Checklist Of Requirements for DOT Non-CDL Drivers

Setting up your trucking business and obtaining an official motor carrier operating authority (MC number) is difficult. However, if you succeed, congratulations to you! You completed the paperwork, got insurance, and received your equipment. 

The bad news is that once your trucking business gets up and running, there are more compliance laws to be mindful of to maintain insurance needs and renewal filings. Trucking companies are entered within the first 17 months of receiving operating authority.

Driver Qualification Files (DQF): What Are They?

Motor carriers sometimes wonder what driver qualification file is in their first stage. Motor carriers must keep a Driver Qualification File (DQF) for each driver, according to the FMCSA (including owner-operators who drive commercially). 

The DQF’s supporting documentation demonstrates that the driver has the credentials to operate a commercial vehicle safely.

New motor carriers must complete a new-entrant safety tool audit within their first year of service. You must submit certain documents as part of that audit, including the DQF. A DQF must be continuously maintained for each driver, and you must be ready to supply it in the event of future audits.

What Must Be Kept in DOT Driver Qualification File?

Four Ways to Make Driver Qualification File Management Easier

The DQF should include records proving the driver’s qualifications, such as their employment application and verification of former employment and state motor vehicle records.

You’re not alone if you believe that drivers with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) are the only ones who require a DQF; this is a common area of misunderstanding. 

If your non-CDL drivers’ cars fulfill specific weight requirements, you must also maintain a DQF for them. (A CDL is required to operate a vehicle weighing more than 26,001 pounds.)

There are four primary requirements. The first five should offer evidence of your truck driver’s qualifications and moral character. 

An authorized enforcement officer must have easy access to these records in order to confirm that every driver is qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). The driving history records must demonstrate the truck driver’s safety and adherence to traffic laws for the previous three years.

  1. Review Of MVR

To check if a driver satisfies the legal standards for safe driving and to assess the truck driver’s qualifications, MVRs must be evaluated every 12 months. 

The name of the reviewer and the date of the review must both be included in the annual remark. Any proof of contraventions of any FMCSA regulation must be located and revealed. 

Evidence of a driver’s disdain for the general public’s safety, such as speeding, reckless driving, driving while intoxicated, or other accidents on their record, may be taken into account as proof of a violation. 

Take your time and thoroughly analyze these documents because a flawed assessment of a driver’s qualifications could result in the bankruptcy of your trucking firm.

  1. Violation Record

Each driver must provide the trucking firm with a list or certificate outlining any violations they may have had in the past 12 months. Motor vehicle traffic laws and other ordinances should be included in the list of offenses. 

Parking infractions are not necessary to be on this list! Even if a driver has no violations or any crimes, they must still have a certificate or list of drivers. 

The truck driver merely signs the certification in that situation. The sixth document’s goal is to accredit your truck drivers. 

  1. Copied Commercial Driver’s License

A copy of the CDL is required to demonstrate that your driver is authorized to drive a truck. This can be satisfied in one of three ways: by providing a copy of the driver’s license, a certificate certifying the driver’s successful completion of a road test, or an equivalent certificate.

There are other ways to demonstrate a truck driver’s suitability to operate a CMV in addition to providing proof of their appropriate education and driving record. To drive a truck safely, a driver must also be physically capable. 

You must have your driver undergo a medical examination in order to demonstrate that a truck driver satisfies criteria.

  1. A Legible Copy Or The Medical Examiner’s Certificate

An FMCSA National Registry-listed licensed medical examiner must perform a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical examination. The results of the DOT physical test are good for up to 24 months. 

The medical examiner’s certificate, however, might be given for a shorter period of time if there are any health issues that the examiner wants to keep an eye on, including high blood pressure. 

Whew! We can tell you’re serious about your new entrant safety audit if you’re still here after reading all that material!

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