January 12, 2023

The Complete Guide To Biennial Update For 2023

The FMCSA biennial update should not be something to be nervous about. However, there are a lot of overwhelming details that you should be aware of if you want to stay compliant with the rules and regulations laid down by the department of transportation. After the December 12th, 2015 amendment, you can only use the MCS-150 form to update your USDOT number. Earlier it was allowed for the initial registration with the FMCSA as well. So this means that if you are a first-time applicant, you will be directed to the United Registration System.

Before you start filing your MCS-150 form, you will be required to register with the federal motor carrier safety administration. You must define the type of business operations that you perform.

You can be a motor carrier, shipper, broker, freight forwarder, or cargo tank facility. Some companies work in all these capacities. Even they have to register with the federal motor carrier safety administration. The FMCSA is going to monitor and enforce compliance with all the rules and regulations that have been laid down by the US department of transportation.

If you are involved in interstate commerce, you will have to register for your USDOT number and the relevant interstate operating authority as well. Once you have completed these formalities, the next step will be to complete your MCS-150 form. You will have to submit the same as per the guidelines laid down by the authorities.

Your Biennial Update Every Year – Filing Options To Be Aware Of

  • You can complete the form online which is the electronic way of submitting your MCS-150 form on the internet.
  • As an alternative, you can scan and upload a completed MCS-150 biennial update on the website. Make sure that the copy is signed by you. You will be provided with a tracking number for your submission.
  • You can also fill out the MCS-150 form and then sign it as directed. You can then mail it to the FMCSA.
  • Some companies prefer to fax the signed copy of their MCS-150 form to the number 202-366-3477.

However, the federal motor carrier safety administration always encourages users or applicants to use the services of their third-party administrators and go with the electronic way of updating their forms. Because the entire process involves very simple yes-and-no questions, it ensures that your form is submitted accurately and timely. Also, the electronic method is much faster as compared to traditional mail. You can complete any of such forms within just 20 minutes.

Asking Your Third-Party Administrator Or Compliance Facilitator To Do The Needful

The federal motor carrier safety administration would recommend that you give your third-party administrator the necessary instructions to do the needful. They are going to complete all your online forms on your behalf. All the applications can be submitted on the FMCSA website by your TPA. You will get a notification that your USDOT number has been updated immediately. The TPA is going to generate and print the FMCSA biennial update report for your records as well.

You can also ask your C/TPA to do the filing either by mail, fax, or through a web form. You can tell your TPA to submit all the required MCS or OP forms together. It is suggested that you make a physical copy of all the forms and filings that you do. Your TPA is then going to mail the application through US mail to the FMCSA office. It is going to take somewhere between 4 and 6 weeks to process. The completed application form should be sent to the following address:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Office Of Registration And Safety Information
Room W65-206

Attn: Registration and Licensing Team
1200, New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

What Is The FMCSA Biennial Update All About? Why Do You Need To Perform It Every 2 Years?

The federal motor carrier safety administration will require you to perform this MCS-150 form update and submission every 2 years. If you are under its jurisdiction, you will be required to provide this little update without fail if you want to remain compliant throughout the year. If you have increased, decreased, or ceased your interstate operations after the last update or if your business is no longer operational, and if you haven’t notified the FMCSA about the same, you must perform the MCS-150 submission in this case. Also, if absolutely no information or detail about your company or business has changed in the past 2 years, you are still required to do this filing every 2 years.

If you are an owner/operator and operate a farm-plated vehicle that is involved in commerce and has a weight of more than 10,000 lbs, the department of transportation would require you to affix your DOT number to the sides of the vehicle. Under the law, you must have these numbers on your truck before you start transporting any materials. As an entity governed by the US department of transportation, you are required to update this information with the authorities every 2 years. This is done by filing FMCSA biennial update. The purpose is to give the government the most current information about your business operations, your company, and your fleet. It is to make sure that all the information that the government has collected is 100% accurate and correct.

Why Is The Accuracy Of Your MCS-150 Form So Important?

The accuracy of your MCS-150 form is what the authorities will be looking out for. For example, if you add a few new trucks to your fleet or perhaps want to change the name of your business, the authorities must have that information on their record as well. If you make any other changes to your business or the structure of your enterprise, the same should be notified to the authorities so that the records that they keep are 100% accurate and correct and reflect the same information as your records.

Filing Your MCS-150 Form Every 2 Years

All you have to do is look at the second to last digit of your DOT number. If it is odd, you will file your update in years that end with an odd number such as 2023, 2025, 2027, and so on. Similarly, if it is an even number, you will perform your MCS-150 update in years such as 2022, 2024, 2026, and so on. The last digit of your DOT number is going to denote the month in which you are supposed to perform this update. For example, 1 is for January, 2 is for February, 3 is for March, and so on.


If you fail to complete your biennial update, your USDOT number might get deactivated. It is also going to result in many civil penalties. The fine that you may have to pay could be up to $1,000 per day. It can also be increased to $10,000 by the authorities. This could be a total disaster for your company. The authorities could shut down the operations of your business for an indefinite period of time. Therefore, connect with your third-party administrator/consortium today and get your biennial FMCSA registration update in order.



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