FOR ALL U.S. DOT FILINGS
The MC Number - Motor Carrier Authority - allows Authorized-for-Hire motor carriers engaged in interstate commerce to cross State lines. While this isn't the only filing that's required of such motor carriers, it is crucial to be 'authorized' to engage in above-said commerce.
The Biennial Update form MCS-150 is filed every 2 years, or 30 days from changing company's information (i.e. name, address change, operation classification, number of trucks/drivers etc.). While many people refer to this filing in different terms like DOT Number 'registration' or 'renewal', the proper name of the filing is the Biennial Update.
The 2021 Unified Carrier Registration UCR for interstate motor carriers opened on OCTOBER 1, 2020 and can be filed online with the Federal Applications Processor. The enforcement of the 2021 UCR doesn't begin until January 1, 2021, however it is strongly recommended to file as soon as possible to avoid delays in processing.
All CDL drivers and companies which hire them, must register in the FMCSA Clearinghouse Portal. Employers must use the portal and conduct queries every 12 months on each CDL holder they currently employ and on each new CDL driver hiree.
The heavy vehicle use tax (HVUT), if filed via IRS form (Form-2290) and is due before August 31st of all motor carriers with GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) equal to or in exceeds of 55,000 pounds. The IRS should be open for filing of this form on or after JULY 1, and companies may pre-file in advance beginning in May.
The quickest and easiest way to comply with the U.S. DOT Biennial Update is through an online application: Biennial Update Online Application
If you prefer to speak to a processing officer or file by phone call 240-544-0881 for the Biennial Update Division, Monday through Friday 8AM-6PM CST & Saturdays 9AM-2PM CST.
Unable to complete online? No problem. Alternatively you may complete the Biennial Update through a paper application by mail or faxing it over by e-Fax. To request an application by mail please complete this request form: Paper Application Request Form and pay the appropriate fee.
The United States Department of Transportation Biennial Update is a federal requirement pertaining to and required of all entities operating under a federally-issued U.S. DOT Number. A U.S. DOT number is a "number" issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that "tags" your vehicles with the federal Department of Transportation thereby making your vehicles available for monitoring and safety performance analysis.
Do I Need a DOT Number?
A U.S. DOT number is required for all vehicles that meet any of the following criteria:
and operate interstate (cross state lines or transport goods originating from or with a destination outside of the home state). Some states require a federal U.S. DOT number even if the vehicle is involved only in intrastate travel (never crosses state lines). These states are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
State Regulations vs Federal Regulations
It is important to differentiate between state and federal regulations. Some states may require a motor carrier to obtain a state DOT number in addition to the federal DOT number. Other states may require a motor carrier to obtain an operating authority or a Commission of Commerce number. While these are valid requirements and your compliance with them is mandated by your state, it should be stressed that motor carriers must comply with federal regulations, such as the Biennial Update, in addition to complying with state regulations. This may be confusing to motor carriers that operate within state lines (intrastate carriers) and are normally not subject to federal requirements but it should be stressed that the DOT number is issued by the federal government and therefore all motor carriers operating under such number are subject to federal regulations.
WHEN MUST THE BIENNIAL UPDATE BE FILED?
The Biennial Update has a filing deadline unique to each U.S. DOT number. To determine your filing period locate the last 2 digits of your U.S. DOT number. The last digit indicates the month when the filing must take place. The second-to-last digit indicates the year when the filing must be completed (an odd number mandates a filing in an odd year and an even number mandates a filing in an even year).
U.S. DOT number '384983' ends in the digit '3' which corresponds to the third month of the year, March. The second-to-the-last digit is '8' which is an even number which correspond to an even year. As such, this motor carrier must file their update in March of even-numbered years. Note that the last digit corresponds to the months 1-9 (January - September) while 0 indicates the month of October. No filings are scheduled for November and December.
The U.S. DOT Biennial Update is processed using U.S. DOT Form MCS-150. This form is used to inform a the Department of Transportation of changes in the company structures or contact information and to file the Biennial Update, when the carrier updates the VMT (Vehicle Miles Travelled), number of vehicles and other pertinent information about the motor carrier such as operation classification. Additionally, using this form a motor carrier may request a new DOT number or declare the company out of business, in other words "deactivate" a US DOT number.