What documents are required to be in a driver’s qualification file?
An employer is required to have a driver’s qualification (DQ) file for every driver it employs. While the DQ does not need to be a physical file, it must be a filing system that ties the information to a specific driver. Examples of DQ files are file folders, an electronic file on a database program, or a filing system which contains several physical files.
The FMCSA specifies 12 documents that must be in every driver’s DQ file. These documents include:
- Driver’s application for employment
- Initial driving record (MVR) from states obtained at the time of hire.
- Previous-employer information obtained on driver-applicants hired prior to October 29, 2004. (While previous-employer records prior to October 29, 2004 may remain in the DQ file, it is important to note that previous-employers records after that date must be kept “in a secure location with controlled access” and only made accessible to people directly involved in the hiring process. If an employer wants to continue to keep the previous-employer records in the DQ file, the entire file must be kept in a secure location with controlled access).
- Road test form and certificate, or license or certificate accepted in place of a road test.
- Medical exam certificate, original or copy.
- Documentation of any medical variance, exemption, or waiver.
- Verification that the medical examiner is listed in the National Registry for Exams Conduct on or after May 21, 2014.
- Annual driving record from the state(s) for current drivers.
- Notes concerning the annual review of driving record.
- The driver’s annual list of violations.
- Entry-level driver training certificate.
- Longer-combination vehicle training (or grandfathering) certificate.
When is a trucking company allowed to have an incomplete file?
There are four situations where an employer is not required to have a complete DQ file for a driver.
- A complete DQ file is not required for a currently employed driver who has been continuously employed as a driver since before January 1, 1971. The documents not required in this drivers file is the driver’s application for employment, initial driving record, previous-employer information, and road test form and certificate.
- Only four documents are required for a multiple-employer driver. A multiple-employer driver is a driver who, in any period of seven consecutive days, is employed or used as a driver by more than one motor carrier. The four documents required for a multiple-employer driver include:
- Medical exam certificate (original or copy) or driving record showing medical qualifications
- Road test form and certificate
- Driver’s name and social security number
- Identification number, type, and issuing the state of his or her motor vehicle license.
- When a motor carrier provides one of their drivers to another motor carrier, a certification from that motor carrier that the driver is fully qualified to drive a CMV in a written statement is required.
- Other DQ file exceptions exist for drivers of articulated farm vehicles and private motor carriers for passengers.