FMCSA to offer more driver data; Employers to have access to inspection, crash histories

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Updated Jan 21, 2010

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced plans last month to start a Driver Pre-Employment Screening Program in December that expands on private programs by allowing carriers to access driver inspection and crash records electronically. FMCSA has awarded NIC Technologies a one-year contract for the program, with four single-year renewals, NIC said. The program will be populated by FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS).

Federal and state law enforcement personnel already have access to commercial driver safety records, and drivers can obtain information on themselves through the Freedom of Information Act. Once the pre-employment screening program is launched, driver safety records will be readily available to motor carriers regardless of state or jurisdiction – provided that drivers first give written consent for the release in accordance with federal privacy laws. The new program will implement 2005 legislation that required FMCSA to make driver inspection and crash data available to motor carriers.

The new program will allow more carriers to have more information to assess a prospective driver safety risk, FMCSA said. And drivers will have additional opportunities to verify their driving history data and correct discrepancies.

The system will use a self-funded transaction-based model. Users probably will pay an annual $100 subscription fee and a $10 transaction fee for each record pulled. Additional fees will exist for records requested via fax or mail. Individual drivers requesting their own record will not pay a subscription fee, NIC said.

Several private companies already provide employment screening and other services, including motor vehicle records, but none of those services currently offer access to inspection and crash data from FMCSA’s MCMIS database. And the new database will not include information available in third-party commercial offerings. For example, USIS’s HireRight, formerly known as DAC, includes motor vehicle reports from 50 states, criminal record checks on a county and state level, and a proprietary database of 3,000 companies reporting employment history. Kent Ferguson, HireRight director of transportation solutions, says his company is in discussion with the appropriate parties about how USIS can obtain access to the inspection and crash data for its customers.