A contractor denied a DBE certification by a State unified certification program approved by the Department of Transportation has the right to appeal the denial to the Department of Transportation. Contractors who have seen their certification revoked can file a similar appeal.
Appeals are taken to the Department of Transportation, Office of Civil Rights and must be made within 90 days of the decision denying certification. Once the Department of Transportation receives the appeal, it will request a copy of the complete record from the agency that denied the certification. The State agency is required to provide the Department of Transportation with the record within 20 days and the Department usually makes a decision on the appeal within 180 days after receiving the record from the State agency.
Importantly, the Department of Transportation will look only to the record sent to it by the State agency to see if the State agency’s decision is supported. The Department does not conduct a new hearing or receive new evidence into the record. This means a contractor seeking DBE approval should make sure to submit as much information as possible to the State agency when making its DBE application.