The 4 Stages of Successful Driver Screening

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The 4 Stages of Successful Driver Screening

Transportation companies that need to quickly identify qualified driver candidates may benefit from a phased or staged screening program. Unqualified candidates are eliminated early in the screening process, so companies can devote their time and resources on the best candidates. Listed below are the recommended stages.

Stage One: Candidate Pre-Screening

The following initial screens are recommended to weed out those candidates who do not meet the basic minimum hiring criteria.

  • Employment History Search – verify a driver’s three-year previous employment history as required by FMCSA.
  • Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS) – obtain a driver’s current and up to three prior CDLs, which will help the motor carrier determine the proper states from which to request the driver’s motor vehicle records.
  • Social Security Number (SSN) Check – identify whether a SSN may be invalid. This is an important initial check that should be conducted since additional searches will be conducted using an SSN.
Stage Two: Core Screening

Once you have determined that a candidate meets your basic qualifications, more extensive screening can help ensure the most qualified driver candidate is selected.

  • Motor Vehicle ReportsMVRs from each state where a driver held a CDL in the prior 3 years will satisfy the three-year driving history requirement. Employers will know which states to order reports from based on the information returned from the CDLIS report.
  • Employment Verifications – when one or more of a driver’s previous DOT regulated employers does not participate in an electronic employment history database then manual requests must be sent to employers to complete the required three-year employment history requirement.
  • Drug/Alcohol Violation History Verifications – obtain a three-year drug/alcohol violation history as required by DOT 49 CFR Part 40.
  • Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP)– driver records are obtained through FMCSA’s PSP report, which includes the most recent five years of crash data (DOT recordable accidents) and three years of roadside inspection.
  • National and County Criminal History Searches –records are searched to identify whether a candidate has a criminal history.
  • National Sex Offender Registry Search – searches the National Sex Offender Public Website to search the sex offender registries of all 50 States, Washington D.C., U.S. Territories and U.S. Native American Tribes.
Stage 3: Conditional Screening

Regulated employees are often subject to drug testing and health screenings.

  • Pre-Employment Drug Test – a negative test result is mandated for CDL drivers.
  • Medical Qualification Standards – validation from a licensed, certified and registered medical examiner in FMCSA’s National Registry that the driver is physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle (DOT medical certificate).
Stage 4: Ongoing Screening

Regulations require certain screens be performed periodically.

  • Random Selection Drug and Alcohol Testing – DOT-regulated employees in safety sensitive positions are required to be part of a random pool tested at certain required percentages annually.
  • Post-Accident Drug and Alcohol Testing – in the event of an accident that results in (i) loss of human life or (ii) a citation being issued to the driver if there is either bodily injury or disabling damage to a motor vehicle; controlled substance and alcohol testing needs to be conducted on the driver as soon as practicable following the accident.
  • Reasonable Suspicion Drug and Alcohol Testingdrug and alcohol testing must be conducted if the motor carrier has reasonable suspicion a driver has violated DOT prohibitions.
  • Monthly Motor Vehicle Report Monitoring – monthly service that monitors for changes to a current driver’s motor vehicle record.
  • Annual Driving Record Review – motor carriers must obtain a driver’s motor vehicle record at least once every 12 months.
  • Physical Exams – a DOT physical exam is valid for up to 24 months. The licensed medical examiner may issue a certificate for less than 24 months due to extenuating medical conditions or concerns.

It is important to work with a background screening partner who is experienced with the unique requirements of the transportation industry and who has the ability to help identify and close potential screening gaps or inconsistencies in your program.

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The HireRight Blog is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be comprehensive, and is not a substitute for and should not be construed as legal advice. HireRight does not warrant any statements in the HireRight Blog. Any statutes or laws cited herein should be read in their entirety. You should direct to your own experienced legal counsel questions involving your organization’s compliance with or interpretation or application of laws or regulations and any additional legal requirements that may apply.