Did you recently check the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) and see that your trucking authority status switched to inactive? Just having a CDL is not good enough. You can’t stay in the trucking business as a motor carrier without keeping your MC and DOT operating authority in good status. In this article we will explore the steps of getting your USDOT number back active with the department of transportation and you back in business doing intrastate or interstate commerce. We will be discussing not only the steps of how to go about this process but also what associated costs to expect, how long the process will take, as well as what it means to have an inactive status.
What Does An Inactive DOT Number Mean?
So first and foremost you need to understand just what deactivation means in regards to your DOT number as a motor carrier. There are actually a variety of reasons that the FMCSA might deactivate your status ranging from unpaid IFTA taxes, a lapse in trucking insurance, not filing your required biennial update, etc. Failing to file the biennial update form is actually the most common reason we see for a status to be moved to inactive. Wondering how much it will cost to reactivate your DOT number? Well, it will be important to first discern between re-activating a DOT or MC number since they do often get intertwined in these cases. As we covered, a DOT is revoked typically because of failing to file the biennial update or failing safety scores. They may also deactivate a DOT due to the MC going inactive or being revoked. On the other end an MC is commonly revoked due to a DOT number being revoked, or not having the necessary insurance and BOC 3 posted. If it so happens that the MC is revoked, they can dis-associate it with the DOT number by filing a MCS 150. To reinstate the MC number the reinstatement fee itself is $80, however, if you were placed out of service this makes the issue a bit larger and more expensive as you will have to entirely reapply as a new entrant with the $300 application fee. The DOT reinstatement fee would be a much more nominal figure and result in a form needing to be submitted to start the process of reinstatement.
Reactivating Your DOT Number
While your inactive status is a bump along the way it is not the end of the road. They do allow for you to apply for reinstatement of your DOT status after making sure that you have corrected the issue that caused you to go inactive in the first place. So if you were placed as inactive for failing to file your biennial update then you must get that submitted before you can proceed with requesting a DOT number reactivation. After taking care of the issue you are then able to obtain the required reinstatement form from the FMCSA website to complete and submit either by fax, mail, or their web form. The current form for this process is the MCS-150 form. Now if you are hauling hazardous materials or have a hazmat endorsement for your commercial motor vehicle then you will need to use form MCS-150B instead of the standard version. If you are having a hard time finding the form for any reason you can always visit ask.fmcsa.dot.gov for this information and more.
You should note that all reinstatement requests must include the following:
Legal name of the carrier
Persons name or company name on the check / money order
Billing address of the credit card (If paying by credit card)
A phone number where you can be reached
Signature and date
Email (if available)
Things to Keep in Mind
It is important as a business owner to understand that while you are able to get an inactive number reactivated and continue with your business, it will remain on your trucking company’s permanent record, known as your motor carrier identification report, and that record is public information that can be found by anyone online. This includes every time you have gone inactive, have been reactivated, and placed out of service. While sometimes these matters are hard to avoid it is still important to keep this in mind and make an effort to keep those record entries minimal as they may reflect poorly to a potential client looking for a dependable carrier to do business with.
For more help with your DOT number give our team of trucking experts a call today! 913-393-6110