United States Department of Transportation Law and Legal Definition

The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) is a federal agency of the U.S. government. It is responsible for shaping and administering policies and programs to protect and enhance the safety, adequacy, and efficiency of the U.S. transportation systems and services. DOT’s mission is: “to serve the U.S. by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.”

DOT was established in 1966, and is devoted to transportation. DOT began its operation on April 1, 1967. It aims to keep the traveling public safe and secure, increase their mobility, and have the U.S. transportation system contribute to the nation's economic growth.

DOT is headed by the United States Secretary of Transportation. DOT consists of the Office of the Secretary and individual Operating Administrations. The DOT agencies are:

Federal Aviation Administration

Federal Highway Administration

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Federal Railroad Administration

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Federal Transit Administration

Maritime Administration

Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

Research and Innovative Technologies Administration

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

Surface Transportation Board

Office of the Secretary of Transportation

Office of Inspector General