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What happens if you don’t do your FMCSA biennial update?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires all motor carriers to update their registration information every two years. This is true even if you haven’t had any changes in the past 24 months. It’s important to do the FMCSA biennial update of your information on time to avoid issues down the line.

The FMCSA has established a schedule for updates to prevent an administrative backlog from everyone filing them at the same time. If the last digit of the USDOT number issued to you from the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) ends in 1, you must update in January. Those with a number ending in 2 update in February, ending with the number 0 in October. The FMCSA doesn’t accept routine updates in November and December. Registration numbers ending in an odd number file in odd number years while those ending in an even number file in even numbered years. So, that’s the schedule for doing the FMCSA biennial update.

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When else must you update your FMCSA registration information?

You must update your record any time your business has a significant change such as name or address change, going out of business, reinstatement, or temporary deactivation. You will still need to complete the usual two-year update even if you don’t have additional changes to report.

Options for completing your registration update.

Updating your registration information online is the easiest and most efficient way to do it. Before you start the process, make sure you have your USDOT number, personal identification number (PIN), social security or employer identification number (SSN/EIN), and information about your company officials.

If you lost your PIN or need one for the first time, you can request to have one sent by email or postal mail through the FMCSA website. You can also complete and submit a Hazardous Materials Safety Permit Application or Combined Identification forms through the FMCSA website if necessary. The FMCSA also accepts registration updates by fax at 202-366-3477 or mail at:

United States Department of Transportation

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Attention: Office of Registration and Safety Information

1200 New Jersey Avenue SE

Room W65-206

Washington, DC 20590

Penalties for not submitting registration information in a timely manner.

The FMCSA may impose a fine of up to $1,000 per day for non-compliance with this rule. The maximum financial penalty is $10,000. However, it may also impose civil penalties on brokers, freight forwarders, and some for-hire carriers that transport passengers or freight. Additionally, the FMCSA can deactivate the USDOT number of non-compliant carriers.

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