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What truckers need to know about the biennial update of DOT info

As a representative of the federal government, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires all motor carriers that operate under its authority to update their information every other year. You must do this even if your company remains in business and has had no major changes such as no longer performing interstate operations in the last two years. The FMCSA refers to this required update at the Biennial Update of Department of Transportation (DOT) Info.

Penalties for non-compliance.

If you do not complete a biennial update in a timely manner, the FMCSA has the authority to deactivate the number assigned to you from the USDOT. You may also face a fine of $1,000 per day up to a maximum allowable fine of $10,000. It is far better to know when you need to update and provide the FMCSA with the information it needs by the end of the month in which your renewal is due. Your renewal month corresponds with the last digit of your USDOT number. It’s important that you keep track of when you need to update your information so that you’re not caught off-guard.

How to file your biennial update.

Completing this requirement online is the easiest, fastest, and most popular way to go about it. You will need an employer identification number (EIN) or social security number (SSN) if an independent owner-operator, your USDOT number, official name and mailing address of your company, and a personal identification number (PIN). You must request a PIN from the official FMCSA website.

You will need to file one of two types of forms depending on the type of trucking business you operate and the types of goods that you transport. The first is the MSC-150, also known as the Motor Carrier Identification Report, and the second is the MSC-150B, also known as the Combined Identification and Hazardous Materials Safety Permit Application.

Other mandatory update requirements.

Even if you recently filed your biennial update, you must file another updated report with the FMCSA when any significant changes take place within your organization. These could include a name change, address change, or type of ownership change. Don’t take the chance of waiting until your next biennial update – failing to notify the FMCSA of these types of significant changes means you could be subject to fines and revocation of your USDOT number, and neither of those sounds fun.

Make sure that you always have the right truck insurance.

Keeping up with requirements from the FMCSA can be challenging, including knowing the types of insurance you must carry. Our team of truck insurance agents can help you get the insurance you need at a great rate. You can check out the different types of truck insurance available and who might need it. Once you have decided on coverage, you can then request a quote from several insurance carriers at the same time. All you have to do is fill out our online form, give us a call, or message us on LiveChat.