The Importance of Continuous MVR Monitoring for Employers
What is Continuous MVR Monitoring?
Motor vehicle record monitoring, or MVR monitoring, is a completely digital solution that continuously keeps track of each of your drivers’ motor vehicle reports. If any changes – or “hits” as they’re often called – happen at any time, a new report is uploaded, then scanned for accuracy, and you are notified immediately.
These “hits” can be good or bad, depending on the situation. Some of the negative “hits” can be any of the following:
- Speeding tickets or other motor vehicle violations or convictions
- CDL suspensions or revocations
- Safety violations
- Medical certificate downgrades
On the other hand, continuous MVR monitoring can also let you know when any driver renews or updates their DOT medical card or CDL.
Benefits of Continuous MVR Monitoring
There are specific benefits to utilizing an MVR check for employers, including identifying high-risk drivers, improving driver behavior, and avoiding driver violations and legal penalties. We'll dive into each of these advantages below.
Easily Identify High-Risk Drivers
Just as you know pre-employment and annual MVR checks are required, you also know that unsafe drivers are a huge liability. A single unsafe driver can commit numerous driving violations. These are the top violations for commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) from the DOT:
- Moving violations: Speeding; following too closely; improper lane changing; reckless driving; improper turning; failure to yield to right of way; railroad grade crossing violations; and failure to obey traffic control devices.
- Driving with a suspended or revoked license
- Expired medical certificate
- Driving under the influence of drugs or while in possession of an intoxicating substance
- Not wearing a seat belt
- Using a hand-held device
- Having an unauthorized passenger on board
- Failing to conduct pre-trip inspections
- Failing to use/improper placement of warning devices
If all these violations have you seeing dollar signs, you’re in the right mindset. Each infraction can cost you thousands of dollars. You’ll also lose money and precious time if a driver is placed out of service, and you need to find someone to take their place behind the wheel until they are once again fit for duty.
Your Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) score and safety rating could plummet as well. Depending on the severity (and number) of the offense(s), you could even be downgraded to a Conditional or Unsatisfactory rating – both of which can be incredibly costly and involve a long road to recovery – think a lot of paperwork and proving to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) that your company really does prioritize safety.
Next, your insurance premiums will probably go up – or your provider might decide to drop you. Last and certainly not least, your partners and customers may be hesitant to work with you after the fact, and they may decide to take their business elsewhere. No matter what happens, you’ll lose precious resources.
Quickly Improve Driver Behavior
Before it gets to the point of no return – or, in other terms, losing those invaluable resources we mentioned above – you have an opportunity to correct any questionable, risky, or unsafe driving habits you're seeing across your fleet once you have an MVR check for employers on your side.
If one of your drivers gets a DUI or commits a serious traffic or safety violation a day, week, or month after you pull their annual report, or if their license is suspended for another significant offense, you could be in the dark until you run their next annual MVR check or an auditor finds the offenses for you. It can be difficult to always keep track of all your drivers, especially if your fleet is not-so-small.
MVR monitoring consistently checks your employees' driving records so you can pinpoint who is driving erratically and needs corrective action put in place.
Avoid Penalties, Fines & Legal Fees
Before you order an MVR for a driver applicant or current employee, you should familiarize yourself with the federal regulations surrounding them. From how to notify individuals about an MVR compliance check, to disposing of sensitive information, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) has steps you must take to stay compliant.
Please note, the steps below deal only with the FCRA and do not address applicable state laws. Employers should familiarize themselves with the laws in their governing state, as well as other applicable laws.
For your MVR check to be completely FCRA compliant, the driver will need to be supplied with three documents:
- Disclosure: This notice must be given to the applicant or employee independently of other paperwork. For applicants, for example, you cannot include the disclosure statement on the application. The disclosure must be clear and conspicuous, in writing, and consist solely of the disclosure. If you intend to run periodic MVRs on a driver after they’re hired (as part of an MVR Monitoring program, for example), that information must be very clearly stated within the disclosure.
- Authorization: You must receive authorization from the driver that acknowledges they received the disclosure. The driver must also give their consent before you can obtain their motor vehicle report.
- Summary of Rights: The driver must be provided with a copy of the “Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.”
In addition to providing your driver with the above, you must certify that you’re running compliant MVR checks with the company that is conducting them for you. Through this process, you must verify you’ve provided the driver with the disclosure, received authorization, and will not misuse the information or discriminate based on the results.
When you order your MVR check for employers through a DOT background check company that understands the federal regulatory requirements you need to meet, you don’t have to worry about missing any steps in the MVR check process or putting your company at risk for hefty fines.
You’ll also have a dedicated account manager to walk you through the process the first time around, and from there, they’ll run each MVR check you need for every new or existing employee you have on your roster. This is then added to your driver qualification files to meet DOT recordkeeping requirements.
How does continuous MVR monitoring prevent accidents?
Although employers are only required to do an MVR check annually, it has become standard practice to monitor drivers’ MVRs throughout the year. Unless drivers come clean and voluntarily tell you about their run-ins with the law, you won't be aware of them. MVR monitoring solves this problem by providing you with valuable insights into your drivers' habits so you can address any red flags as soon as possible, and hopefully prevent accidents through corrective action plans.
Can continuous MVR monitoring help me avoid audit risks?
As we've explained above, drivers may be cited for moving violations or accidents may occur between their annual MVR checks, and drivers may not take it upon themselves to report them to you. They may withhold the information for fear of losing their jobs, simply forget about the violations, or may not realize they are required to notify you about them.
The last thing you want (or need) to come up during an audit is a serious infraction that you had no idea about – especially if many months have passed since it happened!
Regular MVR monitoring can save you from this potential nightmare. Plus, it shows auditors you've taken additional proactive steps to prioritize driver safety and ensure you're operating a compliant fleet.
How does continuous MVR monitoring improve compliance recordkeeping?
MVR checks must be run on new job applicants for the previous three years in all states where the applicant held a license. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure MVRs are run no less than once every 12 months once the applicant is employed.
Along with the annual MVRs, employers must require drivers to submit a list of any moving violations they received over the previous 12 months. If no violations occurred, documentation must be maintained that the employee has indicated such.
After you've run the initial MVR check on new employees, enrolling them in a continuous MVR monitoring program means you'll automatically meet the annual check requirement. With Foley's exclusive DOT compliance software, the results of that MVR check are also added to their driver file for seamless recordkeeping compliance.
Enroll in Foley's MVR Check for Employers
Not all MVR monitoring programs are created equal. At Foley, we help protect you and your fleet from hefty fines and legal ramifications by providing you with ongoing MVR checks. Whenever new information is detected, their updated MVR is immediately uploaded to your secure online platform, and you receive real-time e-notifications.
Purchasing a continuous MVR monitoring program is inexpensive when you compare it to the costs your company could incur for an infraction or violation. Plus, it can also help lower insurance premiums.
Get a free demo of Foley's MVR monitoring program today and see how easy it can be to track your employees' driving habits, pinpoint problem areas, and correct them before they risk the safety of our roadways and the success of your business. Fill out the form now to get started.
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