MCSA-1 • Freight Broker Facts and Terms

As part of the paperwork reduction act the FMCSA has created the MCSA-1 form that replaces the MCS-150.  The MCS-150 form will still be used but only for a small number of Mexico domiciled motor carriers that will operate beyond the U.S. municipalities.

So what does this MCSA-1 mean for you and your business?  The changes to already registered freight entities will mean more concise information that must be reported by the due date or there may be penalties to pay.

Similar to the MCS-150 your compliance, safety, and accountability (CSA) scores depend on the information you report to the FMCSA.  It’s important to understand this new MCSA-1 form and make sure your reporting is accurate.

Who Must File the MCSA-1?

  • Private Motor Carriers
  • Exempt For Hire Motor Carriers
  • Non-exempt For Hire Motor Carriers
  • Motor Carriers with Passengers through Ticketed Arrangements
  • Inter-modal Equipment Provider
  • Brokers and Freight Forwarders

If you are unsure of your MCSA-1 requirements to file or not file, be sure and check the FMCSA website.

Reasons to File

  1. New registration – to register for the first time
  2. New entrant re-application – to reapply after new entrant registration has been revoked
  3. Reinstatement – to restore or revoked registration to good standing
  4. Biennial update – to file the update required every 24 months. An entity may also update its record with FMCSA at any time within this 24-month period
  5. Name/address change/form of business – to file a change to a company’s name, address, or form of business
  6. Notification of transfers of operating authority registration (both transferee and transferor)
  7. Other – to file other miscellaneous changes

You have 30 days to report any major change such as a name change of physical address.  If these rules are not followed you will be subject to possible penalties.  The grace period past the 30 days has not been defined yet so it’s important to file these changes on time.

When and How to File your MCSA-1?

The MSCA-1 form must be filed electronically and before you can file you must contact the FMSCA and get a PIN number.  The infographic below explains how to know when it’s your time to file.

What is the Deadline to Update your MCSA-1?

Filing Schedule:  Each motor carrier or intermodal equipment provider must file the appropriate form at the following times:

  • Before it begins operations; and
  • Every 24 months according to the following schedule

If the next-to-last digit of its USDOT Number is odd, the motor carrier or intermodal equipment provider shall file its update in every odd-numbered calendar year.  If the next-to-last digit of the USDOT Number is even, the motor carrier or intermodal equipment provider shall file its update in every even-numbered calendar year.

It appears quite simple.  The next to last digit of your DOT number determines the year and the last digit determines the month.  You have until the last day of that month to get the report in to the FMSCA.

Hopefully this article has given you a great overview of how the new MCSA-1 form will work.  For more information please visit

Related article: Universal Carrier Registration (URS)


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