It’s important to make sure your driving record is kept clean otherwise, you could be finding yourself working for a less than ideal carrier. Whether it’s an old failure to appear/failure to pay, or a lingering traffic ticket that was dismissed, cleaning up your motor vehicle record (MVR) and FMCSA Pre-employment Screening Program (PSP) should be a top priority for CDL holders.
What is MVR?
MVR stands for motor vehicle record. Your MVR is an official document that contains information regarding moving and non-moving violations. Moving violations are the more harmful of the two to have on your record. Whether it’s speeding, running a stop sign, careless driving or some other moving violation, these weigh heavily in a carrier’s decision whether to hire you or not. Most carriers allow two or three moving violations in the past three years. Any more than that and you will have trouble finding and maintaining employment.
What does a clean MVR mean?
Typically, a clean MVR means that there are no convictions for violations of any traffic citation on the driver’s MVR report. If a driver has convictions within the look back period of the carrier, then a driver will more than likely not meet the carrier’s requirements for employment.
Each carrier’s version of a clean MVR can vary, so if a driver does have violations, it is best to ask the prospective employer if those violations are a problem.
What is PSP?
PSP is the FMCSA’s Pre-Employment Screening Program. It helps carriers make informed decisions about driver applicants. A PSP record includes the most recent 5 years of crash data and the most recent 3 years of roadside inspection data for CDL drivers.
Can anyone access my PSP scores?
No, the driver must grant permission to access scores.
Why does PSP matter for drivers?
Your PSP record is an impartial reference check that reports on the facts. It is important to know your PSP record status to ensure its accuracy and make sure it’s up to date.
Why does PSP matter for carriers?
Keeping drivers with excellent PSP records on the road and those with lower scores off the road, allows drivers and carriers to ensure quality and optimal work performance. On average, companies using PSP to screen new hires lower their crash rate by almost 10% and driver out-of-service rates by nearly 20% compared to those that do not use PSP.
Is it mandatory to use the PSP program as a driver or a potential hiring company?
No. The PSP program is voluntary for both drivers and carriers.
How do I access my PSP?
For $10 drivers can get a copy of their PSP record from the FMCSA’s PSP web portal. Alternatively, drivers can get a free copy by submitting a privacy act request directly to the FMCSA.
How do carriers access a driver’s PSP?
A carrier must enroll for a PSP account in order to be granted access to the PSP online service. It is important to remember that any request they make for PSP reports must have the driver’s consent.
How to maintain a clean driving record?
The best way to keep a driving record clean is to always complete your pre-trip inspection, follow all traffic rules including speed limits and drive safely and defensively. We have complied useful driving tips for each season:
If you have violations on your record be careful not to get more violations. Also an attorney may be able to help reduce the charges in some situations. Make sure your data is updated across all databases, otherwise your records will have conflicting information.
Here’s a few things you can do yourself:
Check your MVR and PSP: CDL drivers should periodically request their MVR and PSP to make sure everything is correct and belongs to them. Drivers with similar names and driver’s license numbers or USDOT numbers might have violations that get erroneously recorded. If you find any incorrect information be sure to contact the DMV and FMCSA immediately to get your record corrected.
Request expungement: In some states you can request that the violation be expunged from your record. For example, in Maryland, you’re eligible to expunge certain violations after three years, as long as you haven’t committed any moving violations since or had your license suspended.
Contest Unjust Tickets: If you believe you were unjustly cited for a violation, contest it. Photographs can go a long way for certain violations, even getting an affidavit from a mechanic for equipment violations can help. It’s worth noting that any violation will remain on your PSP and the carrier’s CSA score unless you or the carrier use the DataQs system to provide FMCSA with a copy of the court ruling to remove the violation or reduce its severity weighting in the system.