Maintaining your DQ files

Do you know what to save and what to toss?

Posted August 14, 2018

All too often, those given the role of managing driver files either purge documents too early or hang on to them far longer than is necessary.

Following is a checklist, based on §§391.51 and 391.53, to assist in the maintenance of your Driver Qualification (DQ) files. It includes the document type and retention period:

  • Driver-specific application (§391.21): Duration of employment, plus three years after it ceases.
  • Original motor vehicle record (MVR) from time of hire (§391.23): Duration of employment, plus three years after it ceases.
  • Road test/certificate (§391.31): Duration of employment, plus three years after it ceases.
  • Copy of a Commercial Driver’s License if used in lieu of a road test (§391.33): Duration of employment, plus three years after it ceases. Subsequent renewals are not required in the file.
  • Returned Safety Performance History inquiries, or a record of your good faith efforts (§391.23): Duration of employment, plus three years after it ceases, and stored under the confidentiality requirements specified in §391.53.
  • Annual MVR (§391.25): Three years from document date.
  • Annual documented review of the annual MVR (§391.25): Three years from document date.
  • Driver’s annual list of violations (§391.27): Three years from document date.
  • Medical Examiner's Certificate (§391.43(g)): Three years from document date.
  • MVR indicating medical status for CDL holders (§391.41(a)(2)): Three years from document date.
  • Verification that an examiner appears on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (§391.23(m)): Three years from document date.
  • Medical variance or exemption document, if applicable (§391.49/Part 381): Three years from document date.

When a driver leaves your employment, whether through resignation or termination, the DQ file is kept for three years from the date of separation. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) could ask to see its contents within these three years in the event of an investigation.


Driver Qualification FormsJ. J. Keller's Driver qualification forms help you comply with the Safety Performance History recordkeeping requirements.

 

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