Idealease Safety Bulletin
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New Driver Background Investigation 
What inquiries are required to be completed, by the FMCSA regulations, for a driver who has applied to drive a commercial motor vehicle (>10,000lbs MGVWR) for a motor carrier?
Answer: CFR 391.23 addresses the inquiries and investigations that are to be completed by a motor carrier into a new driver's past. Not only are past employment inquiries and investigations required by the FMCSA they are instrumental in providing liability protection. 
1. MVR
The regulations require that an inquiry be made into the driver's driving record to the appropriate state agency for the preceding three years to the date of application. In essence, a Motor Vehicle Record
is required for each driver applicant including three years of driving history and must be obtained within 30 days of the date of the driver's employment.

2. Past Employment Investigations
The regulations outline that an investigation of the driver's safety performance history be made to all Department of Transportation regulated employers who employed the driver in the preceding three years to the date of application. This investigation may consist of personal interviews, letters, fax, e-mails, telephone interviews or a third party. A written record must be made of the investigation and the results and placed in the driver qualification file for each past employer who was regulated. The investigation must include general driver identification and employment verification information and all DOT recordable accidents that have occurred during the last three years to date of application.
3. Drug and Alcohol Inquiry
After obtaining a signed release from the driver applicant the employer is required to make an inquiry to all previous DOT regulated carriers in the three years preceding the date of application whether the driver has violated the alcohol and or controlled substance prohibitions under CFR 382 or title 40. The inquiry will specifically request the following:
  1. Did the driver applicant have an alcohol test with a result of 0.04 or higher?
  2. Did the driver applicant have a positive drug test?
  3. Did the driver applicant refuse to be tested?
  4. Did the driver applicant have any other violations of the DOT agency drug and alcohol testing regulations?

4. Driver Applicant Drug and Alcohol Inquiry

As the employer, you must also ask the employee whether he or she has tested positive, or refused to test, on any pre-employment drug or alcohol test administered by an employer to which the employee applied for, but did not obtain, safety-sensitive transportation work covered by DOT agency drug and alcohol testing rules during the past two years. If the employee admits that he or she had a positive test or a refusal to test, you must not use the employee to perform safety-sensitive functions for you, until and unless the employee documents successful completion of the return-to-duty process (see paragraphs (b)(5) and (e) of this section).


A Driver has the right to review information provided by previous employers.

  1. The right to have errors in the information corrected by the previous employer and for that previous employer to re-send the corrected information to the prospective employer.
  2. The right to have a rebuttal statement attached to the alleged erroneous information, if the previous employer and the driver cannot agree on the accuracy of the information. Refer to CFR 391.23 for additional information on the driver's right to review and dispute the information and the time limits involved.
Did You Know...

If you operate trucks in Louisiana that you can register with the Louisiana State Police at and they will send you an e-mail each time that one of your vehicles is inspected in a CVSA roadside inspection in the state of Louisiana. Go to the website, click on Outstanding Motor Carrier Violation Fines then click on Motor Carrier Safety Inspection Notification E-Mail. You do

not have to been a domiciled Louisiana Motor Carrier to enroll in this notification program.


You can review the FMCSA CSA program at and by using the login with a PIN number specifically assigned to your USDOT number you can see the information with your drivers names attached to the activity and will also be able to review the accident safety evaluation area. Do not know your PIN number, go to or call 1-800-832-5660 for assistance. After requesting your PIN, it will be mailed to your principle place of business within two weeks. Once you have your PIN, you can log on to your CSA SMS information using the tab at the top right corner of the overview page.


As a motor carrier with a USDOT number, you are required to update your ID/Operations information with the FMCSA every two years. Reporting time is based on the last two digits of your USDOT number with the last number being the month and the second to last digit being the year (odd # =odd year even # = even year). The MCS 150 can be updated on-line by going to and clicking on FMCSA registration and updates. Using your PIN number you will be able to update this information online.


If you are a motor carrier domiciled in certain states, you are required to report positive drug or alcohol tests to the state. The FMCSA regulations do not require that positive tests be reported to the FMCSA or any federal agency when they occur. However, states have enacted regulations that require an employer of a CDL employee who tests positive to report. WA and NC are states that require the reporting and take enforcement action with a CDL driver that has tested positive for drugs or alcohol under the FMCSA regulations and either suspends or revokes the license. TX, OR, AR and CA have varying requirements for reporting of positive tests and how the information is used.  The FMCSA has issued a notice of Proposed Rulemaking for a CMV Driver Drug Testing Database.

Registration is Now Open On Line for the 2014 Idealease/NPTC Safety Seminars

Idealease, its affiliates and the National Private Truck Council (NPTC) will again be hosting safety seminars in 2014. The one-day seminars will focus on basic safety and compliance, regulation changes and CSA. The seminars will be available to all Idealease customers, potential customers and NPTC members at no charge. The seminar provides important information applicable for both the novice and experienced transportation professionals. 

To view the schedule and register for an upcoming seminar in 2014 click on the following link:

March 7, 2014
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Daylight Savings Time Begins This Sunday, March 9!!!
Start now to make sure all of your drivers are aware of the change to daylight savings time on Sunday. Caution route drivers especially that the amount of daylight will change according to their stops with the change. One hour of time change will seem very different to a driver who is on a route. 

Safety Seminar Schedule: 
11-Mar: Miami, FL 
12-Mar: Fort Myers, FL
13-Mar: Tampa, FL
18-Mar: Chattanooga, TN
19-Mar: Atlanta, GA
20-Mar: Birmingham, AL
25-Mar: El Paso, TX
26-Mar: Memphis, TN
27-Mar: Kansas City, MO
27-Mar: Commerce, CA
1-Apr: Charlottesville, VA
2-Apr: Baltimore, MD
3-Apr: Landover, MD
8-Apr: Cleveland, OH
9-Apr: Dayton, OH
10-Apr: Lexington, KY
16-Apr: Philadelphia, PA
16-Apr: Lodi, CA
17-Apr: San Leandro, CA
17-Apr: Newburgh, NY
22-Apr: Wausau, WI
23-Apr: Dubuque, IA
23-Apr: Weirton, WV
24-Apr: Milwaukee, WI
24-Apr: Butler, PA
29-Apr: Harrisburg, PA
30-Apr: Greensboro, NC
1-May: Erie, PA
1-May: Columbia, SC
6-May: Toronto, Ontario
6-May: Everett, WA
8-May: Denver, CO
8-May: Edmonton, AB
13-May: South Bend, IN
14-May: Chicago, IL
15-May: Springfield, IL

The Idealease Safety Bulletin is provided for Idealease affiliates and their customers and is not to be construed as a complete or exhaustive source of compliance or safety information. The Idealease Safety Bulletin is advisory in nature and does not warrant, guarantee, or otherwise certify compliance with laws, regulations, requirements, or guidelines of any local, state, or Federal agency and/or governing body, or industry standards.