DOT Specifications for Rims

by Michael Staton
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They may move too fast to read, but every rim on every tire on the road must comply with U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. Certain information must be included on each tire rim for the convenience of tire dealers, manufacturers and consumers. The DOT states that these regulations are put in place to ensure safe vehicle operation.

Rim Information

The DOT requires each tire's rim or wheel disc to be marked with certain information for identification purposes. According to DOT regulation 571.120, the rim should be marked with the source of the rim and its size. The rim must also be marked "DOT" to indicate that it complies with DOT regulations. The date of manufacture should also be marked, either by use of a symbol or numerals.

Rim Markings

A rim manufacturer may have all the right information on the tire, but if it is not properly marked, it will be in violation of DOT regulations. According to Regulation 571.120, the markings on rims should be in lettering no less than 3 mm high. The lettering can be impressed on the rim or embossed with a height/depth no less than 0.125 mm. This information must appear on the outside or weathered side of the rim so that it can be easily read without having to take the rim off the wheel, according to the DOT.

Proper Rim Listing

According to DOT regulation 571.119, each tire manufacturer must furnish a listing of usable rims for their tires to the public. The tire manufacturer's dealers must have a complete listing of these rims and be able to furnish the information if requested. If this is not possible, the information should be included in at least one of many tire publications, such as those from the Tire and Rim Association or the Japan Automobile Tire Manufacturer's Association, Inc.

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