The Importance of Driver Qualification File Checklist

The Importance of Driver Qualification File Checklist

Keeping a driver qualification file is essential for your company because it can help prove your compliance with laws in case of a lawsuit. Many plaintiff attorneys want to win points that are simple and easy to prove. Keeping a driver qualification file ensures that your drivers are doing everything they should be doing.



The FMCSA requires trucking companies to maintain most of their drivers’ qualification files for three years. However, keeping these files organized is often a daunting task. Not only do you have to track the hours worked by your drivers, but you also have to manage expenses, taxes, and other FMCSA requirements.

driver qualification file checklist can help you track the information you need to include in your driver file. For example, you must maintain records of all previous requests and reports made by the FMCSA. You must also keep records of any safety or performance investigations. Finally, you must request updated MVR records from the state every three years and keep them on file.

If you’re overwhelmed by the amount of information in your FMCSA driver qualification file, a checklist can help you keep track of everything and stay compliant. This checklist covers the various sections of the file, from the new driver application to the company’s driving history. Keeping all the required documents in order is essential, as missing information could result in hefty fines. In 2020, penalties for failing to keep up with FMCSA regulations averaged $6,000 per company.

Drug & Alcohol Testing Program

When hiring CDL drivers, drug and alcohol testing is a mandatory requirement. Drivers who refuse to submit to drug and alcohol testing are not eligible to operate commercial motor vehicles. The following steps should be taken by employers when a driver refuses to undergo a drug test.

Contact DOT-regulated employers for information about the applicant’s employment history, including drug violations, accidents, or failed drug rehabilitation programs. Request Motor Vehicle Reports from every state where the applicant held a motor vehicle operator’s license in the last three years. In addition, request the applicant’s driving record. If there is any evidence of a drug-related violation, the driver must undergo a new drug test.

Physical Fitness

A driver qualification file checklist is a crucial part of the safety and compliance of a trucking company. It is imperative to adhere to all state regulations regarding driver qualifications, including FMCSA standards. If you want to keep your drivers safe, ensure they have the proper qualifications and are in good health. If a driver is not physically fit, they may face liability issues.

All drivers must undergo periodic medical examinations. These examinations should be completed at least every 24 months. However, if a driver has a history of medical conditions, the frequency may be reduced. Additionally, the results of these exams should be maintained in a separate medical file.

Annual Review

The Annual Review of the driver qualification file checklist is a necessary part of the compliance process. It must include all violations on the driver’s MVR, including any out-of-state violations reported by the driver. In addition, the form must list any inquiries that have been made to the driver. The document must be signed and submitted by the driver to be compliant.

In addition, the file must be reviewed every 12 months. The date of the review and the name of the reviewing person must be included. The file must contain any evidence of violations of the FMSCA regulations, including negligence of public safety. Failure to comply with this requirement can result in hefty fines. According to the FMCSA, enforcement cases in 2020 averaged $6,000 per company.

By John Toroff
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