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Obtaining Certification

Firms meeting the eligibility standards must contact the specific state or local transportation entity for which they wish to participate in contracts.  In addition to requesting documentary evidence substantiating a firm's size, owner's PNW, independence, and an individual's ownership and control, recipients are required to perform an on-site visit to the firm's offices and job sites.  Firms can obtain instructions on how to apply to become a DBE by contacting state departments of transportation or state DBE liaison and certification officers.  To ease the burden of applying to multiple DOT recipients within a state, the Department requires a Unified Certification Program (UCP) to be developed so that applicants need only apply once for DBE certification that will be honored by all recipients in the state. 

In response to longstanding concerns of DBEs, the Department instituted measures effective January 1, 2012, designed to make the certification process easier on recipients and certified DBEs. The measure found in 49 C.F.R. Part 26, §26.85 prescribes how certifiers are to process requests for certification from DBE firms certified in other jurisdictions. Firms must be certified in their home state before seeking certification in another state under the rule.

Uniform Certification Application

The Unified Certification Program (UCP) allows applicants for the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program to apply only once for a DBE certification that will be honored by all recipients in the state. Be advised that the U.S Department of Transportation does not review DBE applications. If you have questions about where to send your DBE application package, please contact the state transportation agency in the state in which you want to apply for. For your reference, we maintain a list of DBE program points of contacts and websites. All applicants to the DBE/ACDBE programs must submit a complete application package to a Unified Certification Program (UCP) member agency in the applicant's home state. (Click here for Application:English Chinese-Mandarin Korean Spanish), applications should not be submitted to US DOT)    

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Sample No Change Declaration 49 CFR Section 26.83(j)

Once certified as a DBE, you must provide to the recipient, every year on the anniversary of the date o of your certification, an affidavit sworn to by the firm's owners before a person who is authorized by state law to administer oaths or an unsworn declaring declaration executed under penalty of perjury of the laws of the United States. This affidavit must affirm that there have been no changes in the firm's circumstances affecting its ability to meet size, disadvantaged status, ownership or control requirements of the part or any material changes in the information provided in its application form, except for changes about which you have notified the recipient as provided in the regulation. The affidavit shall specifically affirm that your firm continues to meet SBA business size criteria and the overall gross reciepts cap of the regulation, documenting this affirmation with supporting documentation of your form's size and gross receipts. If you fail to provide this affidavit in a timely manner, you will be deemed to have failed to cooperate.

The attached sample No Change Declaration document was approved by the Office of the General Counsel as consistent with the language and intent of 49 CFR Part 26. It is provided for informational purposes, and recipients and DBE firms are not required to use it or its format. However, recipients and DBE firms may wish to use it as a guide in preparing their own No Change Declaration documents.

Sample No Change Affidavit - 49 CFR § 26.83(j)

Sample No Change Declaration - 49 CFR § 26.83(j)

Sample No Change Declaration




Last updated: Monday, February 3, 2020