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Understand How Do I File a Biennial Update?


USDOT Biennial Updates matter so much to carriers across the US. That’s because the updates are a requirement by law. The FMCSA states that carriers have to update USDOT information every two years. Otherwise, businesses can receive fines and/or lose Operating Authority. Are you ready to learn how to file USDOT Biennial Updates? Let’s get started.




Background Information on Biennial Updates




“How do I file a Biennial Update?” is a common question we receive from carriers across the country. The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) is very clear about Biennial Updates. It requires every carrier to update information on a two-year basis. Even if your information hasn't changed, you still have to file a Biennial Update. You must also file the update even if your company has stopped interstate operations. In fact, the FMCSA needs a Biennial Update even if a company’s no longer in business.

Failing to file a Biennial Update carries strict penalties. It’s guaranteed that your USDOT number will get deactivated. You could also face civil penalties that cost up to $1,000 each day. But the grand total of the fines cannot exceed $10,000.




How to File a Biennial Update




Filing a Biennial Update does not cost any money. The FMCSA ensures that information updates are free. Most carriers choose to update their information on the official FMCSA website. The website features specific instructions on how to complete a Biennial Update. It also features Biennial Update deadlines. Carriers that do not want to update online can update their information via US Mail. The FMCSA is the sole resource to download Biennial registration forms. Carriers can also request to have the forms printed and faxed. To do so, you’ll need to call FMCSA Support Services.




What Is a USDOT Biennial Update?




Carriers must update their USDOT information every two years. That’s where the word “biennial” comes into play. The official form of a Biennial Update gets referred to as the MCS-150 form. That form provides the US government with your current fleet information. It also provides current company information. The government needs information to ensure that data is current and without errors.




Is My Biennial Update Due?




Has it been almost two years since your last Biennial Update? If so, you should consider determining the exact date that you need to file the update. Here is the most important factor to keep in mind. The month that the update is due depends on the final digit of the USDOT number. The official FMCSA website features a chart of which digit relates to which month. Check out the chart soon to ensure that you don't miss your Biennial Update deadline.




How Do I Update My Biennial?




Here is the best way to file a Biennial Update. Go to the official FMCSA website. Or, you can go to this specific link: www.fmcsa.dot.gov/BiennialUpdate. Next, sign in using the PIN that FMCSA gave you. The PIN got sent to you via the standard FMCSA warning notice. You’ll then get prompted to complete the Biennial Update process. It’s up to you whether you want to file the update online, by mail, or by fax. You can even send the FMCSA your Biennial Update through email.




How Do I Update My Biennial MCS 150?




Keep in mind that the official Biennial Update form gets referred to as the MCS 150. You have four options for updating your MCS 150 form.


1. Online using the FMCSA website.
2. Using email.
3. By mail.
4. By fax.

You can only update biennial registration online if your USDOT number is active. If you use email, you can upload the signed MCS 150 form. The FMCSA will then send a tracking number to your email address.




Contact Us Today for More Information on How to File a Biennial Update




Does your company need more information about how to file a biennial update? If so, please give our organization a call right now. Our experts are sending by and ready to assist you and your team. We can even contact the government on your behalf. Whether you have questions related to the FMCSA or USDOT, do not hesitate to ask. We look forward to helping your company succeed.

Did You Know

Question In 1895 Karl Benz designed and built the first truck in history by using the internal combustion engine. Later that year some of Benz's trucks gave into modernization and went on to become the first bus by the Netphener. This would be the first motor bus company in history. Hardly a year later, in 1986, another internal combustion engine truck was built by a man named Gottlieb Daimler. As people began to catch on, other companies, such as Peugeot, Renault, and Bussing, also built their own versions. In 1899, the first truck in the United States was built by Autocar and was available with two optional horsepower motors, 5 or 8.

Question Prior to the 20th century, freight was generally transported overland via trains and railroads. During this time, trains were essential, and they were highly efficient at moving large amounts of freight. But, they could only deliver that freight to urban centers for distribution by horse-drawn transport. Though there were several trucks throughout this time, they were used more as space for advertising that for actual utility. At this time, the use of range for trucks was quite challenging. The use of electric engines, lack of paved rural roads, and small load capacities limited trucks to most short-haul urban routes.

Question Receiving nation attention during the 1960's and 70's, songs and movies about truck driving were major hits. Finding solidarity, truck drivers participated in widespread strikes. Truck drivers from all over opposed the rising cost of fuel. Not to mention this is during the energy crises of 1873 and 1979. In 1980 the Motor Carrier Act drastically deregulated the trucking industry. Since then trucking has come to dominate the freight industry in the latter part of the 20th century. This coincided with what are now known as 'big-box' stores such as Target or Wal-Mart.

Question

The trucking industry has made a large historical impact since the early 20th century. It has affected the U.S. both politically as well as economically since the notion has begun. Previous to the invention of automobiles, most freight was moved by train or horse-drawn carriage. Trucks were first exclusively used by the military during World War I.
 
After the war, construction of paved roads increased. As a result, trucking began to achieve significant popularity by the 1930's. Soon after trucking became subject to various government regulation, such as the hours of service. During the later 1950's and 1960's, trucking accelerated due to the construction of the Interstate Highway System. The Interstate Highway System is an extensive network of freeways linking major cities cross country.

Question There are certain characteristics of a truck that makes it an "off-road truck". They generally standard, extra heavy-duty highway-legal trucks. Although legal, they have off-road features like front driving axle and special tires for applying it to tasks such as logging and construction. The purpose-built off-road vehicles are unconstrained by weighing limits, such as the Libherr T 282B mining truck.

Question Medium trucks are larger than light but smaller than heavy trucks. In the US, they are defined as weighing between 13,000 and 33,000 pounds (6,000 and 15,000 kg). For the UK and the EU, the weight is between 3.5 and 7.5 tons (3.9 and 8.3 tons). Local delivery and public service (dump trucks, garbage trucks, and fire-fighting trucks) are around this size.

Question Trailer stability can be defined as the tendency of a trailer to dissipate side-to-side motion. The initial motion may be caused by aerodynamic forces, such as from a cross wind or a passing vehicle. One common criterion for stability is the center of mass location with respect to the wheels, which can usually be detected by tongue weight. If the center of mass of the trailer is behind its wheels, therefore having a negative tongue weight, the trailer will likely be unstable. Another parameter which is less commonly a factor is the trailer moment of inertia. Even if the center of mass is forward of the wheels, a trailer with a long load, and thus large moment of inertia, may be unstable.

Question AMSA wanted to help consumers avoid untrustworthy or illegitimate movers. In January 2008, AMSA created the ProMover certification program for its members. As a member, you must have federal interstate operating authority. Members are also required to pass an annual criminal back check, be licensed by the FMCSA, and agree to abide by ethical standards. This would include honesty in advertising and in business transaction with customers. Each must also sign a contract committing to adhere to applicable Surface Transportation Board and FMCSA regulations. AMSA also takes into consideration and examines ownership. They are very strict, registration with state corporation commissions. This means that the mover must maintain at least a satisfactory rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). As one can imagine, those that pass are authorized to display the ProMove logo on the websites and in marketing materials. However, those that fail will be expelled from the program (and AMSA) if they cannot correct discrepancies during probation.

Question Signage of business routes varies, depending on the type of route they are derived from. Business routes paralleling U.S. and state highways usually have exactly the same shield shapes and nearly the same overall appearance as the routes they parallel, with a rectangular plate reading "BUSINESS" placed above the shield (either supplementing or replacing the directional plate, depending on the preference of the road agency). In order to better identify and differentiate alternate routes from the routes they parallel, some states such as Maryland are beginning to use green shields for business routes off U.S. highways. In addition, Maryland uses a green shield for business routes off state highways with the word "BUSINESS" in place of "MARYLAND" is used for a state route.

Question Within the world of transportation, bypass routes are often very controversial. This is mostly due to the fact that they require the building of a road carrying heavy traffic where no road existed before. This has created conflict among society thus creating a divergence between those in support of bypasses and those who are opposed. Supporters believe they reduce congestion in built up areas. Those in opposition do not believe in developing (often rural) undeveloped land. In addition, the cities that are bypassed may also oppose such a project as reduced traffic may, in turn, reduce and damage business.

Question The United States Department of Transportation has become a fundamental necessity in the moving industry. It is the pinnacle of the industry, creating and enforcing regulations for the sake of safety for both businesses and consumers alike. However, it is notable to appreciate the history of such a powerful department. The functions currently performed by the DOT were once enforced by the Secretary of Commerce for Transportation. In 1965, Najeeb Halaby, administrator of the Federal Aviation Adminstration (FAA), had an excellent suggestion. He spoke to the current President Lyndon B. Johnson, advising that transportation be elevated to a cabinet level position. He continued, suggesting that the FAA be folded or merged, if you will, into the DOT. Clearly, the President took to Halaby's fresh ideas regarding transportation, thus putting the DOT into place.

Question

Truckload shipping is the movement of large amounts of cargo. In general, they move amounts necessary to fill an entire semi-trailer or inter-modal container. A truckload carrier is a trucking company that generally contracts an entire trailer-load to a single customer. This is quite the opposite of a Less than Truckload (LTL) freight services. Less than Truckload shipping services generally mix freight from several customers in each trailer. An advantage Full Truckload shipping carriers have over Less than Truckload carrier services is that the freight isn't handled during the trip. Yet, in an LTL shipment, goods will generally be transported on several different trailers.

Question

As the American Interstate Highway System began to expand in the 1950's, the trucking industry began to take over a large market share. That is, a large share of the transportation of goods throughout the country. Before this era, trains had been relied on to transport the bulk of the goods cross country or state to state. The Interstate Highway System was influential as it allows for merchandise to travel door to door with ease. Since then, truckload carriers have taken advantage of the interstate system, especially when performing a long distance move. Typically, they bring the merchandise from one distribution center of the country to another part of the country. The increase in truckload freight transportation has reduced the time it takes to transport the goods. Whether the freight was manufactured or produced for the different areas internationally, the time it takes to transport goods has decreased dramatically.
 

Question The main purpose of the HOS regulation is to prevent accidents due to driver fatigue. To do this, the number of driving hours per day, as well as the number of driving hours per week, have been limited. Another measure to prevent fatigue is to keep drivers on a 21 to 24-hour schedule in order to maintain a natural sleep/wake cycle. Drivers must take a daily minimum period of rest and are allowed longer "weekend" rest periods. This is in hopes to combat cumulative fatigue effects that accrue on a weekly basis.

Question Throughout the United States, bypass routes are a special type of route most commonly used on an alternative routing of a highway around a town. Specifically when the main route of the highway goes through the town. Originally, these routes were designated as "truck routes" as a means to divert trucking traffic away from towns. However, this name was later changed by AASHTO in 1959 to what we now call a "bypass". Many "truck routes" continue to remain regardless that the mainline of the highway prohibits trucks.

Question

The rise of technological development gave rise to the modern trucking industry. There a few factors supporting this spike in the industry such as the advent of the gas-powered internal combustion engine. Improvement in transmissions is yet another source, just like the move away from chain drives to gear drives. And of course the development of the tractor/semi-trailer combination.
 
The first state weight limits for trucks were determined and put in place in 1913. Only four states limited truck weights, from a low of 18,000 pounds (8,200 kg) in Maine to a high of 28,000 pounds (13,000 kg) in Massachusetts. The intention of these laws was to protect the earth and gravel-surfaced roads. In this case, particular damages due to the iron and solid rubber wheels of early trucks. By 1914 there were almost 100,000 trucks on America's roads. As a result of solid tires, poor rural roads, and a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour (24km/h) continued to limit the use of these trucks to mostly urban areas.

Question The decade of the 70's in the United States was a memorable one, especially for the notion of truck driving. This seemed to dramatically increase popularity among trucker culture. Throughout this era, and even in today's society, truck drivers are romanticized as modern-day cowboys and outlaws. These stereotypes were due to their use of Citizens Band (CB) radios to swap information with other drivers. Information regarding the locations of police officers and transportation authorities. The general public took an interest in the truckers 'way of life' as well. Both drivers and the public took interest in plaid shirts, trucker hats, CB radios, and CB slang.

Question

The term 'trailer' is commonly used interchangeably with that of a travel trailer or mobile home. There are varieties of trailers and manufactures housing designed for human habitation. Such origins can be found historically with utility trailers built in a similar fashion to horse-drawn wagons. A trailer park is an area where mobile homes are designated for people to live in.
 
In the United States, trailers ranging in size from single-axle dollies to 6-axle, 13 ft 6 in (4,115 mm) high, 53 ft (16,154 mm) in long semi-trailers is common. Although, when towed as part of a tractor-trailer or "18-wheeler", carries a large percentage of the freight. Specifically, the freight that travels over land in North America.

Question Heavy trucks. A cement mixer is an example of Class 8 heavy trucks. Heavy trucks are the largest on-road trucks, Class 8. These include vocational applications such as heavy dump trucks, concrete pump trucks, and refuse hauling, as well as ubiquitous long-haul 6×4 and 4x2 tractor units. Road damage and wear increase very rapidly with the axle weight. The axle weight is the truck weight divided by the number of axles, but the actual axle weight depends on the position of the load over the axles. The number of steering axles and the suspension type also influence the amount of the road wear. In many countries with good roads, a six-axle truck may have a maximum weight over 50 tons (49 long tons; 55 short tons).