News & Resources

DOT Compliance: How to run a background check on a commercial driver

Nov 01, 2011 Matt Roesly

The Department of Transportation requires that a commercial driver background check be conducted on all new drivers.  The DOT requires verification of three years of employment immediately preceding the driver's current application for hire.  This verification must be completed within 30 days of the driver commencing employment with the company.  The DOT further requires that, in addition to the standard questions about dates of employment, position and salary, additional information must be obtained in order to be in compliance.   While this process may sound straight-forward enough, it demands a high degree of diligence.  You must ensure that your employment verification efforts incorporate all of the questions required by the DOT for each employer (including, among other things, accident history and information relating to drugs and alcohol and testing for same) so that you satisfy both Section 391.23 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and 49 CFR Part 40.25.  In order to be in full compliance, you must obtain the following information:

  • Dates of Employment
  • Job Title
  • Salary
  • Reason for Leaving
  • Eligibility for Rehire
  • Overall Job Performance
  • Full history of drug and alcohol testing
  • Dates of confirmed positive drug tests
  • Confirmed alcohol test results of 0.04% or greater
  • Refusals to test
  • Verified adulteration or substitutions of samples
  • Any treatment records

Failure to comply with the employment verification requirements of the Department of Transportation may result in a fine and/or civil liability.  If there are any doubts as to your in-house ability to adequately carry out the process, it is highly recommended that you seek professional assistance.