Disadvantaged Business Enterprise

The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) 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:

  • The Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (DSBSD)
  • The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA)

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 with one of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s state agencies that does not receive federal transportation funds, 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.

All DBE applications and documents must now be submitted electronically by uploading via the new application system:

DBE Roadmap:

Please select from the tabs below to be directed to the DBE page with the DBE/ACDBE information and forms most relevant to you:

Out Of State Firms Applying via the Interstate Process

For the specific steps and forms for out of state firms applying for DBE/ACDBE certification via the Interstate Application Process, please go to the page here: https://www.sbsd.virginia.gov/certification-division/dbe/new-dbe-interstate-applicant/

In-State Applicants -OR- Interstate Opt Outs

For the specific steps and forms for in-state firms applying for DBE/ACDBE certification -OR- out of state firms applying for DBE/ACDBE Certification that are opting out of the Interstate Application Process, please go to the page here: https://www.sbsd.virginia.gov/certification-division/dbe/new-dbe-applicant/

Alaska Native Corporation (ANC) In-State Applicants

For the specific steps and forms for ANC subsidiaries applying for DBE certification, please go to the page here: https://www.sbsd.virginia.gov/certification-division/dbe/dbe-anc-applicant/

Current DBE/ACDBE Annual Submission Requirement

Once you are certified as a DBE/ACDBE, you are required to submit, annually, documents to our office prior to your anniversary date. For the specific steps and forms for the annual submission requirement for currently approved DBE/ACDBEs, please go to the page here: https://www.sbsd.virginia.gov/certification-division/dbe/dbe-annual-submission-requirement/

Current DBE/ACDBE Notification of Change Requirement

Once you are certified as a DBE/ACDBE, you must inform us in writing of any change in circumstances affecting the firm’s ability to meet size, disadvantaged status, ownership, or control requirements of the DBE/ACDBE program or any material change in the information provided in your application form. If you are requesting to change your NAICS codes (whether requesting additional NAICS code(s), requesting to have NAICS code(s) removed, or requesting changes to NAICS code(s) you already have), or adding ACDBE (if already DBE certified), or adding DBE (if already ACDBE certified), then this also qualifies as a material change.

If there have been changes, such as to the firm’s physical address, mailing address, phone number, email, etc., then this is NOT a material change, and considered a minor change.

Whether a material change or a minor change, you must provide written notification within 30 days of the occurrence of the change.

For the specific steps and forms for the Notification of Change requirement for currently approved DBE/ACDBEs -OR- for non-material changes (such as contact information), please go to the page here: https://www.sbsd.virginia.gov/certification-division/dbe/dbe-change/

Withdraw From the DBE/ACDBE Program in Virginia

For the specific steps and forms to withdraw from the DBE/ACDBE program in Virginia, please go to the page here: https://www.sbsd.virginia.gov/certification-division/dbe/dbe-withdrawal/
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.


DBE Information and Regulations

Additional Information and Regulations Governing DBE is below.

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

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 Owner.