Blog: Tips from the Deesh's Desk

DOT Tire Identification Numbers

Today we’re going to talk about “DOT” tire identification numbers so you can get a better understanding of what it means. Federal law requires manufacturers to provide standardized information permanently branded on the sidewalls of all tires sold in the USA. Yes, that’s right on one side you have the full DOT and on the other side you have only DOT and manufacture, plant and tire size info or the first 4 digits after DOT. All tire serial numbers start with DOT in front of it which means that the tires meet or exceed the depth of transportation’s safety standards. As you can see below typed above the DOT #s is an explanation of what the symbols mean.

As of the year 2000 all ending date of manufactured tires now have 4 numbers clarifying the year of manufacture. In the 1st DOT the 036 at the end means the tire was manufactured the third week (03) of 2006 (06) or 1996(06). Because of the confusion in the year of manufactured they decided in 2000 that they were changing from 3 digits to 4 digits so there would be no mistake on the year of manufacture.

In the 2nd example the tire is manufactured in the 3rd week (03) of 2001 (01) below I tried to color code above the DOT # what each series of letters and numbers mean….hope it’s easy to understand don’t think of DOT’s as a serial number ….they are rather batch numbers for a particular weekly release of said tires. This enables the manufacturer and the government to look at tires that come back for warranty to see if they possibly have an issue with a particular plant or a particular batch of tires. When the retail shop mounts any tire, they’re supposed to register it with the manufacture however it is rarely ever done by retailers leaving it difficult for the manufacture to send out notices to the consumers affected by a recall.

Tire Size       OPT Symbols with the manf
DOT            MA             L9                   ABC                  036
Dept of transportation                                          Date of manuf before year 2000

MFR  & Plant Code #        Date of manuf 4 #’s after year 2000
DOT           MA             L9                   ABC                  0301

Sample of other government approval codes

Before products can be sold in many countries, their manufacturers are required to test and certify they meet government standards. While many countries establish their own unique standards, others simply choose to adopt established standards to simplify global complexity.

In the case of tires, manufacturers are required to test and certify they meet all applicable safety and performance standards, which can include physical dimensions, sidewall branding and durability, as well as high-speed endurance, road noise and/or wet traction.

Once the testing and paperwork has been completed, the tire manufacturer can brand the required mark(s) on the tire’s sidewall (typically near the wheel). Since many tires are sold globally, tires can be branded with more than one governmental approval code.