How Your Business Can Get DBE Certification in Other States

June 29, 2020
By Danielle Dietrich
Posted in Business Services, Women and Diverse-Owned Businesses

Depending on your business and location, your company may do business in multiple states.  If you want to get Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification for your business, you must first do it through your own state.  (Please see my other blogs for discussion of this process).

Once your business is a certified DBE in its home state, you may apply in one or more other states for certification.  You will need to present materials, but you are not submitting an entirely new application.  Interstate certification is governed by 49 C.F.R. § 26.85.

In Pennsylvania, the disadvantaged owner(s) whose business is applying for interstate certification must complete an affidavit.  A copy can be found here:  Along with the affidavit, the owner will have to provide:

  • A complete copy of the Uniform Certification Application submitted to the home state and all supporting materials that you provide to your home state;
  • The three most recent affidavits of no change;
  • Any notices of change;
  • All correspondence that you had with your home state or any other state regarding your application or DBE status;
  • Any notices or correspondence that you had with other states other than your home state regarding your DBE status, including denials or decertification from other states; and
  • Information regarding any certification appeals that you filed with the U.S. D.O.T.

Having certification in one state does not guarantee certification in another state- the reciprocity is not automatic.  The certifier looking at your interstate application can only look at certain factors under the rule.  However, the certifier must limit its review to the documents listed above.  It also cannot substitute its judgment for that of the home state.  Certifiers are often rebuked by the U.S. D.O.T. for failing to follow the interstate rules.

If you receive a denial of your request for interstate certification, you should consult with an experienced attorney to determine whether an appeal is appropriate.  You may also find it helpful to consult with an attorney while preparing your request for interstate certification.

If your company needs advice regarding interstate certification or any other DBE matters, please contact Danielle Dietrich at 412-227-0284 or