What Is DOT Number on Tires?

The DOT (Department of Transportation) number, also known as the Tire Identification Number (TIN), is a code located on the tire’s sidewall. It signifies compliance with U.S. DOT tire safety standards and is essential for tire recalls and tracking. This code includes information about the tire’s manufacturer, manufacturing plant, tire size, and the time of production.

How to Read a DOT Number on Tires?

The DOT Number provides vital information about a tire’s origin and production date. Let’s decode an example DOT number, “DOT AB9C DEF 1323“:

  • DOT: Department of Transportation
  • AB9C (Plant Code): These first characters (AB9C) represent the manufacturer’s plant code. Recent legislation has extended this from two to three characters, but older codes may have only two.
  • DEF (Tire Size and Type): Following the plant code are characters (DEF) that indicate the tire size, type, or other significant characteristics. In newer 13-character TINs, this section can have six characters.
  • 1323 (Manufacturing Date): The last four digits reveal the production date. The first two (13) stand for the week of the year, and the last two (23) represent the year. So, “1323” means the tire was manufactured in the 13th week of 2023.

Where Is the Tire DOT Number Located?

The DOT code is typically found on the sidewall of every tire. However, its exact location can vary, so checking multiple sides of the tire may be necessary. The opposite sidewall might display either the full or a partial DOT code, at the manufacturer’s discretion​​​​.

Importance of the DOT Code

The DOT code is crucial for several reasons, primarily for registering your tire with the manufacturer. This registration ensures that the manufacturer can contact you in case of a recall. It also helps in identifying the tire in case of product recalls and confirming that the tire meets DOT safety standards​​​​.

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