August 27, 2018

MCS-150: The Biennial Update

Last Updated: 02/21/2024

Oh look! Another acronym. If you’re scratching your head feeling a bit lost in all the regulatory acronyms and abbreviations, fear not! Let’s break it down.

What is a MCS-150?

A MCS-150 is like a golden ticket in the trucking industry. Officially known as the Motor Carrier Identification Report, it’s a crucial document that every trucking company must update biennially. Think of it as a trucker’s version of a health check-up for their business.

Why Bother with the Biennial Update?

If you’re wondering, “Why all the fuss about this Biennial Update?” Well, the MCS-150 is the backbone of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) efforts to keep our highways safe. It ensures that the authorities have the most up-to-date information about our trucking operation, including your fleet size, types of cargo you haul, and overall safety record.

The Biennial Update is the trucking industry’s way of saying, “Hey, we’re still here, and we’re keeping it safe and sound on the roads!”

What Happens if You Don’t Update Your MCS-150?

Missing the Biennial Update can lead to a cascade of problems — fines, penalties, and even the dreaded ‘out-of-service’ statue. You could even be faced with a fine of $1,000 to $10,000 a day. Updating your MCS-150 is like hitting a pothole on the information superhighway – inconvenient and but avoidable.

Note: You will be charged this fee even if none of your business information has changed within the past two years. It’s rare to see a hefty fine, but the FMCSA commonly deactivates USDOT numbers that do not do the update, which can cause you to be placed out of service, forcing your trucks to be parked. (Penalties For Failure to Submit Biennial Update)

Updating Your MCS-150

We get it, paperwork isn’t the most exciting part of driving a truck or running your own trucking company and it’s easy to put off the Biennial Update until the last minute. But, here at Motor Carrier HQ, we have your Six. The easiest way to update your MCS-150 is to let us take care of it. Give us a call at 866-739-2032.

What Do You Need to Update Your MCS-150?

To update the form, there are a few pieces of information required:

  • USDOT Number
  • USDOT PIN Number
  • EIN or SSN
  • Company Official Information

*If you don’t have a PIN number, we can help you request it.*

Some additional information required:

  • Your Business Organization
  • Basic Contact Information
  • MC or MX Number (if applicable)
  • Carrier Mileage for the previous calendar year
  • Basic Business Operation Information

[Related: What is a DOT Number and Why Do You Need It]

When is the MCS-150 Submission Deadline?

The deadline to submit your updated MCS-150 varies based on the last two digits of your USDOT Number. The year you are required to update the form is based on the second to last number of your USDOT number.

  • If the number is odd: You need to file your Biennial Update every ODD NUMBERED year.
  • If the number is even: You need to file your Biennial Update every EVEN NUMBERED year.

The month you have to file your MCS-150 is determined by the last number of your USDOT number. You can figure out when to update your form based on the table below:

USDOT Number Ending In Deadline to Update MCS-150 Form
1 January
2 February
3 March
4 April
5 May
6 June
7 July
8 August
9 September
0 October

Safety Dance: Monitoring Your Safety Performance

One of the highlights of the MCS-150 Biennial Update is the safety performance information selection. This is where you get to showcase your commitment to safety and prove that your trucks are rolling fortresses of responsibility.

Take a moment to reflect on your safety practices. Maybe you’ve implemented a strict maintenance schedule, or perhaps your drivers have a knack for turning the mundane pre-trip inspection into a safety tango. Share your accomplishments with pride!

[Related: Motor Carrier Safety Tips]

In the grand scheme of trucking adventures, the MCS-150 Biennial Update may not involve high-speed chases or daring rescues, but it’s a critical chapter in responsible trucking.

Contact us at Motor Carrier HQ to make sure you are staying up to date with your MCS-150: Biennial Update.

What Is the MCS-150?

The MCS-150 was first used to apply for a USDOT number, but now it is solely used to update your company’s information every two years as part of the biennial update. Some of the information listed on the form includes:

  • Your business organization
  • Basic contact information
  • USDOT Number
  • MC or MX Number (If applicable)
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Carrier mileage for the past 12 months
  • Your basic business operations, including what you haul and how much equipment you have

What Do You Need to Update the MCS-150 Form?

If you’re planning to update the form, you’ll need your:

  • USDOT Number
  • USDOT PIN Number
  • EIN or SSN
  • Company Official information

If you don’t have your PIN number, we can get it for you.

When Do I Have to Update the MCS-150?

You are required to update your MCS-150 form any time you change any of your business information listed on the form even if you are not due for a biennial update. The FMCSA uses this form to make sure that information about your company is accurate and the correct safety rating in their Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) program.

Have More Questions?

If you have more questions about the biennial update or updating the MCS-150, give us a call! We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about updating your MCS-150 and the biennial update.

Call Motor Carrier HQ

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