Reviewing the Annual MVR

(FMCSR Part 383.51)

When reviewing the annual MVR of a driver holding a CDL, the manager should be looking at any convictions for “Serious Traffic Violations”.  The manager should be assessing how many have occurred, was the conviction in a commercial motor vehicle or personal vehicle, and when the convictions occurred.  CDL holders are penalized if they accrue too many violations within a certain period.

How many convictions of a serious traffic violation should you look for?

If a driver has 2 convictions of a serious traffic violation that occurred in the commercial motor vehicle within a 3 year period, his CDL is automatically suspended for 60 days.

If a driver has 3 convictions of a serious traffic violation that occurred in the commercial motor vehicle within a 3 year period, his CDL is automatically suspended for 120 days.

Do convictions of serious traffic violations that occurred in a non-commercial motor vehicle count?

Yes, IF the conviction resulted in the revocation, cancellation, or suspension of the CDL holder’s license or non-CMV driving privileges.

If a driver is convicted of serious traffic violation in a non-commercial motor vehicle that doesn’t result in revocation, cancellation, or suspension of the CDL holder’s license or non-CMV driving privileges, the offense will not be considered.

When reviewing and evaluating the MVR, what red flags does the manager look for?

He/she should be looking for convictions of serious traffic violations as outlined above within the time periods as outlined above.  For example, if a driver has 1 conviction of a serious traffic violation, the manager should point this out to the driver and remind him that just 1 more conviction could result in the suspension of the CDL for 60-120 days.

If excessive points are on the MVR, the manager should evaluate what the points consist of, particularly if they have accumulated in the commercial motor vehicle.  He/she should then counsel the driver accordingly.  A consultation with the company liability insurance agent would be appropriate in the case of excessive points.

Is the driver required to notify the motor carrier of convictions and/or suspensions of license?

Yes, FMCSR Part 383.31 clearly states that the driver must notify the employer when convicted of any traffic violation (other than parking) within 30 days after the date of conviction.  In addition, a driver must notify his resident state of any convictions of a traffic violation (other than parking) that occurred in another state within 30 days of the conviction.

The notification to the state and the employer must be made in writing and contain the following information:  Full name, license number, date of conviction, the specific offense, indicate whether the conviction was in a commercial motor vehicle, location offense and driver’s signature.

FMCSR Part 383.33 clearly states that any driver who has a driver’s license suspended, cancelled, or revoked or loses the right to operate a commercial motor vehicle due to disqualifying offenses for any period of time, must notify the employer before the end of the business day following the day of the suspension, revocation, cancellation, lost privilege, or disqualification.

*Definition of Serious Traffic Violation

(FMCSR Part 383.5)

  1. Excessive speeding, involving any single offense for any speed of 15 miles per hours or more above the posted speed limit
  2. Reckless driving, as defined by State or local law or regulation, including but not limited to offenses of driving a CMV in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property
  3. Improper or erratic traffic lane changes
  4. Following the vehicle ahead too closely
  5. A violation, arising in connection with a fatal accident, of State or local law relating to a motor vehicle traffic control
  6. Driving a CMV without obtaining a CDL
  7. Driving a CMV without a CDL in the driver’s possession. (If the driver can provide proof that he/she held a valid CDL by the date the driver must appear in court, he/she shall not be guilty of this offense)
  8. Driving a CMV without the proper class of CDL and/or endorsements for the specific vehicle group being operated or the type of cargo being transported Contact us today to get set up for background checks and motor vehicle reports! We are proud to be your one-stop-shop for DOT compliance!

FMCSA Clearinghouse OPEN for Registration!

Registration is open for the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. To access the Clearinghouse once it is operational, authorized users will be required to request access from FMCSA by registering for the Clearinghouse. Registering is the first step to ensuring you will be ready when the Clearinghouse is operational on January 6, 2020.

Authorized users include:

  • CDL drivers
  • Employers – this includes motor carriers and other employers of drivers operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) that require a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or commercial learner’s permit (CLP)
  • Consortia/third-party administrators (C/TPAs)
  • Medical review officers (MROs)
  • Substance abuse professionals (SAPs)
  • Enforcement personnel

To register, go to:

The Clearinghouse is a secure online database that will give employers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLAs), and State law enforcement personnel real-time information about commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders’ drug and alcohol program violations.

The Clearinghouse will contain records of violations of drug and alcohol prohibitions in 49 CFR Part 382, Subpart B, including positive drug or alcohol test results and test refusals. When a driver completes the return-to-duty (RTD) process and follow-up testing plan, this information will also be recorded in the Clearinghouse.

In addition, employers may designate a C/TPA who can report violations and/or conduct queries on their behalf. An owner-operator—an employer that employs himself or herself as a CDL driver, typically a single-driver operation—must designate the C/TPA in the Clearinghouse. If you choose to designate Nationwide Testing Assocation, Inc., to report violations and conduct queries on your behalf then contact us!

For more information, contact us!

FMCSA publishes proposed HOS rules in Federal Register

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) proposed changes to the hours-of-service (HOS) rules have been published to the Federal Register, about a week after they were made public.

Publication means industry stakeholders have 45 days — until October 7, 2019 — to provide commentary on the five proposed changes. Comments can be submitted to the federal eRulemaking portal at Docket Number FMCSA-2018-0248.

When the comment period closes, FMCSA will consider the latest comments before issuing a final rule. FMCSA previously hoped to finalize the rules before the December 16, 2019, electronic logging device (ELD) deadline, but the process is likely to take much longer.

The five proposed changes from FMCSA are:

  • Changing the short-haul exception for certain commercial motor vehicle drivers from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.
  • Extending the adverse driving conditions exception by two hours.
  • Requires a minimum 30-minute break before eight consecutive hours of driving time occurs. The break would be for at least 30 minutes and could be satisfied with on-duty, not driving time, or off-duty time, rather than just off-duty time.
  • Modifying the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off-duty time into two periods of at least seven consecutive hours in one period and not less than two consecutive hours either off-duty or in the sleeper berth.
  • Allowing one off-duty break of at least 30 minutes, but not more than three hours, that would pause a truck driver’s 14-hour driving window, provided the driver takes 10 consecutive hours off-duty at the end of the work shift.

For more information contact us today!

Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse: An Update

Beginning January 6, 2020

To ensure you are prepared on January 6, 2020, when the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse) becomes operational, we want to remind you about an upcoming change related to recording information on the Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form (CCF) and Alcohol Testing Form (ATF).

What Changed?

The current versions of the CCF and ATF specifically permit the use of either the driver’s social security number (SSN) or employee identification number (EIN) when completing the CCF or ATF.  However, effective January 6, 2020, FMCSA is requiring that the commercial driver’s license number (CDL) must be used instead of the SSN or EIN when FMCSA-covered drivers’ positive drug or alcohol test results are reported to the Clearinghouse.

Therefore, Employers, Consortia/Third Party Administrators (C/TPAs), Collection Sites, Laboratories, and Medical Review Officers (MROs) may want to ensure that their respective data systems can accommodate a donor identification number of up to 25 alphanumeric characters.

What does this mean for Employers, C/TPAs, Collectors and Alcohol Technicians?

  • In accordance with 49 CFR 382.123(b), the person completing the CCF or the ATF must annotate the driver’s CDL number and State of Issuance in Step 1, Section C of the CCF or Step 1B of the ATF for each FMCSA-regulated test.
  • If the employer or C/TPA does not provide the CDL and the State of Issuance, then the collector or alcohol technician should ask the driver for this information at the collection site.
  • Even if the CDL number and State of Issuance is not listed on the CCF, the collector must send the controlled substance test specimen to the laboratory for testing.

What does this mean for Laboratories?

Laboratories who receive a CCF that indicates this is a FMCSA-regulated urine specimen but does not have the driver’s CDL number listed in Step 1 C should process the urine specimen without delay, and send the results to the MRO.

What does this mean for the MRO?

When the MRO receives a laboratory-confirmed positive drug test result for a FMCSA-regulated employee, and the CCF is without the driver’s CDL number and State of Issuance listed, the MRO should contact the driver, driver’s employer or designated employer representative to obtain it.  The MRO will report the verified positive test result in the Clearinghouse.

For additional information, please visit

Entry-Level Driver Training, What’s new?

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a final rule streamlining the process and reducing the cost to upgrade from a Class B to Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). By adopting a new curriculum, this rule is predicted to save eligible driver trainees and motor carriers $18 million annually.

Elaine L. Choa, Transportation Secretary, said: “Today’s action demonstrates the Department’s commitment to reducing regulatory burdens and addressing our nation’s shortage of commercial drivers.”

The amendment to Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) regulations will require the same level of theory training for individuals obtaining a CDL for the first time. FMCSA recognizes that Class B CDL holders have prior training or experience; they should not be required to receive the same level of theory training as individuals who have never held a CDL.

Click here to see the final rule. Contact our office today if you have any questions! 1(800) 452-0030 ext. 0!

Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is establishing the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse will hold information on violations of the Department of Transportation (DOT) controlled substance and alcohol testing program for CDL holders. The purpose of this database is to prevent CDL holders with violations from moving from job to job and avoiding the repercussions of violations. The Clearinghouse closes current gaps, allowing prospective employers to obtain information on violations.

When will the Clearinghouse be available?

In the fall of 2019, you can begin registering for the Clearinghouse by establishing an account. The Clearinghouse will not become fully operational until January 6, 2020. Once operational, employers will be required to query both the Clearinghouse and request the drug and alcohol testing history from previous employers. When seeking violations, you must search three years of history. On January 6, 2023, the clearinghouse will replace the need for the previous employer requests. The information available in the Clearinghouse will be accessible for a minimum of five years. Each employer will be required to query the database as part of the pre-hire process, and again annually.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Employers, Medical Review Officers (MRO), and Substance Abuse Professionals will be required to report to the database. The reports will include any verified positive, adulterated, or substituted tests; any refusals to test; positive breath alcohol tests above 0.04; DUI citation and conviction records; actual knowledge of abusive substance use; and all return to duty and follow up results.

If you have any questions on the Clearinghouse, contact us at 1.800.452.0030!