Are your motor vehicle reports compliant?
If you hire drivers, then it’s likely that you’re running motor vehicle reports at various intervals during their employment: at the time they’re hired and every year thereafter. This is especially true if they’re regulated by the DOT, as it’s a standard DOT compliance practice that helps protect the safety of our roadways.
But because an MVR is a consumer report, there are additional requirements that must be met each time you request a new MVR compliance check for a driver – whether it’s run as part of the pre-employment background screening process or their annual review. Failure to follow these requirements can lead to big fines:
- One motor carrier settled for $870,000 for not getting their drivers’ permission prior to running an MVR check.
- Another company settled for $4.4 million for not providing the required disclosures prior to running MVRs during the hiring process (as well as not following adverse action procedures when they decided not to hire a driver because of information contained in their MVR or other background check report).
Introduction to FCRA Compliance
Before you order an MVR on an applicant or current employee, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the federal regulations. From how to notify individuals about an MVR check, to disposing of sensitive information, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) has steps you must take to stay compliant. 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 state law.
Before you order a motor vehicle report, you must provide a disclosure that a background check will be done and get permission from the applicant or employee before the MVR is ordered. In total, 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.”
Additionally, you must certify that you’re running compliant motor vehicle reports with the background check company that is running your searches. Through this process, you must certify you’ve provided the consumer with the disclosure, received authorization and will not misuse the information or discriminate based on the results.
Sound confusing? It doesn’t have to be. When you order your MVRs through a background check company that understands all of your federal regulatory requirements, they’ll ensure that both your DOT and FCRA compliance requirements are fulfilled.