The DOT Requires All Commercial Drivers have Compliant Driver Qualification Files to Stay on the Road
Safety Managers must maintain proper files on all their commercial drivers to keep them compliant and prevent company wide penalties and fines from the FMCSA.
ORLANDO, FL, USA, May 25, 2020 — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandates that drivers of commercial motor vehicles must have a DQ file. Any driver who operates a vehicle with a GVWR/GCWR of 10,001 pounds or more, transports at least 8 passengers including the driver, or who transports hazardous materials that require placarding is required to have a file containing their qualification documents. The DOT (Department of Transportation) has rigorous guidelines in place to ensure truck drivers are safe and qualified to operate their commercial vehicles – FMCSA part 391 requires detailed driver records be maintained.
Whether a single owner-operator, small fleet or large fleet, you are required to maintain driver files for compliance. The DOT can conduct adriver qualification file audit any time FMCSA safety data indicates a problem with company compliance. New motor carriers must undergo a safety audit within the first 12 months in operation to be eligible for the New Entrant Program. If a company is audited it is imperative that they have proper DQ Files.
The Driver Qualification File contains at least 14 documents that includes the following items:
Copy of License
Record of Road Test and Certification
Past Driving History
Drug and Alcohol Test Results
Motor Vehicle Report (MVR)
Annual Review of Driving Record
Annual Certificate of Violations
Skill Performance Evaluation
Passed Physical (Medical Examiners Certificate)
Drug and Alcohol Control Forms
Signed Receipt of Driver Handbook
MaintainingDOT Complianceis an on-going process for every driver and a constant challenge for safety managers. If a company is manually managing the files then there is a possibility for errors and omissions which can expose the company to hefty fines and penalties. Safety Managers should be using an online application that can provide daily alerts and warnings regarding their drivers compliance. In addition, the FMCSA now performs remote audits which saves time and money for everyone.