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DBE Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the DBE Program?

A:  The Agency promotes a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program, as an affirmative means to fulfill the philosophy that all businesses, regardless of ownership are allowed equal freedom and opportunity to compete for all contracts. All women and minority business owners providing transportation construction or related services are encouraged to apply for certification. DBE Regulations.

Q: How do I get my firm certified?

A:  Click for an application. Complete the application, add the attachments, and mail to us.  We'll schedule a visit to your business to determine your eligibility.  If you need help with the application contact Sherry Tompkins at 207-624-3066 or

Q: How will this help my firm?

A:  Your firm will be listed in the online Maine DBE Directory that is constantly updated.  In addition, we provide technical and management assistance to certified businesses through our DBE Supportive Service Program, learn more about them here:  EMDC Web site.
Q: What is a socially or economically disadvantaged individual?

A:  A socially or economically disadvantaged individual is a citizen or lawfully admitted permanent resident of the United States who is of the following groups, members of which are reputably presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged:

  • Black Americans, includes person having origins in any part of the Black racial groups of Africa;
  • Hispanic Americans, includes persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, Central or South American, or other Spanish or Portuguese culture or origin, regardless of race;
  • Native Americans, includes American Indians, Eskimos, Aleuts, or Native Hawaiians;
  • Asian-Pacific Americans, includes persons whose origins are from Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, Burma (Myanmar), Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia (Kampuchea), Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brunei, Samoa, Guam, The U.S. Trust Territories of the Pacific Island (Republic of Palau), the commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, Macao, Fiji,
  •  Tonga, Kiribati, Juvalu, Nauru, Federated States of Micronesia, or Hong Kong;
  • Subcontinent Asian Americans, includes persons whose origins are from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives Islands, Nepal or Sri Lanka;
  • Women;
  • Any additional groups whose members are designated as socially and economically disadvantaged by the SBA, at such time as the SBA designation becomes effective.

Q. My Maine firm is certified in Maine, can I get certified in other states as well.

A: A DBE certification is only valid in the state in which the certification was issued, however to obtain certification in another state you must first be certified in your home state.   States vary in what they require for certification. Once you have obtained certification in your home state, you should contact the DBE Administrator from the state in which you want to obtain certification (the full contact list is available at: 

They will inform you of the required documents. 

Q: My firm is not in Maine but has been certified by my home state, how do I become certified in Maine?

For out of state firms Maine requires the following information:

  • Interstate Certification Request Form;
  • Copy of the latest Letter of Certification from the DBEs home state;
  • Current Personal Net Worth statement (if more than 90 days since the date of the last certification renewal)
  • A notarized “Interstate Affidavit of Disclosure.”

This information should be sent to Maine Department of Transportation, Civil Rights Office, Attn: Sherry Tompkins, State House Station 16, Augusta, ME 04333,  Certification in Maine will be determined by the MaineDOT and the Department reserves the right to ask for further documentation before it renders its decision to certify in the Maine DBE Program

Q: Why does MaineDOT require a Personal Net Worth Statement?

A: The US Department of Transportation requires proof that participating DBE owners net worth not exceed $1,320,000.  When an individual's net worth exceeds the $1,320,000 threshold, the individual is no longer eligible to participate in the DBE Program.  Net worth excludes the value of the business and the primary residence of the owner.  If you are concerned about confidentiality, we can review your Personal Net Worth Statement, certify your eligibility, and return it to you.

Q: How does MaineDOT establish goals for DBE participation?

A: The 2013-15 DBE participation goal for Federal Highway and Federal Aviation projects is 4.0%.  Click here to review the 2013-15 Maine DBE goal methodology approved by the FHWA.  The  2011-14 DBE participation goal for Federal Transit projects is 1.34%, To review the Maine DBE goal methodology approved by FTA click here FFY '11-13 FTA DBE Goal Methodology

Q: Once certified, can a firm be assured of getting contracts and subcontracts?

A: No. Certification does not guarantee work to a DBE; however, it does enhance a DBE's exposure to prime contractors, government agencies, and the business community.  To be successful, a firm must diligently seek out contracts and implement a strategic marketing plan.

Q: Where can I find information on upcoming MaineDOT contracting opportunities?

A: Check out MaineDOTs Contract website at:



This page last updated on 6/18/14