Navigating the MCS-150 Form: A Guide to DOT Registration

Mar 10, 2023

When you work in the transportation sector, you must constantly update your MCS 150 form, papers, and important information about your company with the authorities.

These details could be regarding banking, your business operations, insurance, rules and regulations that you have to follow, and many other things including the most critical which is DOT compliance. Some of them are required every year and others are required every 2 years. Your MCS 150 form is also one of those important requirements that you have to fulfill.

Remember, you must keep on updating all your business-related information as the authorities want you to. Your motor carrier authority update should be performed every 2 years. This is your MCS-150 form and it is called the bi-annual or biennial update. This is how you update your DOT registration or MC authority.

Understanding Your Biennial Update

The federal motor carrier safety administration has directed all carriers to submit their motor carrier authority update every 2 years. You will be updating your MCS 150 form which is the motor carrier identification report even if you haven’t changed any information related to your company or its business operations.

If you have stopped interstate operations since your last update or perhaps are no longer in the business, and if you have failed to notify the FMCSA, you must file this update right away. Failure to do this is only going to lead to the deactivation of your US DOT number. You might also have to pay severe fines and penalties that can be up to $1,000 per day. It can exceed $10,000 per day as well. But we are not going to let that happen. The following step-by-step guide is going to educate you on how to fill out your MCS 150 form for your DOT registration:

Online DOT-Related Updates Simplified

Note down your US DOT number get your assigned pin and employer identification number or social security number

  1. Get hold of your company’s official information
  2. Visit the main registration website of the FMCSA
  3. Navigate to the Existing Registration Updates section
  4. Select the first option which is “I need to update my US DOT number registration information”
  5. As an alternative, you can choose “File my biennial update” and click continue
  6. You will be directed to another page or a series of pages to fill in your information
  7. It is advised not to use the refresh button or the back and forward button when you are performing this action
  8. After completing the information, you are ready to submit it to the website
  9. It is going to ask you to input your valid credit card number only as your electronic signature
  10. You will then submit the form and print out a copy of the same for your record
  11. You will also need to keep a track of your submission and for that, you will be given a tracking number

All of this seems a lot to handle. When you are filling out your MCS 150 form, even the slightest mistake can ruin all your hard work. Therefore, it is always advised that you associate with a skilled, experienced, and highly qualified third-party administrator for your compliance needs. This way you can focus on your business and your core competencies instead of filing out reports, carrying out submissions, and updating your company records on the internet.

If you do not have access to the internet, things can get a little too complicated. The following steps should be followed if you want to update your MCS 150 form the traditional way:

  1. Ask any of your friends to download the registration form from the official website
  2. You can also send a request to the FMCSA by calling on their support services and asking them to mail you a pre-printed form
  3. When you finally have the form, you will select the second reason for filing which is mentioned on the form and that is “biennial update or changes”
  4. You will then continue to fill the form with all your company information
  5. In the end, sign the form and make a copy of it for your records
  6. Submitting your completed and signed form will be the next step and you can do that through fax
  7. As an alternative, you can sign and complete the form and send it via mail to:

US Department Of Transportation

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Attention: Office Of Registration And Safety Information

1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE

Washington, DC 20590

Important note: All the forms that you want to submit that are related to your biennial update must reach the FMCSA before the due date. If that doesn’t happen, you will have to pay civil penalties and your US DOT number might also get deactivated. Therefore, you will have to begin the process very early or as soon as 4 or 6 weeks prior to the due date.

Deciding Right Time To Perform Your MCS 150 Form Update

As a motor carrier, you must file your biennial update every 24 months. When you perform it is going to depend on your US DOT number

If your US DOT number ends in the digit 1, you must file by the last day of January. If your US DOT number ends in the digit 2, you must file by the last day of February. And the pattern is going to continue till the last day of every month throughout the year. And remember, if your last digit is zero, you are going to file it by the last day of October.

What does the next-to-last digit of your US DOT number signify? This is the number that is going to denote the year that you perform your biennial update. If it is an even number, you are going to file or update in years such as 2024, 2026, 2028, and so on. If the second to last digit of your US DOT number is odd, you are going to file your MCS 150 update in years that end with an odd number such as 2023, 2025, 2027, and so on.


So there you go. It is very simple to perform your MCS 150 form filing and update your DOT registration. However, you might not have so much time on your hand to submit all your forms and fulfill all the requirements laid down by the federal authorities on your own. This is why third-party administrators exist. They are there for a reason. They are there to simplify DOT compliance for your company.