain your DOT number there.

Once you’ve secured your number, the most frequent concern that business owners have is how to display it correctly. You want your brand to stand out on the highway, and you don’t want compliance to get in the way of how your vehicles look.Fortunately, excellent car decal businesses exist to help you meet requirements for US DOT, as well as commercial vehicle wraps that are customized for your business.

How to Mark Your Vehicle As Directed by US DOT Guidelines

Your success as a business depends on your clients’ perception of your services. You don’t want to simply stick a compliance number on the side of your vehicle without giving the design some thoughtful consideration.

Here is the information you must display and how you should display it. This information provides the basics, which will give you an idea of how creative you can get with your branding, while still meeting compliance.

  • Mark your vehicle with your trade name or the carrier name.
  • Your motor carrier ID number, beginning with “US DOT.”
  • You must use letters that contrast with the color of the background for visibility.
  • These letters must contrast in terms of size, shape, and color.
  • The markings must be readable during the day from 50 feet away.
  • The markings should be on both sides of the vehicle.

If you live in New Jersey, for example, additional information must be included on the vehicle. The state in which your business is located may have additional requirements, so it is important to research these as well. Use your search engine to find your state’s DOT website to find requirements for your state.

In New Jersey, your US DOT markings must also include:

  • Your municipality or primary business location.
  • The Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) for your vehicle.

Once you know the law for your commercial vehicles, the question becomes how to get US DOT car decals or even commercial vehicle wraps that are custom and compliant. Car decals don’t have to look boring and simply meet the letter of the law. You can find unique ways to represent your brand while also meeting standards.

Where to Find US DOT-Guidelines-Compliant Car Decals and More

When you need a vehicle wrap that displays DOT information, but doesn’t limit your options for design, you want to look for a company with the following characteristics:

  1. First and foremost, they can provide DOT decals, and they know the federal and state guidelines they have to meet.
  2. As you research a business for your vehicle graphics, ensure that they sell premium vinyl graphics, and that they don’t use cheap materials that peel and flake. You don’t want to have to pay twice for something that can be done the right way once.
  3. The custom car graphic business you’re considering provides options for colors to ensure your decals stand out.
  4. A superior company will have experience designing for cars, trucks, and more. They emphasize the “custom” aspect of their business because they’re highly versatile and deliver exactly what you’re looking for.
  5. If you’re interested in further customizing your vehicle with designs and text to represent your brand, you want a business that can create custom commercial vehicle wraps based on your specifications.
  6. You can easily order online by communicating your exact specifications, and get your decals shipped directly to you.

Great businesses for custom car decals understand the importance of compliance and customization. They work in your best interest by ensuring your vehicle meets requirements, while also providing the options you want, so your vehicle doesn’t look like every other car on the road.

Learn more about how outstanding custom vehicle wraps and other premium decals can benefit your business, as well as your personal vehicles.

October 24, 2023 — Juan C Espinoza