Your Top 5 DOT Verification Questions Answered

What is DOT Employment verification?

Department of Transportation (DOT) employment verification is a mandatory DOT background check on a driver prior to hiring. Information collected during the DOT verification and, ultimately, the truck driver recruiting process include:

  • Contact of past employers (for driving and non-driving positions)
  • Type of motor vehicle driven with previous job
  • How long you’ve been working with previous job
  • DOT previous employment verification form
  • Accident history, including details on injuries and fatalities
  • Previous alcohol test results with .04 or higher
  • Previous drug test results
  • Any refusals to take drug or alcohol test
  • Any other safety performance history
  • If there were any infractions, did the employee complete the return-to-duty process?

According to CFR 391.23, DOT verification requires these details from the past three years for all commercial drivers.

Who needs DOT verification?

Any person who intends to drive a commercial motor vehicle requires DOT employment verification. Commercial motor vehicles, as defined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), are regulated by the DOT.

According to the Department of Transportation, any vehicle weighing over 10,000 pounds is considered a commercial motor vehicle. If the vehicle transports more than a certain amount of passengers or is used in transporting hazardous materials, it may qualify as a commercial vehicle as well.

Note that possessing a commercial driver’s license (CDL) has no bearing on whether you require DOT verification or not. As long as the driver is applying to drive a commercial vehicle as defined by the DOT, DOT verification is mandatory.

What do employers need to know about employment verification?

All American trucking companies operating fleets are regulated by the DOT. The DOT sets out standards that are monitored and enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). By abiding by these standards, the aim is to prevent crashes, injuries, and fatalities on American roads.

One of these standards is the requirement for employers to conduct employment verification. As an employer, you want to verify the candidate’s experience, skills, and integrity. Too often than not, resumes can be embellished to paint a picture that’s not representative of the candidate.

Some items employers need to look out for when conducting employment verification:

  • Reasons for leaving previous jobs
  • Length of time working for former employers
  • Gaps in employment history
  • DOT employment verification
  • Technical skills and experience

Whether it’s by manually verifying the candidate yourself or using an online employment verification system, ensure you do your due diligence when conducting background checks on potential employees.

How Long Does a DOT Background Check Take?

DOT background checks are required as part of current government regulations. Your DOT employment verification form is a necessary part of getting your driver on the road in your state.

Conducting a DOT verification of employment, obtaining driver records, and performing a criminal background search is time-consuming. Employing a professional service to figure out what is required by DOT on an employment verification, understanding DOT employment verification requirements, and ensuring you remain compliant with fair hiring laws can save you time and headaches.

The time it takes to conduct a compliant DOT previous employment verification varies depending on the services you use, how quickly you can access the correct records, and the number of years your driver has been in the business. With a professional, it can take as little as three days to one week. Without one, it could take much longer to perform a comprehensive driver verification.

How do I comply with a DOT background check?

In order to comply with a DOT background check you’ll need to complete the following:

  • MVR (Motor Vehicle Record) Background Check

    Verify the driver’s motor vehicle record for the past three years. The MVR indicates any records of violations or infractions.

  • Employment History Check

    Ensure a DOT request for information from previous employer is made to validate the claims made in the employment application or resume. 

  • Medical Examination Check

    Medical clearance from an approved medical examiner needs to be verified and kept on file.

  • Drug and Alcohol Test

    The FMCSA details which drugs are prohibited while operating a commercial vehicle. Alcohol levels must also be under an acceptable level. 

  • Road Test

    Passing a road test is also mandatory to comply with the DOT background check. Even those with a commercial driver’s license may need to complete a road test when applying for a new company.

Dos and Don’ts for conducting a background check

While it can be a straightforward process, there are still nuances to consider when conducting a background check:

How Tenstreet software works with DOT verification

  • Free & Easy Network

    Tenstreet software makes verifications and providing simple and easy to manage. Over 50% of your verifications can be handled electronically via Xchange. Any carrier can sign up for free.

  • Online Verifications

    Instead of wasting time on the fax machine, our Xchange software saves you the trouble of looking up fax numbers, streamlining your verification process and removing paper from the process.

  • Built-in Gap Detection

    Quickly verify previous employment, education, and military history. Any gaps in employment will be automatically detected. You can also track and store all your verification requests.

  • Minutes vs. Weeks

    Move to a software platform that speeds up the cumbersome verification process, saving you from missing out on qualified candidates and getting drivers in trucks faster. 

Request employment verifications at no charge!

There's no catch.

Any carrier can request (and/or provide) their verification via our Xchange network at no charge. Verifications are returned 40% faster than the traditional method of faxing paper requests and releases. Xchange completely revolutionizes the driver employee verification process, and it’s free.

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See how Xchange lets you go digital, simplifies the verification process, and optimizes your workflow