What is DBE Certification?

   DBE = Disadvantaged Business Enterprise

The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program is a federal program administered by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) through each State’s Unified Certification Program. The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) is one of four certifying members in the New York State Unified Certification Program (NYSUCP). Members are responsible for determining if firms meet the DBE certification or Airport Concession DBE (ACDBE) eligibility requirements, as detailed in Title 49 Part 26 of the Code of Federal Regulations or Title 49 Part 23 of the Code of Federal Regulations, respectively.

The USDOT DBE web page includes additional information on the DBE program as well as an informative video.

Learn more about the DBE Program


You may be eligible to participate in the DBE/ACDBE program if:

  • Your firm is a for-profit business that performs or seeks to perform transportation-related work (or a concession activity) for a recipient of Federal Transit Administration, Federal Highway Administration, or Federal Aviation Administration funds.
  • Your firm is at least 51% owned by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual(s) who also controls it.
  • Your firm’s disadvantaged owners are U.S. citizens or lawfully admitted permanent residents of the U.S.
  • Your firm meets the Small Business Administration’s size standard and DBE/ACDBE size standards.  

  Why should I get my business certified?

How do I certify my business?

Businesses interested in becoming certified should apply via the NYSUCP’s online system. The NYSUCP online system specifies the required documentation you must submit to apply and directs you through the process appropriate for your firm, e.g., in-state vs. interstate. For businesses located in New York State, the system will also guide you to the appropriate NYSUCP certifying member responsible for reviewing your application, which is determined primarily by the location of your principal place of business.

Use of the NYSUCP online system is strongly encouraged and is intended to facilitate the application process. Paper submissions must include the DBE Certification Application, a Personal Net Worth (PNW) Statement, and all the support documentation described in the application.

Apply for DBE Certification