The United States Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, recently published a post highlighting major changes to the transportation industry and the Department of Transportation’s efforts to adapt. The post summarizes the Department’s use of Big Data in tackling current and future challenges to this industry, an important goal I’m sure they’ve set before.

Best of luck to them! I look forward to reading their findings.

In the meantime, while we’re still mere mortals having to drive our own cars, you must keep in mind that change happens both quickly and slowly. While electric cars are all the rage and driverless cars are already in research, design, and testing phases, it will still be some time before you can forego human drivers altogether. Until that time, DOT background checks are still vital to the success of your company.

According to the US Department of Transportation

An employer regulated by the DOT is responsible for maintaining compliance with all rules and procedures set by the governing body. Part of an employer’s responsibility lies in ensuring that all company drivers meet the standards set by the DOT, usually by conducting both pre-employment and post-hire background screenings on candidates.

In order to comply with DOT regulations, transportation companies must conduct background checks, including drug tests, on drivers within 30 days of the driver beginning employment. You should select a background screening provider that complies with DOT, FTA, and FMCSA requirements to avoid negative consequences, such as fines and civil liability.

Background checks to conduct on transportation candidates

As an experienced background screening provider with more than 30 years of experience providing investigative reports for transportation industry hires, InfoMart suggests conducting at least the following background checks on new drivers:

  • SSN Trace – Identifies and searches your candidates’ jurisdictions of residence.
  • Criminal History Searches – Provide case date, charge, felony/misdemeanor classification, sentence, case number, disposition, and disposition date
  • National Criminal Search – Contains records from sources such as the Department of Corrections and the Administrative Office of the Courts. An effective “pre-screen” tool that, combined with a jurisdiction criminal history search, can identify previously undiscovered criminal history records.
  • National Sex Offender Search – Pursues the originating case information that prompted the registry, confirms that the identifiers belong to your candidate, and ensures compliance in reporting with state and federal laws.
  • Federal Criminal History – A useful complement to the standard county or state level criminal history, the federal criminal history allows you to uncover offenses handled by federal courts such as fraud, immigration violations, drug trafficking, and crimes committed on U.S. government property.
  • Previous Employment Verification – Provides dates of employment, position held, reason for termination, rehire eligibility, wage, and DOT-specific questionnaire responses on job performance.
  • Motor Vehicle Report – Includes license status, speeding violations, DUI/DWI offenses, equipment misuse, insurance violations, registration violations, license suspension history, accident history, and movie violations.
  • CDLIS Search – A CDLIS search provides information on a driver’s currently held commercial driver’s license (CDL), if any, along with up to three previously held licenses regardless of what state issues these licenses.
  • Drug Test – Lab-based, instant, and random testing must be conducted prior to employment, after an accident, based on reasonable suspicion, or upon return to duty. DOT-approved collection sites are provided and previous 3 years of drug and alcohol history are verified.

Additionally, drivers should be screened continually during employment to ensure their licensure remains current and they have not had any incidents that would bar them from legally performing their job duties. Professional background screeners like InfoMart can track drivers and remind employers when MVRs should be reviewed for re-certification.

InfoMart helps you with compliant background screening

As an experienced provider of transportation industry background checks, we can tailor a screening program to your requirements that also complies with all federal, state, and local laws. From Motor Vehicle Reports to CDLIS searches, Professional License Verifications to DOT Drug Testing, InfoMart provides service that moves at the speed of your business.

InfoMart's team knows its way around customized transportation screening

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