MCS-150 forms causing confusion in California

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 3/31/2017

Some motor carriers in California are receiving a letter from the U.S. Department of Transportation regarding Motor Carrier Identification Report (MCS-150) forms, except there is one problem: They should not have a MCS-150 on file. Here’s what is going on and what exempt truckers in California should do if they receive the letter.

Every two years, carriers required to have a DOT number are obligated to update information via MCS-150. Operations that do not require a DOT number do not need to fill out the form.

However, many carriers who are exempt have received a letter to update their MCS-150, most notably in California. In California, the state assigns all intrastate carriers with a DOT number for its own personal tracking purposes. Many carriers may not even know they have a DOT number.

For example, one exemption includes farmers who transport agricultural commodities within a certain distance or commercial passenger van operators, according to Duane DeBruyne, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration spokesperson. Most states would not issue a DOT number, but in California one could be assigned for such carriers.

As a result, blank information has been received by the feds over at FMCSA. Letters being sent out reflect that missing information, unbeknownst to the carriers that anything was ever on file in the first place.

Theoretically, this can cause problems at a scale house when law enforcement officers check their database. If they see an incomplete form, an overzealous officer could technically write up a ticket or cause some delay.

Any motor carriers that are exempt from biennial MCS-150s and received a letter or otherwise suspect they may have one on file are encouraged to contact FMCSA at 800-832-5660, by fax at 202-366-3477 or on their website by clicking here.

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