Here at CDL Legal, we talk to many drivers who have questions about their records. Where can they find their driving records? Who else has it? How does it affect their ability to get hired? Can their record be changed?
These are good questions to be asking. It’s tough to navigate the dry world of acronyms and legal-speak that is government record-keeping. Fortunately, we’ve done that for you and boiled down the three major commercial driving records ( MVR, PSP, DAC) that a professional driver should be aware of and know back to front.
What is it? The letters “MVR” stand for “Motor Vehicle Report.” This is a record of a person’s driving history. Each state keeps its own records of drivers registered there. The violations on your MVR record can go back 10 years or more and include driver’s license status and class, violations, convictions, restrictions, and other information related to driving records and credentials. Typically, points associated with moving violations can affect you for 3 years.
Why is it important? Many companies will check your MVR as part of the hiring process. This is especially true of carriers hiring drivers. You should know what’s on your MVR in order to keep from being surprised by a pointed question in an interview. The MVR is where points that have been given to you for citations are recorded. Too many points on your MVR will shut you out of a job, slap you with a suspension, or even worse a revoked CDL. If you have had one or more citations, knowing how many points you have is in your best interest. We recommend fighting any citation you receive in court to try and keep the points off your MVR. Just give us a call.
How can I get mine? The state in which your driver’s license is registered has your personal MVR. This link https://www.policygenius.com/blog/how-to-get-a-motor-vehicle-report-in-your-state/ has relatively updated info on how to get your MVR, broken down by state. But regardless of which state you’re licensed in, you should be able to go to a local DMV in that state and (if you produce your license as proof of ID) get your MVR in person.
What is it? The letters “PSP” stand for “Pre-Employment Screening Program.” Where your home state maintains your MVR, the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) keeps its own records of you in the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) database. That’s a lot of letters. Basically, it’s just another record: includes inspection and crash information recorded by federal and state authorities. The crash data goes back 5 years and the inspection record goes back 3 years. To prevent too much overlap, this record doesn’t cover conviction data, local violations, or personal driving record data. Okay… so what’s the PSP, exactly? It’s the system that allows carriers and drivers to look at all that federal data.
Why is it important? Carriers will look at your records here, too. That’s why it’s called “Pre-Employment.” The kicker is that if you fight a citation in court and get it pulled off your record, the MCMIS won’t automatically show that. You need to let our team here at CDL Legal know if you had an inspection associated with your citation. We will file a DataQ challenge on your behalf with the proper court documentation to have it removed from your PSP. Once the challenge is accepted, it will get through the system and come off your PSP after about 30 days. So don’t wait until the last minute to notify us of your inspection.
How can I get mine? You can look at your record https://www.psp.fmcsa.dot.gov/psp in the MCMIS online through the PSP. You have to pay $10 to do this. You can also send https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/foia what’s called a “Freedom of Information Act Request” to the FMCSA if you don’t want to pay. They’ll send you your record, but it will be a 20-day turnaround to get it.
What is it? The letters “DAC” stand for “Drive-A-Check,” which wins the prize for Corniest Official Document Name. This is basically a record of your employment history in the CDL industry. No government agency keeps these records. Instead, a company called HireRight collects driver data and maintains the DAC database for pretty much the whole CDL industry in the country. DAC records actually include your MVR, as well as details from past and current employers.
Why is it important? You’ve heard this already. Carriers looking to hire you will definitely look you up on this database. You need to know what’s on it before they do. And you can talk with HireRight about outdated or wrong info on your record. They should be updating this themselves (it’s in their interest to stay accurate), but you should always check yourself to be sure.
How can I get mine? You can get on HireRight’s website and request it through this form. CLICK HERE Or you can call them up and request it over the phone. [HireRight Customer Service – Telephone: (800) 381-0645 (Monday-Friday, 7am to 7pm Central Time) – Fax: (918) 664-5520]
Hopefully, this brief overview was helpful. For drivers, citations are a hazard of the job. But you can fight to keep points on your license and yourself on the road with CDL Legal. The difference between getting (or keeping) a job in CDL could come down to one piece of info on your MVR, PSP, or DAC. When you lose, your record will show it. When you win, make the record to show that, too. Take a moment to read what sets us apart from every other legal service in the industry: Pitfalls of Driver Legal Plans