Frequently Asked Questions


Yes!  Excavators can create and manage their Dig Safe tickets with Exactix, our new, state-of-the art online platform.  Learn more

Dig Safe is a free service, funded solely by its utility members to promote public safety and avoid costly underground utility damage.

Although some state laws do not specify whether the property owner or contractor should notify Dig Safe, we recommend the contractor make the call. The contractor is usually more familiar with the information required to obtain a Dig Safe ticket.


State law requires certain utility types to participate in the Dig Safe system. There may be underground lines in the area of your excavation that belong to entities who are currently exempt from Dig Safe membership, like municipalities.  It is your responsibility to contact non-member companies directly. You may find a list of member utilities at


In Maine, you must also notify any non-member facility operators in the Maine Public Utilities Commission’s directory at or 1-866-OKTODIG.


  • Massachusetts:
    Gas, Electric, Telephone, Cable Television and Private Water Companies
    (water companies whose rates are regulated by the MA Department of Public Utilities)
  • Maine:
    Gas, Electric, Telephone, Telegraph and Cable Television
  • New Hampshire:
    Gas, Electric, Telephone, Cable Television and Public Water Companies
    (water companies whose rates are regulated by the N.H. Public Utilities Commission)
  • Rhode Island:
    Gas, Electric, Telephone, Cable Television and Public Water Companies
    (water companies whose rates are regulated by the R.I. Public Utilities Commission)
  • Vermont:
    Gas, Electric, Telephone, Cable Television and Public Water Companies
    (water companies whose rates are regulated by the VT Public Service Board)

In Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, state law requires a minimum notification of 72 hours, and 48 hours in Vermont. This does not include weekends and legal holidays.

Observed Legal Holidays


State law requires all excavators to premark the area of excavation before notifying Dig Safe. Premarking is defined as marking out the scope of the proposed excavation area, using white stakes, paint or flags. Indicating exactly where the work will take place aids the utility locator in finding the area of upcoming excavation work, keeps operating costs down, and prevents excessive marking in areas where they are not needed. Click here for premarking guidelines.

Member utilities companies are responsible to mark only the facilities that they own or maintain. Private underground pipes and cables may not be owned or maintained by member utility companies, therefore they are unable to locate them. It is your responsibility to investigate if any privately owned utilities are in the area. Click here for a list of private utility locators.

If there is a possibility that the damage may pose a threat to the health and safety of the public, call 911 in order to dispatch local officials who will determine whether the community is in immediate danger. Next, according to state law, it is the responsibility of the excavator to notify the affected utility company directly after damage occurs. State law prohibits the contractor from attempting to repair the line, or backfilling before the line has been repaired by the utility company. Click here to learn what to do in the event of a utility strike. We also recommend you report the incident to the appropriate regulatory agency

The depth of underground facilities vary, therefore state law requires excavators to use non-mechanical means when digging within 18" of a marked underground facility. The current depth of a facility might not be the same as when it was originally installed, due to soil erosion, grading and many other factors. To ensure the safety of excavators and avoid utility disruption, it makes sense to hand dig when working near an underground facility.

Your digging project must start within 30 days from the day your Dig Safe ticket is issued, or the ticket expires. This is why you should not request a mark out unless you expect the work to take place within 30 days.

  • In MA, NH and VT, Dig Safe tickets are valid for 30 days.
  • In ME, Dig Safe tickets are valid for 60 days.
  • In RI, tickets do not expire provided the marks are maintained.

If you need to renew a ticket, you must give at least 72 hours notice in MA, NH and ME, and at least 48 hours in VT (not including weekends or holidays), so that you always have an active ticket for your excavation site.

DO NOT call in tickets too far in advance, or in multiple batches, if you are not able to begin the jobs within 30 days.

DO NOT renew the same tickets month after month without excavation ever taking place.

Remember, the utility locators must respond to mark out each time you renew a ticket. Let’s work together and only apply when you’re ready.

Also, DO NOT renew a ticket if the scope of work has changed (i.e. three miles of roadway is now only one mile). You must get a new ticket with an updated description of the excavation area, rather than renew the original ticket.

This way, the locators are not obligated to needlessly mark out areas on the ground where the project is complete.

A Dig Safe ticket should only be processed if you intend to excavate within 30 days. If you need to know the location of underground facilities for planning purposes, please contact the member utilities directly. They will be happy to assist you with maps or drawings, or an on-site meeting.

Dig Safe records are retained for seven years, and stored in an off site archival facility. To retrieve records, we require:
  1. A written request on company letterhead, which includes the ticket number(s). You may mail, fax or e-mail this request to us. Contact Us
  2. A fee of $25.00 per ticket is assessed. Please make check payable to Dig Safe System, Inc.
  3. Dig Safe tickets are private records, therefore we may only send copies to the company that originally obtained them. Insurance claims staff or a third party may obtain copies of Dig Safe tickets, if we are provided with a release form from the excavator who originally notified Dig Safe. This form, on company letterhead, should express the permission of the excavator to release these documents to the third party and include the excavator's signature.
  4. The requested documents will be furnished 30 days upon receipt of the written request, check covering costs to retrieve each ticket, and release form (if necessary.)