Are you filing the update as mandated?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires private, exempt for-hire, and forhire motor carriers of passengers or cargo to update their information every two years based on the last two digits of their USDOT Number. Even if your business has had no significant changes in the past, ceased interstate operations since the last update, or is no longer in business, you must file this update.
However, brokers and freight forwarders are NOT required to file the biennial update every two years. If you have any changes, such as a name or address change, you must file a 5889 form.
Shutting Down Operations
You should file “Out of Business” within 30 days of going out of business or if you are still in business but no longer using your USDOT number. The only way to deactivate your number is by filing an MCS-150 form. You cannot just call the FMCSA and tell them you are no longer using it.
A carrier must provide this update every two years - even if the company has not changed its information, has ceased Interstate operations since the last update, or is no longer in business, and you did not notify the FMCSA.
If the next-to-last digit of your USDOT number is odd, you file in odd-numbered years. If it is even, you file in even-numbered years. The last digit tells you the month it is due; 1: January, 2: February, 0: October.
Any changes/updates that occur outside your required biennial update month and year, such as adding or removing drivers or vehicles, are considered an “Edit.” You should file an edit within 30 days of the change happening.
This can easily be overlooked when filing your biennial update. If you fail to update your “Vehicle Miles Traveled,” you will be flagged as “VMT outdated” in the FMCSA’s database. Accurately reflecting your mileage is extremely important because it is used to calculate Crash Indicator Behavior Analysis and Unsafe Driving and Safety Improvement Categories or “BASICs” percentiles. Incorrect information can negatively affect your Safety Measurement System (SMS) scores, which could negatively impact your insurance premiums.
Any time information changes regarding your business operation, such as the business address, phone number, business name, or other details, you should promptly update your USDOT with FMCSA by filing an Edit.Update Now
If you previously filed “Out of Business” or were deactivated by the FMCSA and want to start using your number again you will need to file an MCS-150 form to “Reactivate” your USDOT number.Reactivate Now
For private, exempt for-hire, and for-hire motor carriers of passengers or cargo, there are currently NO exemptions from filing a biennial update (this includes Ag-exempt farmers). If you have a USDOT number, you must keep it up-to-date OR file an “Out of Business” if you are no longer using it. Even if you find out you don’t NEED a USDOT number, if it’s active in the FMCSA database, you must update or deactivate it.
Brokers and freight forwarders are NOT required to file the biennial update every two years. If you have any changes, such as a name or address change, you must file a 5889 form.
The following are things you need to be aware of:
Inaccurate Information Can Cost Big Money!
If any information filled out by you on the form is incorrect or you leave out any information, it can negatively impact your business. In the following situations, you will need to submit a new updated MCS-150 form.
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