DOT Employment Verification

Ensuring Compliance: Best Practices for DOT Employment Verification

The first step in being compliant is knowing the laws and rules relevant to your company. Then, you must screen all potential employees to ensure they comply with DOT requirements.

Make sure your employees understand the rules by communicating them clearly and regularly. Establish channels for reporting policy violations without fear of retaliation and promptly investigate any complaints.

Conduct a Comprehensive Background Check

Companies should hire a third-party background screening service to meet DOT employment verification requirements. This process should include a CDLIS search, which uncovers information that would be included in a driver’s Motor Vehicle Record (MVR). A CDLIS search includes license status and class, driver restrictions and suspensions, and criminal convictions.

Unlike a typical background check, a DOT background check must also check for various safety-sensitive issues, such as severe accidents and fatalities. A thorough vetting process can reduce the risk of hiring dangerous drivers and save you from costly legal penalties.

Before doing a background check, it is imperative to notify the candidate that their employer will question them on DOT-reported wrecks and violations. Additionally, you’ll need their approval. A professional background screening service will notify candidates that they will be asked to provide their employer with an employment history and driving records for the past three years. This helps ensure compliance with federal laws regarding employee privacy.

Follow the DOT’s Guidelines

Suppose you have DOT-covered employees, like truck drivers, bus drivers, rail workers, subway operators, ship crew members, air traffic controllers, pipeline personnel, and more. In that case, you must be compliant with DOT regulations. This includes performing a thorough DOT employment verification that complies with the Department of Transportation’s guidelines for safety-sensitive transportation providers.

A DOT employment verification requires you to contact each of a candidate’s previous employers to ask the questions outlined in DOT regulations. The information gathered should be placed in the driver’s file. If the former employer refuses to provide information, the file should document that a good-faith effort was made to get the necessary information.

When you have DOT-covered employees, you must be able to perform drug testing. This must include alcohol screening, confirmation tests, and urine drug tests. Suppose an employee tests positive or refuses to test. In that case, you must immediately remove them from their safety-sensitive duties and provide them with a list of qualified SAPs who can help them return to work.

Perform Drug Testing

Under DOT regulations, transportation employers must test their safety-sensitive employees for drugs and alcohol. This testing can occur during pre-employment screening and as part of a random or reasonable suspicion program. Currently, DOT requires the use of urine specimens for all drug tests.

When requesting an employee’s drug and alcohol testing history, the current employer must notify the former employer that the information is being requested for employment purposes only and that the former employer has the right to review the information and dispute any inaccurate or unfavorable information that may be provided. The request can be made via mail (certified or regular), fax, email, or telephone.

DOT modal administrations and USCG have varying processes for verifying DOT-reportable test data, and these verification processes need to provide assurances that DOT-reportable test data is reliable adequately. This could impact the accuracy of DOT-reportable test data used to calculate annual DOT-mandated testing rates.

Conduct a Physical Examination

DOT physicals are essential because they serve as a safeguard that ensures employees of safety-sensitive jobs are in good health. This includes commercial drivers, who, in the event of an accident, can cause a ripple effect of damage, injury, and even death if they do not operate their vehicles safely.

In contrast to the frank assessments given during a routine doctor visit, the DOT medical exam is designed with this purpose in mind. It’s a specialized test that examines whether an individual can withstand and endure the job’s physical demands.

Candidates must disclose all information about existing medical conditions when taking the DOT physical. This can help them navigate the process smoothly and avoid unnecessary delays or complications. Also, for those with disqualifying conditions like heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure, there are ways to manage their condition and pass the DOT physical.

Obtain a DOT Medical Exam

Companies that rely on truck drivers to deliver their products must follow strict Department of Transportation (DOT) employment verification regulations. These go beyond traditional background checks by looking at specific information, including the driver’s work history and medical certifications.

A licensed doctor must conduct a DOT medical exam for anyone who works in a safety-sensitive position. This includes people in aviation, trucking, railroad, mass transit, pipeline, maritime and other industries.

The doctor will ask detailed questions to ensure the applicant is physically and mentally fit to operate CMVs. They’ll check height, weight, blood pressure, ears, eyes, teeth, mouth, heart, spine and more.

The DOT verification service must query the FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse for information about the candidate’s previous drug and alcohol violations. In addition, the service must request the candidate’s Motor Vehicle Record from every state they’ve lived in for at least three years.

Submit a DOT Report

With the trucking industry facing a driver shortage, it’s more important than ever to make sure you follow DOT regulations during the hiring process. 

DOT employment verifications gather detailed information about an applicant’s DOT-regulated employment history. This includes information on positive drug and alcohol test results, refusals to test, and more. It also includes examining the candidate’s motor vehicle record (MVR) from every state where they’ve held a driving position.

DOT employment verifications must be conducted on DOT-regulated employees in aviation, trucking, railroad, mass transit, or pipeline industries and employees who perform DOT-identified safety-sensitive functions. Complying helps reduce the number of deadly commercial vehicle accidents, injuries, and fatalities on our roads. Choosing a partner that can provide streamlined DOT employment verifications will help you hire safe drivers while staying compliant.

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