Key Considerations when Filing Your MCS-150 Biennial Update

mcs-150-updates-filingFiling your MCS-150 Biennial Update can often feel like a daunting task for anyone, however, an MCS 150 is an important step and a crucial factor of staying compliant. If you’re a trucking contractor or running a trucking company, it’s mandatory to have the Department of Transportation (DOT) number affixed on your truck. Failure to comply with this regulation means that you aren’t eligible to transport materials on the road. It is also a requirement to update your DOT number biennially by filing an updated MCS-150 form. This form provides the government with up-to-date information on your company and fleet of vehicles.

What is MCS-150?

The MCS-150 is used to update your trucking firm information after two years as part of the biennial update. Your company must fill out the form correctly for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to get the correct information that can tally safety scores based on the accountability, safety, and compliance measurement system. The information included in the form has your basic contact information, social security number, and carrier mileage within one year.

Failing to Update the MCS-150

Failure to update your MCS-150 form means that your DOT number will be deactivated, and you risk being charged a fee of $1,000 per day up to $10,000. The FMCSA rarely charges companies such hefty fines. In most cases, they deactivate USDOT numbers that don’t update, placing businesses out of service.

MCS-150 Submission Deadline

The deadline for submitting the MCS-150 varies depending on the last two digits of your USDOT number. If you’ve got an even number, it means that you’ll be filing your biennial update in an even-numbered year. For odd numbers, you’re required to file your biennial update in the odd-numbered year.

What is Biennial Update?

This is a mandatory update set by the FMCSA to update the Motor Carrier Identification Report (MCS-150 Form) every two years. Some states require trucking companies to update the form every year to every two years. Some states require trucking companies to update the form every year to renew their fleet/truck registration. To ensure that you don’t face hefty fines or deactivation, you must familiarize yourself with the important steps when making the MCS-150 update. 

How to Update MCS 150 Online

The best way to update your MSC-150 is online, and the process is free. Here are the steps to follow when making your MCS-150 update online. Before you can complete your registration online, you’re required to have your social security number/employer identification number, assigned PIN and USDOT number. The next step is to navigate to the FMCSA registration site then go to the “Existing Registration Updates” section. Select the first bullet (file my biennial update (MCS-150) before you press continue. Ensure that you read all the instructions carefully before you click on the “File Electronically” option. You’ll go through pages where you have to fill in your information. It’s advisable not to use your web browser buttons (refresh, forward or back), or you risk losing your information and starting the process again. Once you are done with your update and ready to make your submission, you’ll be asked to input a valid credit card number. The FMCSA won’t charge your credit card. Finally, you can submit your form then print a copy of your updated MCS 150 for your records. You’ll even be given a tracking number after making your submission.


Updating MCS 150 Offline

For those who may not have access to online resources to file their updates, they have the option to submit their form via email or fax. Here are a few steps they can follow. The first step is that they need to download the registration and update forms via the FMCSA website. Alternatively, they can request a pre-printed form mailed to them by calling FMCSA support. Once you receive the form, you’re required to choose the second “Reason for Filing,” which is the biennial changes or updates. Proceed to fill the form with all your company’s information. You should then sign the form, keep a copy for your records before you can mail it off. The completed and signed form should be submitted via fax at (202) 366-3477 When sending via mail, the completed and signed form should be addressed to;

U.S Department of Transportation
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue Washington, DC

It’s important to remember that all forms have to be received by the FMCSA before the biennial update due date. This way, you’ll avoid civil penalties or deactivation of your USDOT number. It’s still advisable to keep in mind that mailed applications take an average of six weeks to get processed. Any application that is unsigned, unreadable, and incomplete will be rejected and resent via mail. This will end up delaying your update and ultimately force deactivation. So, you should always be organized if your business has to operate with minimal interruptions.


Final Thoughts

Trucking companies that wish to work smoothly need to make sure that they filed the MCS-150 to remain in operation. This guide has offered in-depth advice on key considerations when filing your MCS-150 to ensure that your business operates smoothly.