Preliminary Note: On Tuesday, April 9, 2024, the United States Department of Transportation issued a final rule that modernized the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program and the Airport Concessions DBE (ACDBE) program regulations. Review a copy of the final rule. The changes will go into effect on May 9, 2024. This blog is one in a series highlighting the changes and updates found in this final rule.

As your business grows, you may want to expand your opportunities as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) or Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) into other states. This process, known as interstate certification, has long been a convoluted and arduous process, serving as a thorn in the side of many growing DBE/ACDBE companies.

The updated rules published by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) establish what amounts to reciprocity between the states. Further, the process should be much faster, allowing for businesses to obtain certification in new states in time to bid on projects that may arise on a deadline.

A company should first obtain DBE or ACDBE certification in their state where they have their principal place of business, now known as the JOC (jurisdiction of certification).

To apply for interstate certification, you must submit a cover letter to the Unified Certification Program (UCP) where you are hoping to become certified. This cover letter must indicate that your company is applying for interstate certification in that jurisdiction, and then list all UCPs where the business is currently certified (including your JOC). You must also enclose an electronic image of the JOC’s UCP directory showing that your business is certified as a DBE.

You must also complete a new Declaration of Eligibility (DOE) form (formerly known as the Annual Affidavit) that attests to your continued eligibility as a DBE. This form should be available on the DOT website of the state in which you are applying, or by contacting the UCP office.

One you submit all this information, the UCP has ten business days to confirm your certification. They should preferably do this by checking the UCP directory in your JOC. Once that step is completed, your company should be certified immediately.

If you have any questions about DBE certification or need assistance with interstate certification, please contact Danielle Dietrich, Esq. at or 412-449-9141.

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