I posted this on a thread before , I think the one when the horses had to be put down . This is information people should know
Shelly posted the link to the DOT . Each State also has a Motor Carrier ( DOT ) of it's own you can usually find it through the DMV , it has different names in each State .
Rules for the DOT are just that and don't change , most States use those .
To haul cargo commercially ( including livestock ) interstate you must be licensed by the DOT , the truck will have a DOT number and the State MC number on it , that's the law . Most reputable haulers will have those numbers on their web sites as well, you can then go to the search feature at the DOT and check the company out . Any company with the DOT has to have in place a drug testing program , keep driving records and update them once a year , maintain log books, insurance and medical cards . The DOT audits new companies to make sure everything is place . The DOT can and will do random audits at any time , violations start at $2,000 and they can seize all the equipment . We belong to a group that does the drug testing for us quarterly with random draws . If a DUI is on a drivers record our insurance company will not cover them at all , not sure on other insurance companies .
Before you hire a company to haul your horse ask for their DOT number if it's not on their advertising . Check them out at the link Shelley posted , ask for their State # and check with that State as well . If they operate under a business name check at the Secretary of State's office . It shouldn't take more than a couple minutes to check their safety records and make sure their business is operating legally . Once you know those things you know they have gone through the DOT audit program and are operating within the guidelines . If they are not licensed with the DOT and are just a guy trying to make a buck hauling horses don't expect their insurance will cover your horses , it won't because they aren't insured to haul commercially . You can also request a copy of their insurance certificate to see the coverages ( you can do this for any contractor you hire to make sure they have coverage ) . I have this request several times week at work and it's no big deal to email a certificate showing what our company is covered for .
If you have a problem report it to the DOT and the State . If nothing else it could trigger an audit and no one wants the DOT coming in and going through everything . DOT is one of the agencies our taxes pay for , it's there to protect us on the road , use it .