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US Department of Transportation Biennial Update

Written by Nick Webster

Published on Dec. 11, 2023, 8:32 p.m.


Here is what the US Department of Transportation biennial update is. If you're a motor carrier regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), ensuring your company remains in good standing is vital. This involves updating your information every two years, regardless of whether any significant modifications have been made, to guarantee seamless operations. It's prudent not to wait until the eleventh hour and to get ahead of the process to ensure FMCSA compliance is maintained.

Who Has To File a Biennial Update?

Pretty much every tucking professional in the country. If you are a carrier (Interstate or Intrastate Carrier Operations, Motor Carrier, Broker, Shipper, Freight Forwarder, or Cargo Tank Facility) with a USDOT number, it's important to know that you must update your information on a schedule based on the last two digits of your number. Read here about Starting a Trucking Company Correctly.

Additionally, if you have stopped operations and have not yet notified the FMCSA within 30 days of the change in operations, it is required to file a final written report. Stay up-to-date with all FMCSA regulations by updating accordingly.

When Do I File My Biennial Update?

It's essential for businesses operating within the past 24 months to submit a biennial update of their company information. Even if there haven't been any modifications since the last submission, it's still necessary to comply with this requirement. If your company is no longer operational on an interstate level or has ceased operations entirely, submitting the update to the relevant authorities is necessary. How To Request the DOT PIN Number?

What Are the Penalties & Fines for Failing To Comply?

Failure to complete your biennial update promptly can lead to the FMCSA deactivating your U.S. DOT Number. Should this happen, you may be subject to daily fines of up to $1,000 per day. This involves a maximum allowable fine of $10,000. That is an expense that could put a real strain on your business. Must visit FMCSA Hours of Service Suspended topics.

What If My Trucking Company’s Going Out of Business?

If you are ending your motor carrier operations, you need to deactivate your U.S. DOT Number through a specific process that cannot be done online. To do this, the necessary information must be sent with a signed and updated MCS-150 form that includes the "out of business" box checked off. This can be done by mailing or faxing these documents to the appropriate authorities. What is the DOT SAP Program?

Remember To Update Your Information Every Two Years

Carriers must update the FMCSA with their information every two years, even if there have been no changes or updates to the fleet size, company name, address, or any other related detail. This applies even if the carrier has ceased inter-state operations since the last update or is no longer in business unless they notify the FMCSA of this change. Visit the DOT Authority Package, which contains tips to prepare for 2023 DOT Week filings in minutes. How do you get an Oregon Trip And Fuel Permit?

What Is the Odd-Even Method?

Carriers must update their DOT Number filings according to the last digit of their number. If it ends in an odd number, an update must be submitted in every odd-numbered calendar year; likewise, if it is even, updates must be sent out in each even-numbered calendar year. Additionally, the last numeral of the DOT Number indicates when it is due: 1 corresponds to January, two corresponds to February, and 0 is for October—the importance of The FMCSA 30-Minute Break Rule.

What Does “VMT Outdated” Mean?

Motor carriers must regularly update their Motor Carrier Identification Report (MCS-150) every two years as the FMCSA mandates. Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) is an important metric that helps to measure and evaluate vehicle miles traveled per capita. It's calculated by dividing the total annual vehicle miles traveled by the population of a state or urbanized area. This data is instrumental in determining Crash Indicator Behavior Analysis, Unsafe Driving Percentiles, and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) scores. Also, take a look at Drug and Alcohol Program policy.

DOT Number Reactivation

If your DOT number has been deactivated, you'll need to take the necessary steps to have it reinstated. The cause of deactivation could be due to unpaid International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) taxes, not filing your required biennial update, or more. To reactivate your DOT Number and resume operations, you must fulfill all obligations related to the deactivation and meet the qualifications for reactivation. This includes payment of any taxes owed, completing all forms needed for recertification, and other requirements as determined by the state agency in which you are registered. You can receive detailed information regarding how to reapply or reactivate your DOT status by contacting our third-party organization. What are the Top 3 DOT paper-appointed Violations?

What If I’m Listed as “Not Authorized”?

If you encounter the message "Not Authorized," it's probable that your Operating Authority is inactive, which means that you cannot transport goods or passengers for remuneration across state lines. Operating Authority is a legal permit that authorizes motor carriers to engage in commercial vehicle operations throughout the United States. Without this authorization, such activities are not legally permissible. If you intend to operate in interstate commerce, taking steps to secure your Operating Authority promptly is essential. Must visit the Website link.

We Can Make Filling Your Biennial Update Simple!

For independent owner-operators, obtaining a U.S. DOT Number is a requirement. Afterward, registering with the FMCSA involves providing your official business name, mailing address, and either your Social Security Number (SSN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN). Following submitting and approving your registration request, you'll receive a Personal Identification Number (PIN) from the official FMCSA website to finalize the registration process. What is Unified Carrier Registration?

As a trucker, staying on top of your records is essential. Your U.S. DOT Number will contain your renewal date – make sure you update your information and submit it to the FMCSA before that date. Keeping track of all necessary documents and submitting them before or after your renewal period is critical to staying compliant with regulations. Don't forget to keep up-to-date! Our organization is standing by to take care of your biennial update registration right now. We’re prepared to fill out and file your MCS-150 form ASAP. This way, you can get back to making money as a trucker. Learn here How to Prepare for a Compliance DOT Audit.

Pay Attention to the Mandatory Requirements of the FMCSA

All trucking companies must know the mandatory requirements for filing biennial updates. This update must be filed on annual due dates, even if your business hasn't experienced any significant changes since the date you initially registered with FMCSA. Additionally, any changes in operation - like an updated address, phone number, drivers, or vehicles - need to be reported to FMCSA within 30 days. Failure to do so could result in fines and suspending your U.S. DOT Number. Check out The Basics of Farm Exemptions. You will then be able to maintain complete motor carrier authority or broker.

Check Your Filings for Inaccuracies

Inaccurate information can cost you and your trucking business a lot of money. Filling out the MCS-150 form incorrectly can have serious consequences, so make sure to double-check every detail before submitting it. You may need to present an updated version in case of any changes relating to your fleet, such as adding new vehicles or changing the company name. Additionally, other significant changes within your organization or structure could require an updated MCS-150 form. Avoid costly errors and verify all details before submitting! You will need driver qualification files filed out by all employees who drive for you working. Also, take a look at what IRP or Apportioned Registration is.

Key Points: What Is the US Department of Transportation Biennial Update?

  • A USDOT Biennial Update is a requirement for commercial motor vehicle operators in the United States. What is DOT Clearinghouse Enforcement?
  • It involves updating the registration information of the CMV, including the details of the motor carrier, vehicles, and drivers.
  • The update must be completed every two years, and failure to comply may result in penalties. Read about Texas DOT Numbers and USDOT Numbers.
  • A USDOT Biennial Update also involves verifying the accuracy of the information provided to ensure that it's current and up-to-date.
  • The update can be done online through the FMCSA website or by completing a paper form and mailing it to the FMCSA. Also, visit the BILL SUMMARY of Transportation..
  • An update is essential for CMV operators to maintain their operating authority and remain compliant with federal regulations.
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