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December 15, 2022

DOT Biennial Update: 5 Critical Things To Know Before Filing

Whatever you need to know about the DOT biennial update is right here at this one spot. Yes. You have come to the right place to understand how this update works and what can be the downfall of not being regular with it or missing it completely.

First, you should know what the biennial update is all about. If you are a part of the transport sector in the US, you are regulated by two authorities, namely the federal motor carrier safety Administration and the US department of transportation. If you decide to make any changes to your enterprise whether it is regarding its name, address, operations, or any other little detail about it, you are required to update your USDOT and operating authority record. These are with the FMCSA and there are time constraints as well that are applicable within which you have to make this update effective.

The FMCSA has several entities under its jurisdiction. They all are required to update their information every 2 years. Hence the name is “biennial update.” If you are thinking about associating with a DOT compliance facilitator or a third-party administrator, as everyone calls it, it will probably be one of your most significant decisions.

Does Failing To Update Your Biennial Record With The Authorities Lead To DOT Number Deactivation?

Yes, that can happen. If you do not meet the predefined requirements when you are in the process of updating your details with the authorities, your USDOT number might get deactivated. You will also be subject to civil penalties that can be as high as $1,000 per day. The amount can also reach a staggering $10,000 in total.

The best way to make sure that this doesn’t happen is to call your third party administrator and have him do the needful. They are going to take care of the entire complicated process of filling out your MCS-150 form and make sure that your biennial update is on the file of the authorities without any delay.

You might need to perform a USDOT number reactivation if you fail to complete the new entrant program as specified by the authorities. Also, if you do not complete the biennial update eventually when you complete all the formalities after paying the fines and penalties, you will have to reactivate your number.

Compliance Trivia
If you are a trucking company or a contractor or work in the transport sector in any capacity transporting passengers or cargo, you will have to abide by the rules and regulations laid down by the department of transportation. One of them is fixing your DOT number on the sides of your truck before you begin transporting any materials or passengers, especially across state borders.

In that case, you are required to fulfill these formalities without fail. If you are a motor carrier, you will have to apply for a DOT number before you send out your motor vehicles to conduct your daily business. The most important part is that all the critical information associated with this very number must be updated every 2 years. This can be done by filing or updating your MCS-150 form. This way you will be giving the government the most current information and details about your business, your fleet, and your company operations. It helps them monitor your activities by keeping all the data current and accurate.

Understanding The MCS-150 Form – Performing Your DOT Biennial Update Accurately

By understanding your MCS-150 form correctly, you will be able to perform your biennial update more accurately. This form is what you are going to use to update your company-related information with the authorities. The FMCSA is going to use this record to tally safety scores based on various factors such as safety, compliance, accountability, and many more. But why is accuracy so important when creating your biennial update file with the authorities? Accuracy is of the highest importance because the lack of it is going to impact your business negatively. It also affects your overall score with the authorities. You should proactively file your updated MCS-150 form every 2 years if you have:

  • Added any new trucks, tractors, or vehicles to your already existing fleet
  • Changed or edited the name of your business
  • Made any changes to your business activities or its structure

Managing Your Biennial Update Intelligently

It is very important to understand the entire procedure of filing your MCS-150 form for your biennial update. Look at your USDOT number. Identify the second last digit of your DOT number. If it is odd, you will file your MCS form in odd years, for example, 2021, 2023, 2025, and so on. If it is even, you will complete the form in 2022, 2024, 2026, and so on. The next step is to identify the last digit of your USDOT number. This denotes the number of the month in which you will file and update your MCS-150 form. It is as simple as that.

Hiring The Most Dependable Third Party Administrator To Perform Your MCS 150 Biennial Update

Again, it is one of the most intelligent decisions you could make for your company. If you want to complete your registration or update online, just make sure to provide the following information to your third party administrator:

  • Your USDOT number
  • PIN
  • EIN/SSN
  • Company official information

Mailing And Obtaining The Tracking Number

If you are required to complete your combined identification and hazardous materials safety permit application which is the MCS-150B, you can do that online or let your third party administrator do it for you. The best way to perform all these updates and filings is to do them online. However, if you want your third-party administrator to do it through fax or US mail, that is possible as well. They will scan and upload the completed application forms to the website. Once it is done, they will receive the tracking number of the submission and keep you updated on any developments that take place henceforth.

Final Thoughts

You must remember that completing your DOT biennial update and performing all the paperwork is very necessary if you want to keep your business away from any trouble. This does not only help you stay compliant throughout the year but operational as well. Contact your third-party administrator to understand more about it.

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