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Advantages of Motorcoach Travel | UMA's Consumer Guide | Locate a Motorcoach Company | DOT Safety Ratings | Student's Guide

 

Dot Safety Ratings

Find Your Operator's Safety Rating

USDOT Passenger Carrier Safety Ratings

    Safety is the most important aspect of the motor transport of passengers, surely America's most precious cargo. The United Motorcoach Association (UMA) is a strong supporter of stringent safety standards for America's passenger carriers.

    Since the mid-80's, the U.S. Department of Transportation has attempted to conduct safety inspections of all commercial vehicle companies who are authorized to operate across state lines. Because of the massive number of truck and bus companies in existence (more than half-a-million), only a small percentage of those companies have actually been visited by the federal agency for the conduct of a "compliance review," which leads to a USDOT "safety rating." But in recent years, the agency has made available its safety performance information about each registered motor carrier. That data is available to you through the use of the Department's SAFER (SAfety Fitness Electronic Records System) database. By using the query form at the top of this page, you may enter a carrier's name, USDOT identification number or its "MC" (Motor Carrier) number to review the Department's safety, accident and data profiles for that carrier.

    Understanding the Ratings:

    SAFER records are maintained by the United States Department of Transportation's Office of Motor Carrier Safety (OMCS), based on the results of onsite and roadside inspections, law enforcement records and official accident reports. Please note that the lack of a safety rating by DOT should not be interpreted as a either a positive or a negative indicator about that company's safety; it indicates only that the company has not undergone an onsite compliance review. Using the statistics kept in the SAFER system as indicators of the company's safety performance, federal motor carrier inspectors may schedule carriers for inspection visits at any time. You may wish to revisit the site frequently to check the performance of the carrier you're considering for use.

    UMA's Recommendations.

  • You should to ensure that your prospective carrier does not have an Unsatisfactory safety rating on this list.
  • You should check for the presence of an USDOT number or a check in the carrier's record indicating that they are "Authorized for Hire." Private, non-commercial passenger carriers (churches, travel clubs, schools) must now also register with the USDOT, but they will not necessarily be authorized to carry passengers for hire or issued "MC" numbers. All UMA member companies are "for hire" carriers, meaning they must, by law, meet much more rigorous standards for insurance, driver qualifications and record keeping.
  • Finally, please remember that many elements go into the making of a "safe" carrier. We urge you to look over UMA's Consumer Tips before you contract with an unfamiliar carrier; and we urge you to turn to UMA member companies whenever you need safe, reliable, professional motorcoach transportation.

    Need help finding a carrier record?

    Many bus and motorcoach companies use similar business names and many operate under a "doing business as (DBA)" name which may not match the USDOT's official records. Because of that, searches using the company's USDOT or MC number will yield a much quicker and more reliable report from the SAFER system. We suggest that you contact the company you are considering and ask them for their USDOT number and let them know that you are using it review their safety record online.


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