One of the most problematic areas of DOT compliance, next to hours of service and drug and alcohol testing, are driver applications (Part 391.21). Driver applications may be audited by state and federal agencies and surveyed by insurance companies. Missing information, missing pages, or blank lines can lead to DOT write-ups, fines, and a request (more like an order) from the DOT to fix the mess. Here are some common DOT “application for employment” error areas to avoid.
Driver Application— Common Error Checklist
• Has the applicant listed his/her address for at least the last three years?
• Does it show an out-of-state address? If yes— then this means that the carrier needs to get the out-of-state Motor Vehicle Record (MVR), for each state listed.
• Has the applicant listed at least 3 years of past employment, if new to driving as a job, or if the driver has obtained a recent CDL?
• Has the applicant listed at least 10 years of employment if he or she had a CDL over 3 years ago?
Has the applicant explained any gaps in employment in excess of one month?
• Has the applicant answered YES or NO to each question for every job:
» Was this job subject to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations?
» Were you subject to drug and alcohol testing under DOT rules?
Note: These questions apply to both interstate and intrastate drivers.
(It may help to ask the applicant if they even understand and know what these questions mean. In many instances the applicant does not know if they were subject to DOT regulations in their previous job(s) and will check off they were, when in reality were not or were DOT exempt.)
• Has the applicant listed a date of birth?
• Has the applicant answered BOTH of the following questions:
» Have you ever been denied a license, permit or privilege to operate a motor vehicle?
» Has any license, permit or privilege ever been suspended or revoked?
If the answer to either of the above questions is yes, has the applicant given details?
The applicant needs to fully answer each section:
• DRIVING EXPERIENCE
• ACCIDENT RECORD
• TRAFFIC VIOLATION RECORD
• Are there any “blank” answers?. If an answer is “none,” then the applicant must write “NONE.” (Not leave it blank or NA)
Top Tip: Have a statement on the application: “Every question must be answered. If the answer is “none,” then write “None,” not N/A.”
Has the applicant SIGNED and DATED the application?
Was the application completed by the applicant? The applicant, not a friend or family member, must fill out the application— in his own handwriting.
Are the Organization’s/Company’s Name and Address on the application??
The DOT driver application is an important document that forms the basis of the background investigation of the driver. Check your driver applications for these common errors. Don’t accept improperly filled out applications.
Applicants should be aware that improperly filled out applications potentially can lead to federal charges.
Thank you for reading this. Have a safe day. If you find this helpful, please pass this along.
John Taratuta is an independent Risk Engineer. (989) 474-9599 Twitter @part380com