There are many things to consider when managing a fleet of commercial vehicles. Not only do you have to ensure all vehicles are in good condition and safe to operate, but you also have to oblige specific Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requirements to stay compliant and avoid potential fines.
One such requirement relates to commercial drivers’ motor vehicle records (MVRs). This requirement is crucial as it can help protect your vehicles, avoid accidents, and prevent possible insurance claims. Even with current driver shortages, it’s imperative that you employ qualified drivers and avoid putting your business at risk. The most efficient way to do this is by performing comprehensive pre-employment screenings in accordance with FMCSA regulations. In this blog, we will take you through the process of conducting such screenings to help protect your fleet.
A Deeper Dive Into MVRs
In simple terms, MVRs refer to historical driving records that businesses can analyze to evaluate current and potential drivers. Businesses that hire commercial drivers can benefit from MVRs because they provide an overview of:
- Driving history
- Chargeable accidents
- Moving violations
- DUI offenses
- Suspensions or revocations
- Point accumulations
- Driver’s license class and restrictions
- Vehicular crimes
This information is vital for protecting your operation from potential insurance claims and accidents. It gives a solid overview of a potential driver’s performance and driving habits. Furthermore, insurance carriers utilize MVRs when assessing risk. If one of your drivers has a poor driving record, it could disqualify them from insurance coverage altogether.
Obtaining an MVR for every single one of your drivers ensures the individual you hire is able to perform their job duties safely and helps protect your business in the long run.
It’s imperative that your organization complies with all FMCSA requirements. Motor carriers must secure and review a driver’s MVR for the last three years upon their hiring. Also, carriers need MVRs from every state license a driver holds or has held.
In the case that an MVR can’t be obtained (because no record exists for that driver in a particular state) you must document efforts of obtaining records. It’s key to note that carriers should avoid accepting driver-provided MVRs as these can be easily falsified.
Requests for MVRs must be made within 30 days of the hire, and MVRs must be kept in the driver’s DQ file and updated annually. In addition to obtaining an MVR upon a driver’s hire, carriers are required to request MVRs for each of their drivers on an annual basis.
Lastly, carriers must include the name of the individual who reviewed a driver’s record. Performing this check ensures that drivers meet the requirements for safe driving, and helps avoid potential fines for violating FMCSA regulations.
Obtaining An MVR
There are several options businesses have when obtaining an MVR. You can secure an MVR through:
- Your state’s department of motor vehicles
- A third-party service, usually at a higher price
For commercial drivers, MVRs must be obtained through one of the options above. Insurance agents and insurance carriers may request driving records, but it’s usually for underwriting purposes. They can’t share information in the MVR with clients. Before requesting for a potential driver’s MVR, you must first obtain their consent. Again, it’s crucial to review MVRs before hiring a driver and they should be checked at least once per year.
Ease The Process With RRL Insurance
Partnering with an insurance agency that specializes in commercial transportation is the best way to protect your fleet of vehicles. At RRL Insurance, we can provide industry-specific guidance to help you navigate the complex world of commercial auto insurance. No matter what type of vehicles your organization owns, we have the capability and experience to help you obtain MVRs and much more. For more information on how we can be of service, please contact us today to set up an appointment.