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Why didn’t my MCS-150 update show up in SMS?

The trucking world is full of paperwork and regulations. The MCS-150 is something that motor carriers need to be aware of and keep up with. (There are a lot of forms and such you have to keep up with, admittedly.) But even when you are on top of everything, you might wonder why the carefully reviewed update to your MCS-150 hasn’t shown up in the SMS. We’ll go over a few things about updating that, including when to update the MCS-150 and why you might not see the changes right away.

When to change the MCS-150 data.

If you have to change your MCS-150 data – for example, the number of vehicle miles travelled or the number of power units – you can do that at any time. (Well, you’re required to update it every two years, but you can do an update whenever.) In fact, the FMCSA encourages carriers to do an MCS-150 update any time there’s a change in their data. And since the SMS uses vehicle miles traveled and the number of power units, it’s not a bad idea to update it yearly.

Now, about the biennial update guidelines. The FMCSA requires entities that are subject to its regulations to do an update every two years. Even if your company hasn’t changed its information … has stopped interstate commerce … or has stopped operating and you just haven’t told the FMCSA yet … you still have to do the biennial update. It’s also important to note that certain things require you to do an update within 30 days – for example, a change to the legal name of the business, the type of business, or address. You’ve got to pay attention to that sort of thing.

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Why didn’t the MCS-150 update show up in SMS?

The thing that might be a little frustrating is that the update hasn’t shown up in the SMS. (You know how important that is, so maybe you’re a bit impatient to make sure it went through.) New SMS data updates monthly, and a snapshot of the data is taken on the third or the last Friday of the month. And it takes about 10 days to process and validate the data before it gets updated. So, that could explain it. You can see the date of the snapshot if you look above the summary of the BASIC percentile ranks in the SMS.

So, if the MCS-150 data isn’t up-to-date, you might have just missed the last update. If the MCS-150 changes don’t show up right away, you might see it the next month. (And the updates might show up faster on the SAFER website.)

Anyways, that’s the deal with why your MCS-150 might not be updated right away. It might have to do with the timing. Since the new SMS data is updated monthly, you may have just missed the last update. It’ll probably show up next month. (It can take a while for the data to be processed and validated.) That’s the scoop!

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