The Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 requires that the information be updated every two years.
According to the DOT's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a motor carrier that submits similar information to the appropriate state commercial motor vehicle registration office as part of its annual vehicle registration requirement under the Performance and Registration Information Systems Management (PRISM) does not have to file that same information again with the FMCSA.
To help motor carriers comply with this requirement, FMCSA mails a biennial information package to carriers about a month before they are due to update this information. The package includes a pre-printed MCS-150 containing the information in FMCSA's Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) Census file, a copy of the "Highlights: Biennial Update of the MCS-150," and a list of the FMCSA Division office phone numbers for carriers to contact with questions.
The electronic on-line registration process to apply for a USDOT number started on Oct. 1, 2001. All motor carriers operating in interstate or foreign commerce are required to file the MCS-150 before beginning operation. Carriers need a valid Visa or MasterCard to act as a digital signature when applying for a USDOT number electronically. The Visa or MasterCard is used only for digital signature purposes, and there is no charge for filling out the application on-line. Verification of the card will place the cardholder's name on the MCS-150 as the signature.
Digital signatures are as legally binding as actual signatures.
The website for electronic registration updating is http://www.safersys.org. Information from the biennial package (USDOT number and reference number) will be needed to prove eligibility for this service. Carriers may update their information without using a credit card. Carriers domiciled in Mexico are not now eligible to use this service.
Carriers may also fill out the MCS-150 form by typing in the appropriate information on-line, printing it and mailing it to the FMCSA, Data Analysis & Information Systems, MC-RIS, 400 7th Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20590, or by faxing it to 703-280-4003.