If you’re a DOT-regulated business, you are required to perform pre-employment motor vehicle report (MVR) checks and annual MVR reviews for all of your active drivers. Having this required compliance program in place is essential and important.
But it simply isn’t enough.
The best way to ensure that you have responsible, qualified drivers is to monitor them on an ongoing basis. That way when something comes up, you know immediately, and can act on the information right away.
Annual MVR Checks: The Bare Minimum
Per federal mandate, all drivers who operate vehicles of 10,000 pounds or more must have a pre-employment MVR check and subsequent annual MVR checks. These checks provide a full driving history, including license status, class, and expiration, endorsements, restrictions, violations, accidents, vehicular crimes, DUIs, suspensions—and even unpaid parking tickets—and must be kept in each drivers’ Driver Qualification File.
Drivers are also required to self-report any violations, whether it be a DUI, a license suspension or revocation, or a moving violation.
But drivers can log a lot of road time in a year, and violations can occur between annual checks. Add to that the challenges of self-reporting, which, until an annual audit, is based on the honor system. Drivers may simply forget to inform you of an infraction, or they may purposefully withhold information for fear of losing their job (or suffering worse repercussions). In fact, a report from the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators found that roughly 20 percent of drivers fail to notify their employers when their driving qualifications change.
All this can create a situation where you’re finding out about potentially serious infractions during an annual audit, perhaps even months after a violation occurred.
Being in the dark on a driver’s history puts you at risk for noncompliance. If you’ve been in the business a while, you know that high CSA scores equal increased audit risk, higher insurance premiums, and hesitancy on the part of brokers and shippers to partner and work with you.
What’s more, because you are liable for your drivers, you could face hefty fines—and worse if a driver’s actions lead to court.
How MVR Monitoring Works
Protect yourself by enrolling all drivers in an MVR monitoring program. These programs continuously monitor each driver’s record, and as soon as any new information is detected, an updated report is pulled and evaluated for accuracy, then sent to you for review.
You know almost immediately when a driver receives a DUI or has another driving-related arrest or serious motor vehicle accident. You are also alerted to any medical certificate downgrades, speeding or other CMV or moving violations, or CDL suspensions, revocations, or expirations.
It’s important to note that MVR monitoring tracks positive updates, as well—such as when a driver has updated their CDL or medical certificate.
With Good Egg’s MVR monitoring program, employers can log into online portals from their phones, tablets, or computers to view changes and manage drivers. Our program provides 24/7 monitoring and real-time e-notifications. In fact, 34 percent of driver violations could be prevented with our MVR monitoring.
Why It’s So Important
An MVR monitoring program helps maintain the safety of your fleet by alerting you in real time when new information appears on a driver’s motor vehicle report. You can take action as soon as a serious driver violation occurs. Monitoring also keeps you up to date on the status of each driver’s medical certificate so you know when it has been updated, or when a DOT physical needs to be scheduled.
Depending on the state where your business is located, MVR monitoring may fulfill your annual MVR requirement by running new reports annually for each driver’s file and performing annual violation reviews. As an added benefit, it helps to reduce administrative time, allowing you to stay focused on running your business.
Ultimately, MVR monitoring is critical to helping you remain in compliance and maintain and lower your CSA scores. All this while keeping risky drivers off the road—making it a win-win for everyone.