Companies that operate commercial vehicles transporting passengers or hauling cargo in interstate commerce must be registered with the FMCSA and must have a USDOT Number. Also, commercial intrastate hazardous materials carriers who haul quantities requiring a safety permit must register for a USDOT Number. The USDOT Number serves as a unique identifier when collecting and monitoring a company's safety information acquired during audits, compliance reviews, crash investigations, and inspections.
New-Entrant Program All first-time carrier applicants for a USDOT Number will be automatically enrolled in the FMCSA New Entrant Safety Assurance Program. This program requires new entrants to pass a safety audit and maintain acceptable roadside safety performance over an initial 18-month period before they are given permanent registration status. In most cases, companies operating exclusively as brokers or non-vehicle-operating shippers or freight forwarders do not need to obtain a USDOT Number.
Some States Require USDOT Numbers
In Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming, all registrants of commercial motor vehicles, even intrastate and non-Motor Carrier registrants, are required to obtain a USDOT Number as a necessary condition for commercial vehicle registration.
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MCS-150 and MCS-150B
Forms MCS-150 and MCS-150B need to be refiled every 24 months. According to the DOT, almost half of all carriers fail to file these semi annual forms. Any carrier who operates in interstate commerce is subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Regulations. There is one exception to the above filing requirements. A motor carrier that registers its vehicles in a State, which participates in the Performance and Registration Information Systems Management (PRISM) program, does not have to file either form MCS-150 or form MCS-150B with the FMCSA, provided that it files the equivalent information with the appropriate State office.
Employers who operate in interstate commerce, who are not required to have a hazardous materials safety permit, are required to complete form MCS-150. The MCS-150 is familiar to most motor carriers because it is among the first forms a motor carrier files in order to obtain its operating authority and USDOT number. The MCS-150 form provides the Department of Transportation (DOT) with basic information about a motor carrier and its operations, such as miles traveled, cargo carried, types and amounts of equipment and so forth.
Employers who operate in interstate commerce who transport types of hazardous materials requiring a safety permit are required to file the MCS-150 form in addition to a Hazardous Materials Permit Application. These employers can file these forms separately or, more simply, use form MCS-150B, which combines both forms into one. The MCS-150B is similar to the MCS-150 form but it provides additional information to the DOT regarding hazardous materials.
Federal regulations require that motor carriers re-file form MCS-150/MCS-150B every 24 months on a schedule specified in the regulations. Below is the schedule prescribed by FMCSA for filing MCS-150 and MCS-150B forms. If the next-to-last digit of your USDOT number is odd, you are required to file an updated MCS-150/MCS-150B form every odd-numbered calendar year. If the next-to-last digit of your USDOT number is even, you are required to file an updated MCS-150/MCS-150B form every even-numbered calendar year. File every 24 months according to the following schedule:
USDOT number ending in
File by the last day of
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