Investigations and Inquiries, Annual Inquiry and Review Of Driving Record, Recordkeeping (49 CFR §§ 391.23 – 391.27)

Legal Commentary: A major factor in trucking safety is the qualifications of the operator or driver of the vehicle itself. Motor carriers are required under the federal regulations to maintain proper records with regard to a driver’s employment and safety record. Drivers are required to provide safety and violation records to their employers and in turn, employers must secure and review these records on an annual basis.

Although every case differs, the importance of driver knowledge, qualifications and background can be critical. These regulations can become important in that evaluation process. Additionally, hiring an experienced Georgia truck accident attorney will serve to ensure that the vital documents and proof needed to best litigate your case will be discovered and presented persuasively to maximize your recovery.

Georgia truck injury and accident lawyer, Charles Scholle, litigates matters involving serious semi-trailer and truck accident injury. At Scholle Law we keep clients informed of all the important developments in their cases. Please schedule a free consultation in your commercial motor carrier case or other serious personal injury matter by contacting our law offices using our on-line form or call us toll-free at 1-866-972-5287 or in Atlanta at 770-717-5100. With offices throughout the Atlanta Metro area in Duluth, Perimeter, Buckhead and Decatur, Georgia, we will meet with you at a convenient location for you.

49 CFR § 391.23 Investigation and inquiries (excerpted)

(a) Except as provided in subpart G of this part, each motor carrier shall make the following investigations and inquiries with respect to each driver it employs, other than a person who has been a regularly employed driver of the motor carrier for a continuous period, which began before January 1, 1971:

(1) An inquiry to each State where the driver held or holds a motor vehicle operator's license or permit during the preceding 3 years to obtain that driver's motor vehicle record.

(2) An investigation of the driver's safety performance history with Department of Transportation regulated employers during the preceding three years.

(b) A copy of the motor vehicle record(s) obtained in response to the inquiry or inquiries to each State required by paragraph (a)(1) of this section must be placed in the driver qualification file within 30 days of the date the driver's employment begins and be retained in compliance with § 391.51. If no motor vehicle record is received from the State or States required to submit this response, the motor carrier must document a good faith effort to obtain such information, and certify that no record exists for that driver in that State or States. The inquiry to the State driver licensing agency or agencies must be made in the form and manner each agency prescribes.

§ 391.25 Annual inquiry and review of driving record.

(a) Except as provided in subpart G of this part, each motor carrier shall, at least once every 12 months, make an inquiry to obtain the motor vehicle record of each driver it employs, covering at least the preceding 12 months, to the appropriate agency of every State in which the driver held a commercial motor vehicle operator's license or permit during the time period.

(b) Except as provided in subpart G of this part, each motor carrier shall, at least once every 12 months, review the motor vehicle record of each driver it employs to determine whether that driver meets minimum requirements for safe driving or is disqualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle pursuant to §391.15.

(1) The motor carrier must consider any evidence that the driver has violated any applicable Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations in this subchapter or Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR chapter I, subchapter C).

(2) The motor carrier must consider the driver's accident record and any evidence that the driver has violated laws governing the operation of motor vehicles, and must give great weight to violations, such as speeding, reckless driving, and operating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, that indicate that the driver has exhibited a disregard for the safety of the public.

(c) Recordkeeping. (1) A copy of the motor vehicle record required by paragraph (a) of this section shall be maintained in the driver's qualification file.

(2) A note, including the name of the person who performed the review of the driving record required by paragraph (b) of this section and the date of such review, shall be maintained in the driver's qualification file.

§ 391.27 Record of violations.

(a) Except as provided in subpart G of this part, each motor carrier shall, at least once every 12 months, require each driver it employs to prepare and furnish it with a list of all violations of motor vehicle traffic laws and ordinances (other than violations involving only parking) of which the driver has been convicted or on account of which he/she has forfeited bond or collateral during the preceding 12 months.

(b) Each driver shall furnish the list required in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section. If the driver has not been convicted of, or forfeited bond or collateral on account of, any violation which must be listed, he/she shall so certify.

(c) The form of the driver's list or certification shall be prescribed by the motor carrier.