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DBE Certification

Cert-05.jpgPursuant to the requirements of the federal regulations, 49 CFR Part 26, all federal-aid recipients implement a “one-stop” certification process for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs). As a result of this requirement, the following five state agencies, IDOT, City of Chicago, CTA, Metra and Pace, established the Illinois Unified Certification Program (IL UCP).

The IL UCP is based on the concept of reciprocity among the agencies. "One Stop" shopping is provided to DBE program applicants, such that an applicant need only apply once for DBE certification that will be honored by all participating agencies in the IL UCP.

Changes to the DBE Program

Effective November 3, 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation's disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) final rule was amended to improve program implementation in the several areas, including DBE certification standards, forms and data collections and certification procedures.


Understand Requirements

Only those businesses involved in highway construction-related services (non-vertical), consultant, and supplier/equipment, rental/trucking services are considered for participation in IDOT’s DBE Program.


A firm seeking certification has to meet requirements concerning group membership or individual disadvantage, business size*, ownership and control.

*Small Business Administration (SBA) – provides size caps for specialized areas of work


Per the federal regulations contained in 49 CFR Part 26, Electronic Code of Federal regulations, a DBE is a for-profit small business concern that is:

  1. At least 51 percent owned by one or more individuals who are both socially and economically disadvantaged. In the case of a corporation, in which 51 percent of the stock is owned by one or more such individuals; and,
  2. Whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more of the socially and economically disadvantaged individuals who own the business. 

Submit an Application

Complete the following:

Send your completed (printed) application and supporting documentation:

Attn: Certification Section
Illinois Department of Transportation
Bureau of Small Business Enterprises
2300 South Dirksen Parkway, Room 319
Springfield, IL 62764

Please note:

  • The average processing time is 90 days from receipt of a complete application.
  • Assistance: Management Supportive Service consultants are available to assist firms interested in becoming IDOT certified at no cost. Visit the Supportive Services page for more information.

Continued Certification

No Change Affidavits

U.S. DOT has recently provided certain clarification to the Annual Affidavit of No Change process.  The clarifying guidance reduces the documentation necessary for submission.

  • Certification is valid until a firm no longer meets minimum eligibility standards under 49 CFR Part 26 or fails to cooperate with requests for information. 
  • Certified firms are required to confirm their continued eligibility on an annual basis by submitting a No Change Affidavit. These affidavits (and notices of change) are intended to keep recipients current on the status of certified firms.  A complete signed copy (including all schedules/attachments) of current year business tax return must be submitted with the affidavit.  If the personal tax return includes business taxes, then a complete signed copy (including all schedules/attachments) of the current year personal tax must be submitted.
  • Continued Eligibility Affidavit (CEA)
    The submittal of Continued Eligibility Affidavits will no longer be required

Need Help?

(217) 782-5490
Bureau of Small Business Enterprises
Office of Business and Workforce Diversity

IL UCP Directory

The ILUCP Directory lists the firms in alphabetical order and by the industry categories/list and IDOT’s district(s) in which the firms have indicated they are available to perform work.

UCP Partners

The five agencies use the same application to certify firms, and their certification eligibility decisions are binding for all the other agencies. While the applications are identical, an agency may have their own attachments. Review each IL UCP participant’s area of specialty and please choose the agency that best serves your firm.

Each agency’s application / attachments / information can be obtained by clicking on the agency of interest.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

In 2016, IDOT commissioned a disparity study focused on construction, architecture, and engineering. The stduy reviewed contract data during the period of October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2016. This study was completed in 2017 and published for released in February 2018. The 2017 IDOT Disparity Study is available below.

Contact Us

Phone: (217) 782-5490
Bureau of Small Business Enterprises
Office of Business and Workforce Diversity

Supportive Services

IDOT strives to provide assistance to DBE firms as well as individuals interested in doing business with IDOT in a variety of ways and through several programs. It is the department’s goal to foster opportunities for these current and future partners in an effort to increase participation in IDOT’s transportation-related contracts.

Please visit IDOT’s DBE Supportive Services webpage for more information on IDOT’s supportive services programs and available resources.