Biennial update? What is that and who is required to do one?

| 10/3/2014

If you are a motor carrier, hazardous material safety permit applicant/holder, or intermodal equipment provider regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, you must update your registration information every two years. If you don’t, it could result in some killer fines.

Failure to comply with the biennial update requirements will result in penalties and U.S. DOT number deactivation. According to the FMCSA website, civil penalties may be up to $1,000 per day with a maximum penalty of $10,000.

The appropriate form must be filed before motor carriers or intermodal equipment providers begin operations and every 24 months according to a schedule based on the number your U.S. DOT number ends in. For instance, if that number is 1, you must file by the last day of January; 2 is February, 3 is March, and so on. If it’s zero, you must file in October.

If the next-to-last digit of the number is odd, the motor carrier or intermodal equipment provider shall file its update in every odd-numbered calendar year. If the next-to-last digit of the U.S. DOT number is even, the motor carrier or intermodal equipment provider shall file its update in every even-numbered calendar year.

FMCSA issues a warning letter at least 30 days in advance of a biennial update deadline.

To file your biennial update, go to, sign in using the PIN provided in your warning notice from FMCSA, and complete the biennial update process.
You may also complete the biennial update process by mail or by fax. Go to the above website and request or download the MC-150 form. Complete the form and follow the provided instructions for mailing or faxing it to FMCSA. For more info, call 800-832-5660.

According to the FMCSA, biennial updates are processed immediately if done online, but updates filed by fax or mail may take three to four weeks to process.

If you are a member of OOIDA and have questions or need assistance completing the update, call the Permitting and Licensing Department at OOIDA’s Business Services Department at 800-444-5791.

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