Driver Qualification & Hiring

The hiring process is a key element in creating a successful fleet. Establishing hiring standards provides you with a baseline of what you find acceptable in a driver. Not having documented hiring standards implies to anyone reviewing your operation (insurance underwriters, investigators, auditors, attorneys, etc.) that you have no baseline, you will hire anyone. Hiring the right drivers and ensuring they also comply with driver qualification regulations is critical for the successful – and safe -operation of any company. Quality hires are the first step. Making sure they’re qualified in accordance with Parts 383 and 391 of the FMCSRs is the second. Maintaining driver qualification then follows.

Whether you need to hire someone new, rehire a driver, or maintain the driver qualification files of an experienced, veteran driver, Transafe, Inc. can help with a wide variety of information, including:

  • Requirements for Driver Qualification Files
  • Driver qualification issues – rehires, owner-operators, temp drivers
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Best practices for hiring
  • Pre-employment Screening Programs

Ensuring compliance with DQ requirements starts with good hiring practices and continues with ongoing maintenance of DQ Files.

What is required?

Section 391.51 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations details what a driver qualification file must contain.

The following documents are to be included in a DQ file for each regularly employed driver:

  • Application for Employment
  • Request for safety performance history past 3 years
  • Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) from State(s)
  • Medical Exam Certificate
  • Copy of License (in leiu of road test)
  • Annual motor vehicle record
  • Annual review of driving record
  • Annual certificate of violations
  • Pre-employment drug test (CFR 49 – Part 382)
  • Pre-employment D&A Statement (CFR 49 – Part 382)
  • Receipt of D&A Policy (CFR 49 – Part 382)
  • Entry Level Driver Training


*Beginning January 30, 2014, a medical exam certificate/DOT Medical Card is not required for CDL drivers whose motor vehicle record contains medical certification status information. The motor carrier must instead retain a copy of the driver’s motor vehicle record showing certification.


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