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What is DBE Certification?

The City Office of Supplier Diversity recognizes the USDOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Certification program, 49CFR, Part 26 and the US Small Business Administration Disadvantaged Business Certification Program. The City of Mobile and the Wave Transit System help eligible vendors become DBE-certified through the Alabama’s Universal Certification Program (ALUCP).

The ALUCP program is based on standards set by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) per 49 CFR Part 26. The ALUCP DBE Certification program works to prevent discrimination in DOT-assisted contracts. These include highway, transit, and airport financial assistance programs.

The DBE Certification creates a level playing field where eligible vendors can compete for DOT-assisted contracts. The USDOT FTA Office of Civil Rights monitors local DBE programs and makes sure they remain compliant.

Organizations Involved

What are the benefits of being a DBE-Certified business?

The City strives to ensure that 15% or more of total contract spending goes to businesses that are DBE-certified. Being a DBE-certified business can also open up opportunities to receive mentorship and support.

How to Get Your Business DBE-Certified?

To become a DBE, you must prove ownership, meet size standards, show financial stability, and be a member of a socio-economically disadvantaged group.

Burden of Proof Allocation: Applicants carry the initial burden of proof regarding their eligibility and must demonstrate that they meet all requirements concerning group membership or individual disadvantage, business size, ownership, and control.

DBE Eligibility Criteria

  • Be at least 51% owned by socio-economically disadvantaged individuals
    For an owner to qualify as a socio-economically disadvantaged individual they must demonstrate that they meet each of the following requirements:
    • Belong to a socially-disadvantaged group (as defined by 49 CFR Part 26). Socio-economically disadvantaged individuals are US citizens (or permanent residents) from the following groups: Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Asian-Pacific Americans, Subcontinent Asian Americans, and Women.
    • Have a Personal Net Worth of less than $1.32 million.
    • Demonstrate control of the business. Must possess the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of the firm. The owner must also have an overall understanding of, and managerial and technical competence and experience directly related to, the type of business in which the firm is engaged.
    More information on how individual socio-economic disadvantaged status is determined can be found in Appendix E to 49 CFR Part 26.
  • Be determined to be a small business
    As defined by SBA Standards and may not have annual gross receipts over $22,410,000 in the previous three fiscal years.
  • Be an independent business
    An independent business is a business that does not depend on its relationship with another firm or firms.

How long will it take?

Getting all the necessary documents together is usually what takes the most time in the certification process. If you have everything your business needs right at hand, you can expect the City to be able to move forward with your application quickly.

Once you have submitted your application package, the Certifying Authority will check that it is complete. The Certifying Authority will notify you within 30 days if there are any issues with your submission. After that, you can expect a final notice of Certification within 90 days.

Step 1

Make sure that DBE-certification is right for your business

Talking to someone from the City's Office of Supplier Diversity, the Wave Transit System, or ALDOT is a great way to start.

Step 2

Prepare and Submit Your Application Package

Compile all the necessary documentation and paperwork, along with a completed DBE-Certification Application and submit it to ALDOT or The Wave Transit System.

Learn about preparing your application package

Step 3

Host an On-Site Interview

The final step in the certification process is to host staff from The Wave Transit System and/or ALDOT as they visit your business and sit down with you to review your application package one final time.

How to get help along the way?

The Office of Supplier Diversity and Wave Transit Officials will be your primary contacts throughout the process. They can help answer any questions you have about the certification process.

City of Mobile Office of Supplier Diversity

Ms. Archnique Kidd
Director of Supplier Diveristy

205 Government Street
Mobile, Alabama 36601

(251) 208-7632


The Wave Transit System

Mr. Gerald Alfred
Director of Planning & Capital Projects

GM&O Transportation Center
110 Beauregard Street, Suite 104
Mobile, Alabama 36602

(251) 338-0100