DOT Inspection vs. DOT Annual Inspection

DOT Inspection vs. DOT Annual Inspection can be Confusing especially if it is not
showing up on the FMCSA database required by most carriers  

Let’s break it down for you

A DOT inspection is a thorough examination of a commercial motor vehicle and its driver conducted by a state or federal DOT inspector to ensure compliance with all federal regulations set by the Department of Transportation (DOT). This inspection can occur anytime and may be conducted at roadside checkpoints or a designated inspection facility. The inspection information is made of record in the FMCSA database under your USDOT Number. A potential employer or someone you are contracting with has access to that data at FMCSA SAFER Web – Company Snapshot and may require that the DOT Inspection information as well as your DOT authority is current in the FMCSA system before working with you or your company.

Simply said, FMCSA wants to ensure you are still in operation, information is current such as an address, etc, and in compliance. If In the last two years, you have not had an inspection at a roadside checkpoint or designated inspection facility you likely do not show up in the system with all your needed information. Jump online click here search by your USDOT number or company name and review all your information making sure it is current, and if it is out of date or missing information read below on how to update your records on the system.

What is a DOT Annual Inspection? This is a specific type of inspection by a qualified third party like DOT Mobile Express® and is required by law to be conducted on all commercial motor vehicles once a year. This inspection is more comprehensive than a standard DOT inspection and includes a more in-depth examination of the vehicle’s components and systems to ensure that they are safe and in proper working condition. The driver is not part of the DOT Annual Inspection but the driver must carry the DOT Annual Report in the vehicle at all times and this Annual Report it is not uploaded into the FMCSA database.   

We at DOT Mobile Express® receive calls daily seeking an Inspection and whether it will be uploaded the report to the FMCSA database, the answer is no as only the DOT Inspection can be uploaded, not the DOT Annual Inspection. The GOOD NEWS is you have access to the FMCSA Database and can upload any needed information to ensure you are current and in good standing. You can review all your information at FMCSA SAFER Web – Company Snapshot and make sure your required DOT Annual Inspection is up to date as we provide that on-site inspection service.

How do I update my USDOT number company information to be current?

To check your current status online, click here. There are several ways to update your company information with the FMCSA (there is no charge for USDOT number updates):

Online: You can update your USDOT number company information on the Licensing and Insurance (L&I) website by filing an MCS-150 (Motor Carrier Identification Report). To update online, you will need a Personal Identification Number (PIN). You can apply for your PIN online. Detailed instructions for updating online are attached to this FAQ.

Submit a form: Download the proper MCS-150 form: MCS-150 (Motor carriers), MCS-150B (Motor Carriers with HazMat Permit), or MCS-150C (Intermodal Equipment Providers); Submit the completed and signed form using one of the options below:

  • Submit a ticket through our website at: ask.fmcsa.dot.gov (scroll to the bottom of the page, complete the required fields, and upload your documents). This is the fastest option and you will receive a confirmation number by email;
  • Fax the form to 202-366-3477 or 606-330-3802;

Please note: As of February 4, 2018, FMCSA no longer accepts expired versions of the MCS-150, MCS-150B, and MCS-150C forms.

Information Disclosure: We do all we can to provide current and accurate information regarding the FMCSA/USDOT, state, and other guidelines pertaining to the operation of commercial motor vehicles throughout the nation. Due to the fact guidelines and regulations can change, this information provided may be outdated and not currently accurate. We highly recommend that you reach out to the FMCSA/USDOT or your local state dot department for clarification and further information or details – Ask FMCSA

Last Updated: 

Learn more at, ask.fmcsa.dot.gov

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