FMCSA announces motor carrier option to register, update identification data online

The United States Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced that motor carriers having a DOT number and their “biennial package” for updating their Motor Carrier Identification Report form (MCS-150) now can update it electronically. The Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 requires that the information be updated every two years.

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 does not have to file that information again with 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 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 online registration process to apply for a DOT number started 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 DOT number electronically. The Visa or MasterCard is used only for digital signature purposes, and filling out the application online is free of charge. 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 web site for electronic updating is www.safersys.org. Information from the biennial package (DOT number and reference number) will be needed to prove eligibility. Carriers may update their information without using a credit card. Carriers based in Mexico are not eligible to use this service.

Carriers may also fill out the MCS-150 form by typing in the appropriate information online, printing it and mailing it to the FMCSA, Data Analysis & Information Systems, MC-RIS, 400 7th Street SW, Washington DC 20590; or by faxing it to 703-280-4003.

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