Why You Should be Rechecking Drivers’ CDLIS Records

Lindsey Bergeron

How often do you check the Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS) for new information on your drivers?

The FMCSA violation data highlights the importance of rescreening drivers’ CDLIS records on a regular basis to ensure they aren’t operating with more than one CDL. For the past three years, it’s been the fourth most common acute violation – hitting carriers with fines of at least $3,000 per violation. The average total fine amount per audit of a carrier found employing a driver with multiple CDLs in 2019 was $8,242.

What the Regulation Says

Regulation Section 383.37(b) states that “No employer may allow, require, permit or authorize a driver to operate a CMV in the United States if he or she knows or should reasonably know that” the driver has more than one CLP or CDL.

When a driver goes to get a CDL or CPL, the state is supposed to query the CDLIS to ensure the driver doesn’t have an active commercial driver’s license or permit in another state. However, as the violation data above shows, this process doesn’t always uncover the needed information. And because a CDLIS screen isn’t a required part of the driver hiring process, these multiple CDL drivers are often able to get behind the wheel pretty easily – putting themselves and their employers at risk of a hefty fine if they’re stopped for either a traffic violation or roadside inspection.

Questions About DOT Background Checks and Screening? We Can Help!

 What the CDLIS Shows

A CDLIS report includes information on the driver’s current Commercial Drivers License number and the issuing state, as well as up to three prior CDLs held by the driver – including those held under an alias or former name. In addition to keeping drivers with multiple CDLs off the road, this information also gives you a more complete picture of your driver’s history. If the report shows that they held CDLs in states you weren’t made aware of, this will allow you to run an MVR to ensure there were no serious infractions or safety issues that you’d want to consider prior to making a hiring decision.

Related Article: Are Your MVRs FCRA Compliant 

How to Protect Yourself

The best way to protect your business from a violation is to run a CDLIS rescreen on your drivers on a regular basis to ensure they’re operating with a single commercial driver’s license. If multiple CDLs are found, the driver must be pulled from the road until the issue is fixed. Keep in mind that because the CDLIS rescreen is a background check, it’s important to work with a DOT background screening company like Foley to help ensure that all CDLIS reports, MVRs and other screens are run both accurately and compliantly.

To learn more about how Foley can help you set up a compliant rescreening program, please give us a call at (860) 815-0764.

About the Author

Lindsey Bergeron is Editor of the Foley blog. Serving as transportation guru, she keeps an eye on the industry and its day-to-day evolution and developments, specifically writing about the various lifestyle, business and regulatory topics that are most relevant to motor carriers. Holding a degree in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Connecticut, she ran a successful content marketing firm before joining Foley at its Hartford hub. Her current expertise in transportation writing is built upon an extensive background in editing, feature writing and content development.

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