Effective October 29, 2004, prospective employers must investigate a driver’s safety performance history for the preceding three years with previous DOT-regulated employers. The responses obtained, or failed attempts, from these investigations must be documented and placed in a Driver Investigation History File (Refer to FMCSR §391.53). This file must include, at a minimum, general driver identification and employment verification, and a list of accidents, as defined by §390.5, involving the driver, to include the date and location of the accident, number of injuries/fatalities and any hazardous materials spills. The length of time a motor carrier must keep an accident register was increased to three years in order to retain the information required to be supplied to a prospective employer.
Prospective employers must also obtain information from previous employers for whom the applicant drove a CMV (for three years prior to the date of the application) regarding any positive drug tests, any alcohol test results of 0.04 or greater, and any refusals to test. If feasible, this information is to be obtained before the employee first performs safety-sensitive functions, or as soon as possible thereafter. An employer may not permit a driver to perform a safety-sensitive function after 30 days without obtaining this information, unless the employer has made a good faith effort, such as at least three documented attempts, to obtain the information. Written authorization from the applicant to conduct these drug/alcohol inquiries is required and must be retained in the file. Form 2-8 , “Release & Documentation of Testing Information” can be used for this purpose.
The information in the Driver Investigation History File must be maintained in a secure location, with controlled access.This data must only be used for hiring decisions. This information must be retained for the duration of the driver’s employment and three years thereafter.