If you are a trucking company looking to hire new drivers, you must research the driving records of any potential employees. Truck accident attorneys find such records provide valuable information including a record of past tractor trailer wrecks that any commercial carrier should consider when hiring.
To accurately interpret such information and determine if drivers are a particular risk for future tractor trailer accidents, it is important to differentiate between federal and state records and the information each can provide.
Driving Record Name
To research potential employment candidates, a company may seek either a state or federal driving record. The state record is called a State Motor Vehicle Report or MVR. The federal record is called a Pre-Employment Screening Program Report, known as a PSP. Each report contains different information pertaining to a driver’s past employment and driving records plus any tractor trailer wrecks or violations.
Record Administering Agency
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or FMCSA is the agency that administers federal driver records to employers and truck accident attorneys. State driver records are administered by each individual state’s motor vehicle department and can be obtained from any state agency that issues commercial driver’s licenses.
Sources of Record Data
Driver data that includes records of any tractor trailer accidents is compiled for federal PSP records from the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS). It is this data system that supplies information to the federal Safety Management System (SMS) and from which driver CSA scores are compiled; however, a PSP does not contain CSA scores.
State MVR data is only sourced from each state’s individual database of local citations and violations issued. Each report contains different data.
Time Length of Record Data
Federal PSP reports hold roadside inspection data for three years and data on tractor trailer wrecks reported to the Department of Transportation (DOT) for five years. State MVR reports hold records of local violations for varying lengths of time that are determined by each individual state.
Different Penalties for Infractions
Truck accident attorneys point out that the same infractions have different penalties on PSP and MVR reports and affect license suspension differently. Tractor trailer accidents and other infractions reported on a PSP do not result in a suspension of a driver’s CDL. Violation convictions on a state MVR may result in suspension of a driver’s CDL according to the suspension laws of that state.
Accessibility to Driver Records
A federal PSP report is accessible by drivers and state law enforcement agencies and can be accessed by potential employers with an applicant's consent. With driver consent, an MVR is accessible by drivers, law enforcement officials, and potential employers, and auto insurers.
In an effort to improve carrier safety and reduce tractor trailer wrecks, PSP and MVR reports are valuable in making good hiring decisions. Truck accident attorneys recommend that if you are a commercial carrier company, you should request driver PSP and MVR pre-employment reports when screening candidates for employment. Repeat the action every two years thereafter.
The information in these reports can help a company find qualified drivers while avoiding those with a poor safety track record and tractor trailer accidents!
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (281) 408-2190