Truck Driver Background Checks: A Complete Guide
With the US Department of Transportation (DOT) heavily regulating the trucking and transportation industry, employers must follow strict industry standards when it comes to hiring new commercial drivers.
You can ensure that you offer positions to reliable, highly qualified truck drivers and transportation employees by conducting a comprehensive transportation background screening on every job candidate.
At iprospectcheck, we know the trucking industry and offer customizable transportation background checks and clinical services to help you get the information you need to confidently hire the best commercial driver for the job.
This article covers much of what you need to know about the background screening process for commercial drivers, including the various steps of the transportation background screening process and how you can manage state, federal, and industry compliance every step of the way.
Why does DOT Require Background Checks for CDL Drivers?
The US Department of Transportation requires that all commercial drivers who utilize a commercial driver’s license (CDL) have a background screening process completed on them prior to being hired for a trucking or transportation job. This is to ensure the safety of the truck driver and other drivers on the road.
Truck drivers bear a lot of responsibility, including driving safely on the road, maintaining their trucks, and providing on-time deliveries. The DOT background screening process reveals important information about the potential employee’s driving record, employment history, safety performance history, physical ability to do the job effectively, and ability to pass a DOT drug screen.
What shows up on a DOT Background Check?
A DOT background check is comprehensive and searches a wide variety of historical information on a truck driver candidate. A background check that complies with the DOT regulations includes the following:
- Motor vehicle records must be run for each state the driver held a driver’s license in the past three years. These records must be maintained in the driver qualification file.
- A Safety Performance History must be gathered from all DOT-regulated employers the candidate worked for during the three years prior to the date of their application. This must be completed with the knowledge of the candidate. The employer has thirty days from the date employment begins to complete this investigation.
- A verification of any drug or alcohol-related violations within the previous three years. The prospective employer will do this by providing the former employers with a signed consent from the candidate requesting a performance history.
- A DOT drug test, which tests for marijuana, cocaine, opiates including opium and codeine derivatives, Amphetamines and methamphetamines, and phencyclidine (PCP).
- A DOT Physical exam to ensure the truck driver is physically capable of performing the driving tasks safely. Once successfully passed, the employer will obtain a MEC (Medical Examiners Certificate) which is generally good for two years. Drivers with some medical conditions may require more frequent recertification.
How Do Other Trucking Companies Conduct Background Checks?
The easiest and quickest way to obtain background check reports and DOT required screenings is to partner with a third party background check company such as iprospectcheck to correctly and efficiently conduct transportation background screenings.
iprospectcheck has years of experience handling the various DOT requirements for companies like yours.
What Kind of Background Check do Trucking Companies Do?
There are a variety of transportation background screenings you can run so long as they meet all state, federal, and industry standards, guidelines, and laws. A standard transportation background screening package can look like this:
Commercial Driver Background Screening Package
- Identity Verification
- County Criminal Records Search
- National Criminal Records Search
- Motor Vehicle Records
- Occupational Health Screening
- DOT Drug Screen
- DOT Physical
Background check companies such as iprospectcheck provide background screening packages that include initial transportation background screenings as well as monthly management of your random monthly screenings. This helps ensure your transportation employees are not involved in any illegal and potentially harmful behaviors.
iprospectcheck is Your Partner for Compliant and Comprehensive Transportation Background Screenings
The trucking and transportation industry has an extremely high turnover rate of 94%. This means you need to hire qualified drivers efficiently. At iprospectcheck, we work diligently and efficiently so your background checks and clinical services support your hiring efforts.
With extensive knowledge of the transportation industry, we ensure all background checks for CDL drivers are compliant and complete–providing you with the information you need to make the right hiring decisions.
DISCLAIMER: The resources provided here are for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Consult your counsel if you have legal questions related to your specific practices and compliance with applicable laws.