The MCS-150 is used by carriers only to complete the required biennial update — MCS-150 is no longer used to obtain a USDOT number. New entrant motor carriers use an online-only form, MCSA-1, to obtain a USDOT number. The MCSA-1 form was implemented as part of FMCSA’s Unified Registration System (URS-1) initiative to consolidate enterprise systems into one easy-to-use system.
The MCS-150 form must be filed at least biennially (every two years) with the FMCSA by all motor carriers operating Commercial Motor Vehicles as defined in 390.5 and intermodal equipment providers (IEPs) operating in interstate commerce.
- 49 CFR 385.403 — Who must hold a safety permit?
- 49 CFR 390.19 — Motor carrier identification reports for certain Mexico-domiciled motor carriers
- 49 CFR 390.5 — Definitions
- Carrier mileage (VMT): The total mileage of all CMVs to the nearest 10,000 miles operated by the carrier for the previous 12 months (whether leased or owned).
- Doing business as name (DBA): The applicant’s trade name that differs from its legal business name.
- Driver count: The number of interstate and intrastate drivers used by the carrier on an average workday in the United States. Part-time, casual, term-leased, trip-leased and company drivers are included in the count.
- Legal business name: The name of the sole proprietor or partnership, the name of the limited liability company as it appears on the articles of organization, or the complete corporate name as it appears on the incorporation certificate.
- Principal address: The address where the company is physically located and engaged in business operations related to the transportation of persons or property, and where safety records are regularly maintained. This address is used by FMCSA for on-site visits for the purpose of conducting safety audits, investigations, and other activities.
- Vehicle count (property): The total number of commercial motor vehicles owned, term-leased or trip-leased by the carrier on the date submitted and that have a GVWR, GCWR, GVW or GCW of 10,001 pounds or more. A CMV is operated if the vehicle is registered under federal or state law in the name of the carrier or is controlled by the carrier under a lease agreement (more than 30 days) during any given year.
Summary of requirements
DOT policy is one USDOT number per corporate entity. A single entity, with several divisions, all operating under the same Federal Tax Identification Number (FEIN) should have a single USDOT number. The divisions should not file an MCS-150 and obtain separate USDOT numbers.
Certain carriers of hazardous materials must obtain an FMCSA Hazardous Materials Safety Permit. Again, new entrant carriers use the MCSA-1 form to obtain the permit. Existing carriers use the MCS-150B “Combined Motor Carrier Identification Report and HM Permit Application” to complete the biennial update. A hazardous materials safety permit is required only if transporting the types of hazardous materials listed in 385.403.
New Intermodal equipment providers that offer intermodal equipment for transportation in interstate commerce must file MCSA-1 to obtain registration, while existing providers continue to use the MCS-150C, “Intermodal Equipment Provider Identification Report” to update their information with the FMCSA.
When filing electronically, a Personal Identification Number (PIN) is issued either by e-mail or mail; preserve the PIN to access the MCS-150 information for updating. Applicants for both a USDOT number and for-hire operating authority/MC Number will receive two PINs (one for the USDOT number and one for the MC Number).
Biennial updates. All motor carriers are required to file a Motor Carrier Identification Report (MCS-150) before beginning operations and once every 24 months thereafter. The schedule for updating the MCS-150 information is listed in 390.19(b).
Entities that fail to submit their biennial MCS-150 update as required by 390.19(b) are subject to penalties and deactivation of the USDOT number (390.19(b)(4)).
A PIN is required to access information for updating. PINs may be requested online and may either be e-mailed or mailed to the requesting party. Be sure and request the correct PIN; separate PINs are required for the MCS-150/USDOT number and for the MC-Number/Docket Number.
Provisions with an effective date to-be-determined. Eventually, the FMCSA’s Unified Registration System (URS-1) will be implemented, which makes the following changes:
- New form MCSA-1 will replace the MCS-150, MCS-150B, and MCS-150C.
- Electronic filing of the MCSA-1 will be mandatory for all regulated entities.
- A $300 registration fee will be required for all new applications.
- Regulated entities must report a change in name, address, or form of business within 30 days of the change by updating the MCSA-1 (must also submit biennial update according to schedule).
- No fee for updates or the required biennial updates.
Also as a part of the URS-1, private carriers and exempt for-hire carriers will also be required to make certain filings to the FMCSA.
Online filing. The MCS-150 can be updated electronically and this is the recommended filing method. A credit card is required to act as a digital “signature,” though there is no charge for filing an MCS-150.
At a later date to be determined by the FMCSA, the MCSA-1 will eventually replace the MCS-150 forms and the authority application forms and filing will be electronic only.