Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a biennial update?
In the simplest words, a biennial update is a requirement that the federal motor carrier safety administration has put forth. Under this mandate, you must update your MCS-150 form - also known as the motor carrier identification report. You must do this update every two years without exception.
Who is required to submit a biennial update?
All U.S. DOT Number carriers (Interstate or Intrastate Carrier Operations, Motor Carrier, Broker, Shipper, Freight Forwarder and/or Cargo Tank Facility) must update based on a schedule dictated by the last two digits of U.S. DOT Number. You may also need to submit this update if you are no longer in business and have not yet notified the FMCSA, as they are required to be notified within 30 days of any change of operation and a final written report filed.
When should I file a biennial update?
You will be required to provide this update every two years if there is a change in your company information. You should do this even if your company hasn't changed information. If you have ceased any interstate operations since the last update or are no longer in business, you may have to submit this update.
Am I required to file a biennial update if there are no changes?
Yes, you are still required to submit a biennial update every two years regardless of whether any information related to your business has been updated, changed, or modified or not.
Will I be notified if my biennial update is due?
Yes, you may receive a reminder from the federal motor carrier safety administration right before the due date. Remember that you should not rely on this reminder as regulations state a biennial update must be filed on a schedule dictated by the last two digits of U.S. DOT Number.
Can we do this update by visiting the local FMCSA division office?
No, the MCS-150 update cannot be done at your local division office. You can do it by mail or fax or you can get in touch with a compliance service provider or third-party administrator.
How long does it take to complete this update?
It can be done online or by email or by fax. It takes the shortest time to complete when done on the internet or by e-mail. A physical mail or fax may take three or four weeks to process.
Are there any changes in the URS rule and how do they affect motor carriers?
URS is also known as the Unified Registration System, which is an online platform that enables one to track all the information about every entity in the transportation and logistics business. The FMCSA intends to make important information available to the public within the URS. The primary goal is to streamline the registration process and lessen or eliminate other problems for various entities in the transportation and logistics industry.
Will I be charged a fine if I make a mistake on my biennial update?
You have multiple opportunities to submit your biennial update. If you have made a mistake in any of the entries, you can re-submit the form.
Are there any fines and penalties if I fail to submit this update on time?
Yes, there are fines and penalties of up to $10,000 if you fail to submit this update. It may also result in the deactivation of your U.S. DOT Number. Civil penalties may amount to $1,000 per day.
Am I required to perform this update by myself or can I hire a third-party?
You may perform this update on your own either through email or fax. You may also choose a third-party provider, if needed. If using a third-party, this entity will educate you about DOT compliance requirements and perform these updates and as well as others on your behalf for a nominal fee.
In which month do I have to carry out my biennial status update?
If your U.S. DOT Number ends in 1, you must file your update by the last day of the month of January. If your U.S. DOT Number ends in 2, you must file the update by the last day of February. If the second-to-last digit of your U.S. DOT Number is odd, you must submit the update in 2021 or other odd year. If the second-to-last digit of your U.S. DOT Number is even, you will submit your update in 2022 or other even year.
Do I have to do the update every year?
No. You must perform this update every two years.
What is an IEP?
IEP Stands For Intermodal Equipment Provider.
What is a hazardous materials safety permit?
By filing as a Hazardous Materials (or HAZMAT) carrier, you must obtain a hazardous materials safety permit, also known as a HAZMAT Safety Permit. FMCSA initiated the Federal Hazardous Materials Safety Permit Program to improve vehicles safety on the highways. Therefore, for a transport company to move certain types and amounts of hazardous materials from one location to another, the company needs to get the HAZMAT permit.
What happens when I submit the wrong information in my biennial status update?
If you submit even a single piece of incorrect information regarding your biennial status, your U.S. DOT Number may not get reactivated. In that case, you will have to resubmit the MCS-150 form.
What happens when my U.S. DOT Number gets deactivated?
When your U.S. DOT Number is inactive for failure to complete your MCS-150, your status is going to read as “Inactive per 49 CFR 390.19(b)(4); biennial update of MCS-150 data not completed,” or if White Page Deactivated, your status will read as, "Record Inactive."
Can I use a professional service to complete my biennial update?
Yes, you can use a third-party provider to complete your forms and other information with the FMCSA and other authorities. The entity may charge a fee.
Where can I obtain guidance regarding compliance rules by the FMCSA?
You can get all the guidance and information on their official website or with your third-party provider or compliance educator.