DBE Certification

The DBE Certification creates a level playing field where eligible vendors can compete for DOT-assisted contracts. Find out if your business qualifies.

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

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    United States Department of Transportation

    The US Department of Transportation sets Federal DBE Certification standards for states to follow and monitors compliance with state certification programs.

    Visit the US DOT site. 

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    Alabama Department of Transportation

    The Alabama Unified Certification Program (ALUCP) provides "one-stop shopping" for firms seeking certification as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) in accordance with 49 CFR Part 26.

    Visit the AL DOT site. 

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    The City of Mobile and The Wave Transit System

    Jointly provide assistance to Mobile-area businesses seeking to become a DBE. Certifications are conducted by The Wave Transit System, a certifying member of the ALUCP.

    Visit the Mobile Alabama Wave Transit site. 

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 owned by disadvantaged individuals

    The business must 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.


  • 1. See if DBE-certification is right for your business

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

  • 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 more here. 

  • 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.

Get Help

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    City of Mobile Office of Supplier Diversity

    Ms. Archnique Kidd
    Director of Supplier Diversity

    205 Government Street
    Mobile, Alabama 36601
    (251) 208-7632


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    The Wave Transit System

    GM&O Transportation Center

    110 Beauregard Street, Suite 104
    Mobile, Alabama 36602

    (251) 338-0100