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FMCSA Updates Driver Self-Reporting Violations Requirement
Mariah Barr
6 mins read

Truck drivers will no longer be required to provide their employers with a list of their traffic violations on a yearly basis. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration originally proposed the adjustment back in December 2020, but it is now scheduled to take effect on May 9th. 

Under the current regulation, every driver operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) who is employed by a motor carrier must “prepare and furnish the motor carrier with a list of all violations of motor vehicle traffic laws and ordinances, other than violations involving only parking, of which the driver has been convicted or for which the driver has forfeited bond or collateral during that period,” according to FMCSA. 

Even if a driver is not liable for any violations within the year, they must verify this with their employer. Employers must then place the list of violations (or documentation of no violations) in the driver qualification file (DQF).  

Updating Nearly Duplicate Rulings 

The driver reporting ruling overlaps with an additional rule: on an annual basis, motor carriers must inquire and obtain each driver’s motor vehicle record (MVR) from every state in which the driver holds or has held a CMV operator’s license or permit in the past year. 

The FMCSA determined “this requirement is largely duplicative” in its final ruling, which was published on March 9th.  

In order to remain consistent with federal guidelines, drivers will be required to report the issuing driver’s license authority of each unexpired CMV operator’s license or permit they have on their employment application. This will allow carriers to perform the necessary inquiries. 

The agency’s proposal also requires motor carriers that employ drivers licensed in Canada or Mexico to obtain the MVR equivalent from the country’s driver licensing authorities. Considering only an estimated 2% of commercial drivers operating in the U.S. are employed by Canadian-based companies and 0.5% by Mexican-based companies, according to the FMCSA, this ruling will not greatly impact carriers. 

Saving Drivers Time & Carriers Money

Because the need for drivers to complete a list of traffic violations (and carriers subsequently filing them in their DQFs) will be eliminated, both drivers and carriers will save precious time that can be spent taking care of other business matters. The FMCSA also estimated the new rule will save drivers and carriers $4 million annually and $24.9 million over 10 years after being discounted for inflation.  

With the recent driver shortage, saving any amount of time or money will help carriers get ahead in terms of productivity as well as employee satisfaction and retention. This ruling only aids employers in putting employees first by taking one of the many responsibilities off their already full plate. 

Majority Supports Ruling Change 

About 80% of the associations that commented on the ruling favored it. Some of the most prominent supporters included the American Trucking Associations, the Tennessee Trucking Association, the Truckload Carriers Association, and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. 

The FMCSA noted the commenters who opposed the rule and cited safety concerns did not fully understand the proposal: “Many of the commenters understandably confused the [current] requirements … because of their duplicative nature. FMCSA emphasizes that the final rule does not remove the annual requirement for a motor carrier to obtain and review an MVR. Thus, employers still have a way to know the driving records of their drivers and a way to distinguish safe from unsafe drivers.” 

Keep Track of Driver Performance All Year Round 

Under the new ruling, motor carriers will still need to ensure they operate safe and efficient fleets using annual MVRs, but a lot can change in the year between each required report. Drivers may not always self-report their own violations either. But there is a solution: you can regularly stay on top of your employees’ driving habits using Foley’s continuous MVR monitoring service.  

After an initial MVR background check on each driver is completed, you’ll be notified right away if any of the following issues are detected: 

  • Accidents 
  • DUIs 
  • Speeding tickets or other motor vehicle violations or convictions 
  • CDL suspensions or revocations 
  • Safety violations 
  • Medical certificate downgrades 
  • Driver renewal or update to his or her medical certificate or CDL 

The continuous nature of the tool helps determine if employees have a bad habit of driving recklessly or failing to take necessary safety precautions while on the road. You can then take proper corrective action to avoid costly liabilities.  

Considering the thousands-of-dollars price tag associated with each infraction and violation, MVR monitoring is very inexpensive. Plus, it can help lower insurance premiums. 

For added convenience, your MVR monitoring platform can be accessed at any time from any digital device, such as a phone, tablet, or computer. Foley works 24/7 to keep your fleet running at its best.  

Get in touch with our compliance experts to learn how MVR management can help decrease violations by 34%! 

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