It's no surprise that putting more drivers on the road is the best way to increase capacity, but carriers need to make sure they hire talented, qualified drivers. Even during the current driver shortage, onboarding a single inexperienced or incompetent employee can expose you to costly fines, crashes and a tarnished reputation.
The best way to make sure you're employing the most qualified drivers is to perform comprehensive pre-employment screenings in accordance with DOT and FMCSA regulations. This toolkit includes forms, checklists and other materials that you can use to onboard a new driver and ensure that all applicable records are in order.
However, your business should also make efforts to check for any state and local pre-employment requirements, criminal histories and other relevant information to see if candidates are the right fit.
Overview of Forms, Records, and Certificates
The following is a basic summary of the materials included in this toolkit and how they should be used to onboard a new driver. However, keep in mind that your area may have unique requirements that override federal regulations:
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Driver Qualification File Checklist: This checklist outlines all of the materials a carrier needs to obtain before a driver can begin employment, such as driving records, release forms and a medical examiner's certificate. Many of these materials are also included in this toolkit.
Application for Employment: An application that asks for information on personal details, work history, accidents and crashes, and more. You can also view additional guidance on the FMCSA website.
Record Request for Driver/Applicant Safety Performance History: This form is required by the DOT when an applicant requests safety records for a prospective employer.
Inquiry to State Agency for Driver’s Record: Carriers must use an applicant's license and Social Security number to request driving records from each state that the applicant holds a motor vehicle operator's license or permit during the preceding three years.
Certificate of Driver’s Road Test: Employers may accept a commercial driver's license in place of the administration of a road test (as long as the driver was required to complete a road test in order to obtain the license). However, employers who intend to assign the driver to a vehicle necessitating a doubles/triples or tank vehicle endorsement must administer a road test in a representative vehicle.
Motor Vehicle Record Disclosure and Release Form: Carriers should have applicants sign this form before they request motor vehicle records.
Annual Inquiry and Review of Driving Record: This document gives an overview of a motor carrier's obligation to obtain and review motor vehicle records for commercial drivers every year. Carriers are also required to keep records of these annual reviews.
Annual Certificate of Violations and Review of Driving Record: This form is completed by drivers and used during annual motor vehicle record reviews.
Medical Examiner’s Certificate: Drivers must be examined by a licensed medical examiner listed in the FMCSA's national registry every two years.
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