The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 requires that drivers self-report a conviction for any traffic violation (except parking) to their employer within 30 days of the conviction. If the driver’s commercial driver’s license (CDL) is suspended, revoked, canceled, or if he/she is disqualified from driving, the employer must be notified within one business day. Violation of this requirement may result in civil or criminal penalties.
Companies are only required to check the MVR of their CDL drivers annually (49 CFR 391.25). As a result, if a driver does not self-report, it could be up to 364 days before a company obtains this information. In the interim, the driver may have been operating illegally on the roadways. This represents a significant potential highway safety hazard, since across all vehicle types, suspended drivers have a crash rate that is 14 times higher than other drivers.
Absent a system to facilitate the real-time, automatic notification of commercial driver violations (or change in license status) to employers, the current requirement of self-reporting by drivers and annual checks by motor carriers results in a safety vulnerability in terms of having unqualified drivers (i.e., loss of driving privileges following certain convictions for traffic offenses) operating on the roadways longer without the company’s knowledge.
A new guidance effective March 12, 2015 by The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared that Employer Notification Systems (ENS) have satisfied the need for annual MVR reviews. An ENS is a program that automatically updates requestors on license status, crashes and convictions. The use of these systems to check the driving record, at least annually, satisfies the requirement for an annual review of each driver’s record. This includes when a third-party is used to administer the program on behalf of a company.
FMCSA has determined that the current regulatory guidance should be revised to make clear that any ENS may be used to satisfy the requirements of 49 CFR 391.25, even if the information is accumulated by a third party. The FMCSA revises Question 4 to 49 CFR 391.25 to read as follows:
Question 4: Does the use of a third-party computerized system that provides motor carriers with a complete department of motor vehicle report for every State in which the driver held a commercial motor vehicle operatorís license or permit when a driver is enrolled in the system, and then automatically provides an update anytime the State licensing agency enters new information on the driving record, satisfy the requirements of §391.25?
Guidance: Yes. Since motor carriers would be provided with complete department of motor vehicle report for every State in which the driver held a commercial motor vehicle operator’s license or permit when a driver is enrolled in the system, and the provided with an update any time the State licensing agency enters new information on the driving record, the requirements of §391.25(a) would be satisfied. When the motor carrier manager reviews the information on the driving record, and the License Monitor system records the identity of the manger who conducted the review, the requirements of §391.25(b) and (c) would be satisfied.
Embark Safety provides a Driver Management System that includes MVR monitoing from State Licensing Agencies where ENS programs are available.