MCS-150 Update Service

The Motor Carrier Identification Report (MCS-150) must be filed biennially (every two years) by all motor carriers operating commercial motor vehicles as defined in §390.5, and intermodal equipment providers operating in interstate commerce. Old or incorrect MCS-150 information can have serious consequences for your business and your Unsafe Driving and Crash BASIC scores.

 

Avoid the consequences — and the hassles — by letting us handle the filing for you!

 

Fill out our MCS-150 form below and a Regulatory Advisor will contact you.

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MCS-150 Biennial Filing Schedule 

The biennial filing schedule is determined by your USDOT number. If the next-to-last digit of your USDOT number is odd, your update must be filed in every odd-numbered calendar year. If the next-to-last digit of your USDOT number is even, your update must be filed in every even-numbered calendar year. The last digit of your USDOT number determines the month to file in. Use this chart to determine when during the year you need to file:

 

If your USDOT number ends in: Must file by the last day of:
1 January
2 February
3 March
4 April
5 May
6 June
7 July
8 August
9 September
0 October

 

A carrier may also submit an update at any other time but then must also file the scheduled biennial updates

 

Not sure when to file? Our Regulatory Advisors can help. Call today at 888.473.4638 for a no-obligation discussion! 

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Frequently Asked Questions

The full name of the MCS-150 form is “Motor Carrier Identification Report.” It is a form to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) as a regulated entity.

 

An MCS-150 form must be submitted before the carrier begins operations and every 24 months or biennially.

  • The FMCSA’s preference is that the form be submitted electronically.

    • J.J. Keller's experts can handle your MCS-150 form quickly and easily! Call 888.473.4638

  • The form may also be scanned or completed electronically and submitted as a webform. A tracking number will be provided.

  • The form can be faxed to: 202-366-3477

  • If a carrier has no electronic means available, the MCS-150 can be mailed to:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Office of Registration and Safety Information
Room W65-206
Attn:  Registration and Licensing Team
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20590

 

The definition in §390.5 refers to a vehicle used on a highway, in interstate commerce, that meets any one of the following criteria:

  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or gross combination weight rating (GCWR), or gross vehicle weight (GVW) or gross combination weight (GCW) of 10,001 pounds or more, whichever is greater;

  • is designed to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation;

  • is designed to transport more than 15 passengers (including the driver), and is not used to transport passengers for compensation; or

  • is transporting hazardous materials in quantities requiring the vehicle to be placarded.

There are two other MCS-150 forms, the MCS-150B and the MCS-150C, that are to be used only in certain circumstances. The MCS-150B is the combination Motor Carrier Identification Report and FMCSA Safety Permit Application. The MCS-150B is required instead of the MCS-150 only if an intrastate or interstate carrier is transporting the type and quantity of hazardous materials listed in 49 CFR §385.403 that requires a Hazardous Material Safety Permit (HMSP).

 

The MCS-150C Intermodal Equipment Provider Identification Report is required for intermodal equipment providers subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). An intermodal equipment

provider supplies intermodal equipment, such as chassis and containers, to a carrier.

No, the FMCSA will not contact you via a third-party for payment of your MCS-150. Read more about companies posing as governement agencies. 

You can update your USDOT number more frequently than every two years. In fact, it’s generally advised you update more frequently. Keeping your data current helps paint an accurate picture of your operation when being compared to other carriers under the Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) program. Your vehicle miles traveled along with your vehicle count are used to determine your Crash and Unsafe Driving BASICS measures under the program. If your vehicle counts or mileage increase, you’ll want to submit an update to ensure a true representation of your “at bats.” If you’re fleet is decreasing in size, you’ll also want to update your MCS-150’s vehicle count since the number reflected is the starting point to determine your fee bracket for the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR).

The Hazardous Material Safety Permit (HMSP) program is reserved for haulers of very dangerous materials. The permit is issued after an MCS-150B, is filed with the FMCSA. Not all hazardous material haulers need a HMSP.

 

Section 385.403 outlines which carriers must obtain the permit:

  • Radioactive Materials: A highway route-controlled quantity of Class 7 material;

  • Explosives: More than 55 pounds of explosives (Division 1.1, 1.2 or 1.3), or an amount of a Division 1.5 – also an explosive – that requires placarding;

  • Toxic by Inhalation Materials:

    • More than one liter (1.08 quarts) per package of Hazard Zone A;
    • Bulk packaging (i.e. capacity greater than 119 gallons) of Hazard Zone B;
    • Containers with a capacity of 3,500 gallons of Hazard Zone C or of Hazard Zone D; or
  • Compressed or refrigerated liquefied methane or liquefied natural gas, or other liquefied gas with a methane content of at least 85 percent, in bulk packaging of 3,500 gallons or more.

The “Toxic by Inhalation Materials” hazard zones represent the amount of gas that is considered a lethal concentration. There are four zones with hazard zone “A” being the most lethal and hazard zone “D,” the least.

 

There are no fees directly tied to the permit application process. If a carrier has a good safety rating, it is relativity easy to obtain the HMSP, however, it is much more difficult to give one up. The MCS-150B only has two options – applying for an initial permit and requesting a renewal.

 

The insurance or financial responsibility amounts that are required for a HMSP are either $1,000,000 or $5,000,000 depending on the quantity and material.

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Let us handle your MCS-150 filing for you!

Key Facts for MCS-150 Forms and Filing

The USDOT number is your company’s unique identifier and is used by the DOT when collecting and monitoring the safety information of your company. That safety information is acquired through audits, compliance reviews, crash investigations and inspections. Any company that operates commercial vehicles transporting passengers or hauling cargo in interstate commerce must register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or the FMCSA, and obtain a USDOT number.

 

Counting vehicles for the MCS-150 can be unclear.

  • Fortunately, the FMCSA did a much better job explaining the section on the MCSA-1: A CMV is operated for purposes of this question if the vehicle is registered under Federal or State law, or both, in the name of the carrier, or is controlled by the carrier under a trip lease or term lease agreement (more than 30 days) during any given year.” The vehicle count includes both intrastate and interstate vehicles. A side bar answer to a related question, count pick-up trucks that are only a CDM when connected to a trailer as a straight truck.
  • It’s pretty important to get these counts right. The counts are the starting point for your UCR reporting, and like the VMT, the counts are used in the formula to determine the correct peer group for the Unsafe Driving and Crash CSA BASICs.

 

Counting Miles (VMT) for the MCS-150 is straightforward.

  • A carrier’s vehicle miles traveled (VMT) may be rounded to the nearest 10,000 miles. Include all miles of all CMVs operated (non-trailer vehicles from vehicle count) for the previous 12 months (not the calendar year), whether the vehicles were leased or owned.

 

Filing with FMSCA on a MCS-150 when you occasionally out-of-state can be confusing.

  • If the driver, truck, and load are crossing a state line – the move is an interstate move. In fact, even if the vehicle itself never crosses state lines, but what is on the vehicle began its journey, or will continue its journey out of state - the move is an interstate. All carriers involved in interstate transportation must have an interstate USDOT number by completing an MCS-150. This is true even for a single move.
  • Follow the adage of “It’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.” Since the source of your next revenue stream may not be known, putting the pieces in place to say “yes” keeps the doors of opportunity open. It is perfectly acceptable for a carrier that is registered interstate to have intrastate operations that follow the state’s statutes and regulations rather than the federal when allowed to do so. The opportunity may be just across the border, many states away, or initiating or completing an interstate move.

 

Filing your MCS-150 is critical

  • When the MCS-150 biennial update process schedule is ignored, the FMCSA’s enforcement process will ultimately result in the deactivation of a carrier’s USDOT number. The FMCSA reiterated the importance of the update in the Unified Carrier Registration (URS) final rule, “Timely updates are critical to FMCSA’s compliance and enforcement program because they increase the likelihood that the agency will be able to accurately identify, locate, and contact regulated entities to carry out its mission.”
  • In addition to the potential of fines of five figures, a carrier is not allowed to operate without an active USDOT number. They cannot move their own product or people or operate as a for-hire carrier moving other people’s goods or passengers.
  • Before deactivation the FMCSA will send warning letters. These letters will be sent to the mailing address provided on the MCS-150.

 

Filing just one MCS-150 and sharing USDOT numbers is not allowed.

  • This question is often asked by sister companies or parent-child company relations or when borrowing or leasing a piece of equipment.
  • Since the USDOT number is assigned as a unique identifier, to each entity for the of collecting and monitoring the safety information of an entity, the numbers cannot be borrowed or shared.
  • Sometimes it’s easier to think of a family. Each person in the family has a unique tax ID number – their social security number. Depending on the family, the family may consist of a mother, father, brothers, and sisters. Everyone has their own number. Income is tracked independently. Parents cannot use each other’s or their children’s number, and children cannot use their siblings or their parents' number.
  • In the same way, the FMCSA is not concerned how safe your parent company, your sister company, or your child company operates, they want to know safe your company is operating.

 

Can I get a “clean slate” by filing a new MCS-150 with the FMCSA and getting a new USDOT number?

  • The FMCSA is, and has been, concerned about chameleon or reincarnated carriers, that change their name or get a new USDOT number to hide or dilute safety history.
  • The FMCSA prohibits carriers with common ownership, management, control, or familial relationship to enable the carriers to avoid compliance, mask or conceal non-compliance, or hide a history of non-compliance with statutory or regulatory requirements.
  • The FMCSA defines a “reincarnated or affiliated motor carriers” as carriers with common ownership, common management, common control or common familial relationship.” again, principally to avoid:
    • Complying with an FMCSA order
    • Complying with a statutory or regulatory requirement
    • Paying a civil penalty
    • Responding to an enforcement action, or
    • Being linked with a negative compliance history.