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Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)

The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise certification program is a Federal program. The purpose is to increase the participation of certified DBEs in projects funded by the US Department of Transportation and other federal sectors. Projects typically include heavy construction, such as building and designing roads, bridges, railroads, ports, and airports.

The Program is governed by the U.S. Federal Regulations in 49 CFR Parts 26 and 23.


The Virginia Unified Certification Program includes two certifying agencies:

There is no need to submit an application to both agencies. Federal DBE certification by either agency is fully accepted throughout Virginia.


If you plan to participate in the procurement process of the Commonwealth of Virginia, you need to apply for SWaM certification, not DBE certification. To apply for SWaM certification, please click here.


The DBE certification process differs depending on if you are an in-state or out-of-state firm.

Out-of-State firms

If you have never applied to either of Virginia's SWaM or DBE programs, you will first need to proceed to Section A to generate a tracking number for your firm. Otherwise, you will use the SWaM or DBE tracking number that you were previously assigned.

All out-of-state applicants must submit:

  1. A complete copy of the DBE application form, all supporting documents, and any other information you have submitted to your home state or any other state related to your firm's certification. This includes affidavits of no change, updated tax documents, and any notices of changes that you have submitted to your home state, as well as any correspondence you have had with your home state's UCP or any other recipient concerning your application or status as a DBE firm.

  2. You must also provide any notices or correspondence from states other than your home state relating to your status as an applicant or certified DBE in those states. For example, if you have been denied certification or decertified in State C, or subject to a decertification action there, you must inform us of this fact and provide all documentation concerning this action.

  3. If you have filed a certification appeal with US DOT, you must inform us of this fact and provide your letter of appeal and DOT's response.

  4. You must submit an affidavit sworn to by the firm's owners before a person who is authorized by State law to administer oaths or an unsworn declaration executed under penalty of perjury of the laws of the United States. This affidavit must affirm that you have submitted all the information required by items 1-3 above and the information is complete and, in the case of the information required item 1, is an identical copy of the information submitted to your home state. The Affidavit form can be found below:

In-state firms

The DBE Certification process has several steps:

  1. If you have not previously applied online for DBE or SWaM certification, please go to Section A. Otherwise go to Section B.
  2. Complete the DBE Uniform Certification Application Form, and the Personal Networth Statement.
  3. Get the Application Form (Affidavit of Certification) and the Personal Networth Statement notarized
  4. Collect copies of the Supporting Documentation on the checklist at the end of the Application form.
  5. Send the Application forms package, plus the supporting documents in to us at the address at the bottom of this page.
  6. Once we have a complete file, we will arrange for an Onsite Visit to your Company

If you need assistance in applying for the DBE certification, please contact our regional offices for appointments with the Business Development Specialists. Click here for office contact information.

Section A
New DBE Application (Firms have not previously applied, whether the process was completed or not, online at the DSBSD website for SWaM or DBE certification):

Link to Application Tracking Number and DBE Uniform Certification Application

Personal Financial Networth Statement (fillable PDF)
Includes instructions for completing the personal financial statement.

Section B
DBE Application (Firms have previously applied online at the DSBSD website for SWaM or DBE certification):

DBE Uniform Certification Application (fillable PDF)

Personal Financial Networth Statement (fillable PDF)
Includes instructions for completing the personal financial statement.


Annual Submission Requirement for Currently-Approved DBEs:

Once you are certified as a DBE, you are required to submit, annually, the following documents to our office prior to your anniversary date. We aspire to send all certified vendors an email reminder 60 days prior to your anniversary date. However, this is not always possible and should not be relied upon. We strongly recommend that your DBE anniversary date be added to your internal company calendar to keep track of the date by which your annual update is due. Please keep your email address current with us.

  1. If there are no changes:
    Virginia Unified Certification Program Affidavit Of No Change (fillable PDF)


    See the "Notification of Change Requirement" below for the form and documentation to submit if there have been changes

  2. Last year's signed and dated Federal business taxes for your firm and ALL affiliates. If your firm and/or any affiliates' taxes are filed under your personal taxes, then the signed and dated Federal personal taxes must be submitted as well. Please do not send State tax returns.

Notification of Change Requirement for Currently-Approved DBEs:

Once you are certified as a DBE, you must inform us in writing of any change in circumstances affecting firm's ability to meet size, disadvantaged status, ownership, or control requirements of the DBE program or any material change in the information provided in your application form. You must provide the written notification within 30 days of the occurrence of the change.

  1. If there have been changes to firm's ownership and/or control, other signifiant changes, or firm is requesting additional NAICS codes, submit:
    Virginia Unified Certification Program Notice of Change (fillable PDF)

  2. You must attach supporting documentation describing in detail the nature of any changes and/or supporting the addition of your request for any new NAICS codes.


VDOT Prequalification Program
VDOT requires prospective bidders to be prequalified for all construction and maintenance contracts. The contractor prequalification is also necessary for subcontractors.

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations
Title 49 – Transportation, Part 26 – Participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises in Department of Transportation Financial Assistance Programs.

Request for copies of DBE file by Company Owners

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