Survey: 1 in 4 Carriers Not Using a DOT-Compliant Application
And when hiring and onboarding drivers, it’s important to not only start off on a strong footing, but to do so correctly and compliantly. After all, your drivers are one of your greatest assets—they help keep your business running.
However, a recent Foley survey found that 25 percent of carriers aren’t currently using a DOT-compliant driver employment application.
If you’re among that 1 in 4, you need to act right away. Boilerplate or business-specific applications simply aren’t enough. A DOT-compliant application is required by the DOT and is critical to maintaining compliance, preventing violations and fines, reducing risk, and protecting your company, your drivers, and other motorists.
Why Is It So Important?
Simply put, DOT-compliant applications are crucial to hiring safe, qualified drivers.
Because specific, highly-detailed, and sensitive information is included in a DOT-compliant application—we’ll get to that full list of requirements shortly—you can run Motor Vehicle Reports (MVRs) and other background checks and screenings right away. This simplifies and speeds up the hiring process by allowing you to quickly evaluate a prospective employee’s qualifications and suitability, thus hiring the best possible drivers for the job.
A DOT-compliant application can get you on the right path of compliance with every employee from the very start. And it can help keep you on that path, as these applications are required to be kept in every employee’s Driver Qualification File, which must be regularly maintained and annually audited.
On the flip side: If you’re not using a DOT-compliant application, you’re subject to violations, hefty fines, and reduced safety ratings. In fact, more than 50% of audit violations in 2020 were due to driver qualification file errors.
Failure to comply with the regulation could be identified during offsite compliance audits—which have grown by 400% since 2019. As they become ever more the norm, offsite audits are now impacting safety ratings. And as any carrier knows, a bad safety rating can signal the end of a business. They can be costly and very difficult to recover from.
The bottom line: Failing to use DOT-compliant applications could seriously impact your business and put you and others at risk.
DOT-Compliant Applications Explained
Per regulations set down by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT-compliant applications must provide all the information needed to run required background screens, including an initial MVR and previous employment verification.
These applications must be signed and dated by the applicant and include the following information:
- Your business name and address.
- The applicant’s name, date of birth, social security number, current address, and any other addresses where they have resided over the last three years.
- The issuing state, number and expiration date of each valid commercial motor vehicle license or permit the applicant has held.
- A detailed account of the applicant’s experience operating a motor vehicle, including the type of vehicle.
- A detailed list of all accidents involving the applicant over the last three years, including the date, nature of the crash and whether there were any resulting fatalities or personal injuries.
- A list of all motor vehicle violations in the past three years (not including parking).
- A statement detailing the facts and circumstances of any denial, revocation or suspension of a license, permit, or privilege to operate a motor vehicle (or a statement certifying that no such circumstance occurred).
- A list of all employers over the last three years, including dates employed, reason for leaving, and whether they were subject to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) while employed. Also, whether their job was designated as a safety-sensitive function in any DOT-regulated mode subject to alcohol and controlled substances testing requirements.
- The names and addresses of all CMV employers where the applicant worked in the seven years prior to the three-year period identified above, along with dates of employment and reason for leaving each company.
- Certification that the application was completed by the driver and is accurate and complete to the best of his/her knowledge.
Drivers must also be provided with a Summary of Rights informing them that they are entitled to review and dispute any findings, provide written rebuttals, and submit written requests upon applying, or up to 30 days after being employed or denied employment.
Partnering to Get—And Keep—Drivers on the Road
You don’t have to manage this process and all the resulting data on your own. Consider working with a partner who can simplify and streamline this process with mobile-friendly, digital applications and platforms.
At Foley, a DOT-compliant application is the first step in our driver file creation process. Drivers can easily fill out and submit this application on their mobile devices (even while on the road), and they are provided with all required disclosures and authorizations.
Their information is then automatically uploaded to a carrier’s secure Portal account where it can be easily accessed, reviewed, and acted on.
This digital application includes all the information Foley needs to kick off a driver’s required background checks, to compile their driver qualification file, and to enroll them in a DOT drug and alcohol testing program (if required). We can automatically begin this onboarding process.
This file is also securely saved in a carrier’s online portal, where it can be downloaded for audits and other uses. And should you choose to partner with Foley on MVR monitoring, we will provide real time e-notifications throughout a driver’s employment to alert you to any violations and important dates, such as CDL and medical card renewals.
Want to learn more? Click here or call (800) 253-5506.
Leave a Reply