The United States Department of Transportation requires all motor carriers operating under a federally-issued U.S. DOT number to file a Biennial Update every 24 months as specified in the Code of Federal Regulations CFR Title 49 Part 390.19.

The filing period (filing deadline) is determined by the U.S. DOT number assigned to your company. To learn more click "More Information" below or call (240) 544-0881 to speak with a compliance officer.

Failure to complete a Biennial Update will result in deactivation of your USDOT number and may result in civil penalties of up to $1,000 per day, not to exceed $10,000.

File Online

The quickest and easiest way to comply with the U.S. DOT Biennial Update is through an online application: Biennial Update Online Application

File by Phone

If you prefer to speak to a processing officer or file by phone call 240-544-0881 for the Biennial Update Division, Monday through Friday 8AM-6PM CST & Saturdays 9AM-2PM CST.

File by Mail or e-Fax (Pre-paid)

Unable to complete online? No problem. Alternatively you may complete the Biennial Update through a paper application by mail or faxing it over by e-Fax. To request an application by mail please complete this request form: Paper Application Request Form and pay the appropriate fee.


The United States Department of Transportation Biennial Update is a federal requirement pertaining to and required of all entities operating under a federally-issued U.S. DOT Number. A U.S. DOT number is a "number" issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that "tags" your vehicles with the federal Department of Transportation thereby making your vehicles available for monitoring and safety performance analysis.

Do I Need a DOT Number?
A U.S. DOT number is required for all vehicles that meet any of the following criteria:

  • 10,000+ lbs in GVWR
  • Transports 8 or more passengers for compensation
  • Transports 15 passengers not for compensation
  • Transports Hazardous Materials per 49 CFR 385.403

and operate interstate (cross state lines or transport goods originating from or with a destination outside of the home state). Some states require a federal U.S. DOT number even if the vehicle is involved only in intrastate travel (never crosses state lines). These states are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

State Regulations vs Federal Regulations

It is important to differentiate between state and federal regulations. Some states may require a motor carrier to obtain a state DOT number in addition to the federal DOT number. Other states may require a motor carrier to obtain an operating authority or a Commission of Commerce number. While these are valid requirements and your compliance with them is mandated by your state, it should be stressed that motor carriers must comply with federal regulations, such as the Biennial Update, in addition to complying with state regulations. This may be confusing to motor carriers that operate within state lines (intrastate carriers) and are normally not subject to federal requirements but it should be stressed that the DOT number is issued by the federal government and therefore all motor carriers operating under such number are subject to federal regulations.


The Biennial Update has a filing deadline unique to each U.S. DOT number. To determine your filing period locate the last 2 digits of your U.S. DOT number. The last digit indicates the month when the filing must take place. The second-to-last digit indicates the year when the filing must be completed (an odd number mandates a filing in an odd year and an even number mandates a filing in an even year).

U.S. DOT number '384983' ends in the digit '3' which corresponds to the third month of the year, March. The second-to-the-last digit is '8' which is an even number which correspond to an even year. As such, this motor carrier must file their update in March of even-numbered years. Note that the last digit corresponds to the months 1-9 (January - September) while 0 indicates the month of October. No filings are scheduled for November and December.


The U.S. DOT Biennial Update is processed using the MCS150 application. This application is to be used to file the Biennial Update, provide motor carrier contact information and operating information changes, requesting a new DOT number or deactivating (closing) a US DOT number.

Other important DOT Compliance Filings


Contact a Compliance Officer

Mailing Address

2000 Pennsylvania Ave NW# 1022
Washington, DC 20006