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All You Need to Know about E-filing of US DOT

All You Need to Know about E-filing of US DOT

If you own a fleet or commercial vehicle to haul people or hazardous cargo across the interstate, then the E-filing of US DOT is unavoidable. Learn about the latest regulations and filing process from this article

Do you own a registered commercial vehicle? Does it have a carrying capacity above the prescribed limits? Do you haul a number of paying passengers? Does your commercial vehicle operate between states? If you nod yes to these questions, then you need a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued the Department of Transportation (DOT) number. To do so, you must file MCS-150 also known as the Motor Carrier Identification Report.

FMCSA becomes aware of your business only by filing the MCS-150 form. In this form, it's important to specify the type of cargo that is being hauled. It's imperative to disclose if you are hauling hazardous material, passenger, etc. Other information like fleet size and vehicle mileage must also be furnished in the form. When the information is submitted, verification of the same becomes easier with just a US DOT number.

What is US DOT?

Think US DOT as a unique identifier that permits authorities to quickly pull up the safety records of your fleet or commercial vehicle. It is highly useful to authorities who wish to carry out inspections, investigations, and even compliance checks.

If you own or operate commercial vehicles to haul cargo or passengers across states, it's mandatory to display your company's US DOT number on every fleet vehicle. Displaying your US DOT number on commercial vehicles is a necessity if a prescribed amount of hazardous cargo is being hauled within state borders.

Biennial Update

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandates all fleet operators to file biennial updates once every two years. It is important to file the update whether you have stopped fleet operations, changed company records, or shut business without notifying.

When you don't file the Biennial Update, FMCSA has the right to deactivate your US DOT number and impose a penalty of $1,000 per day up to $10,000.

The last two digits in your US DOT number tells the year and month when you should file the Biennial Update.

The second to last digit of the DOT Number indicates the year in which you must file the biennial update. If it's an odd digit, you should file the biennial update in every calendar year having an odd number.

For instance, if your US DOT number is 2222232, filling biennial takes place when the year ends with an odd number. Say, your DOT number is 2222222, then you must file in the year ending with an even number.

The last digit in the DOT number indicates the month in which your biennial update is scheduled for filing. It is imperative to file the update on or before the last day of the scheduled month.

Last US DOT Digit
Filing Month

How Do You e-file US Dot?

Online registration is completely hassle-free. All you need are your US DOT number, official information about your company, EIN/SSN, and assigned PIN. You can receive the Pin via e-mail or US mail based on your preference.

You must log in to the FMCSA website and complete the Combined Identification and Hazardous Materials Safety Permit Application (MCS-150B) or Motor Carrier Identification Report (MCS-150) before the online submission.

Is DOT Filing Important?

Once the update is filed with FMCSA, your information will be used to calculate a safety score in various Behavior Analysis & Safety Improvement Categories (BASICS) like accountability (CSA), Compliance, and Safety. You must take care to avoid deliberate or inadvertent errors before filing the update else your safety performance scores may be lower.

FMCSA has the authority to enforce compliance with the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) because it's responsible for regulating financial responsibility and safety in the US.

Is There a Time Limit for E-filing the Update?

You must file your update every two years and failing to do so can attract penalties and cancellation of US DOT number. This will expose you to a daily penalty of $1,000.

If you are filing the update online, make sure not to leave the system in an inactive state for more than 30 minutes. Else, you will be automatically logged out and your progress may be lost.

Who Should Get a US DOT number?

US Dot E-filing is compulsory if you are a hazardous material safety permit holder, or motor carrier operator, or intermodal equipment provider because your activities fall under the FMCSA's jurisdiction. Therefore, you should update your registration information once every two years. Failing to comply with regulations can attract stiff penalties and your US DOT number can be deactivated by FMCSA.

In short, you must obtain a US DOT number if your business operations include interstate commerce and qualify in the following areas -

  • Ownership of vehicles weighing above 10,000 lbs.
  • Hauling passengers (9-15 Nos.) including the driver for compensation
  • Shuttling 16+ passengers
  • Freighting hazardous substances

How to e-file US DOT?

Are you still yet to file the Biennial update? Have you altered your business after filing the update the last time? Then hurry, file your MCS-150 form now! At Outsource2india, we help our clients with e-filing services so that they need not bear the risk of penalties or worse cancellation of the DOT number.

Since December 2015, updating the US DOT number is possible only via MCS-150. This form cannot be used to get registered with FMCSA because the Unified Registration System (URS) takes care of getting you registered with FMCSA as a first-time applicant.

DOT filings are simple and hassle-free these days. So, if you are wondering how to update your US DOT number, here is what you need to do -

  • Complete the MCS-150 form with accurate information and submit the same online
  • Alternatively, you can scan and upload the completed MCS-150 form on the website (this method is ideal because you will be supplied with a tracking number after a successful submission)
  • You can complete the form on paper and place your signature underneath before sending the hard copy to FMCSA via US Mail
  • You may also send the completed form as a Fax message

FMCSA, advises business owners to file updates in electronic format rather than taking the paper-heavy approach. The online filing method has benefits because it presents edit checks and binary questions for simplifying the process. It also boasts a faster turnaround time. For normal users, it doesn't take more than 20 minutes to complete the online form.

Outsource E-filing of US DOT and Compliance Checks to Outsource2india

If you are looking for an insurance back office partner to avoid stumbling blocks during the e-filing of US DOT, Outsource2india is here to help you. Our team of legal experts will provide you with the best knowledge and support to ensure the successful e-filing of US DOT. Think of us as one brand with one vision. Get your e-filing of US DOT and compliance checks are done through us at nominal rates. We use automation technology that is purely cloud-based to cut down the time spent on manual processing. In this way, you can save time and add more hours to the day so it can be used on other productive tasks.

Contact us today and tell us what you need to get our assistance in insurance back-office support

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