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FAQ: Registration of Underground Storage Tanks

Q #1: How is an underground storage tank (UST) registered?


Answer: All regulated tanks are registered by completing the "Registration of Underground Storage Tanks" form number BFS3821. Mail the registration form to: LARA, Cashiers Office UST/AST, PO BOX 30033, LANSING, MI 48909. Phone: 517-335-7210, Email:  or


Q #2: What law requires registration of USTs?


Answer: Part 211, Underground Storage Tank Regulations, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended, requires that owners register USTs that are being used, or have been used, to store regulated substances, unless the USTs have been properly closed or removed and notification provided to the Storage Tank Division (STD). An owner means any person who owns, or owned at the time of release, a UST used for storage, use, or dispensing of regulated substances.


Q #3: What USTs are included?


Answer: A UST system means a tank or combination of tanks which is, was, or may have been used to contain an accumulation of "regulated substances" as defined in Section 21101(g) of Part 211, and whose volume (including connected underground piping) is ten percent or more beneath the ground. Regulated substance includes petroleum and hazardous substances as defined in the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), 1980 PL 95-510.


Q #4: When should a UST be registered?


  1. Owners who plan to install UST(s) shall submit to the STD, form BFS3820, "A Notice of Proposed Installation of Underground Storage Tanks," with a complete set of plans at least 45 days prior to use. When plans are approved, a copy of form BFS3821 (mentioned in paragraph one) will be sent back to the owner with the completed plan review. The owner completes Registration Form BFS3821 and returns it to the STD. Further details are available on form BFS3820.

  2. Owners of a new UST system register their UST system by submitting Registration Form BFS3821 to the STD before the system is put into operation. Owners must supply an installation date and the installer's certification must be completed and signed whenever new tanks are being registered.

  3. Owners who discover tanks on their premises need to register the tanks by submitting form BFS3821 and shall properly close the tanks.

  4. Owners who discover additional tanks at the time of a tank removal project need to register the tanks immediately and seek permission to waive the 30-day notice for removal. After that, tank removal can commence.

  5. Any change in information submitted with the registration of the UST must be reported to the STD on form BFS3821 within 30 days of the change.


Q #5: What USTs are excluded from registration?



  1. Tanks that have been properly closed or removed prior to January 1, 1974;

  2. Farm or residential tanks of 1,100 gallons or less capacity used for storing motor fuel for noncommercial purposes;

  3. A tank used exclusively for storing heating oil for consumptive use on the premises where the tank is located;

  4. Septic tanks;

  5. Pipeline facilities (including gathering lines);

  6. Surface impoundments, pits, ponds, or lagoons;

  7. A storm water or wastewater collection system;

  8. Flow-through process tanks;

  9. Liquid traps or associated gathering lines directly related to oil or gas production and gathering operations;

  10. Storage tanks situated in an underground area (such as a basement, cellar, mineworking, drift, shaft, or tunnel) if the storage tank is situated on or above the surface of the floor;

  11. Any pipe connected to an exempt UST (described above);

  12. USTs holding hazardous wastes listed under Subtitle C of the Solid Waste Disposal Act, Title II of Public Law 89-272, or a mixture of such hazardous waste and other regulated substances;

  13. Wastewater treatment tank system that is part of a wastewater facility regulated under the federal water pollution control act;

  14. Equipment that contains regulated substances for operational purposes such as hydraulic lift tanks and electrical equipment tanks;

  15. USTs with a capacity of 110 gallons or less;

  16. USTs that contain a de minimus concentration of regulated substances (does not include empty tanks); and

  17. An emergency spill or overflow containment UST that is expeditiously emptied after use.


 Q #6: What do I need to do if I buy property with a registered tank on the premises?



Simply complete a registration form indicating your name and address. Future correspondence will be sent to the new owner.


Q #7: What do I need to do if I sell property with a registered UST(s)?


Notify the STD in writing.


Q #8: Where can I get a copy of the registration form?



There are four ways to get a copy of Registration Form BFS3821:

  1. Download the Registration Form  pdf icon  MS Word Icon.


Send an e-mail requesting a copy of Registration Form BFS3821


Call the BFS's Storage Tank Division at 517-335-7210 and ask to have a copy of the form sent to you.


Mail your request to: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Storage Tank Division, P.O. Box 30033, Lansing, MI 48909.


For further information on the registration of underground storage tanks, please contact a Storage Tank Division Hazardous Materials Storage Inspector serving your area; or visit the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs website.