Accurate Blog

Background Screening: Myths Explained – Part 2 – Driving Records

Posted by Byron Alvord on Jul 14, 2016 10:36:19 AM

Who is driving for you? Benefits and compliance requirements of this product

Driver.pngFinding qualified drivers for your organization can be difficult. Company drivers are some of the highest liability employees and contractors. These individuals may be driving company vehicles, using their own vehicle to fulfill company duties, or driving to earn extra cash on the side in the shared economy. Either way, if something goes wrong, the finger is pointed at your organization. Therefore, it is important to know the various regulations and obligations your organization has in regards to compensating drivers.

Organizations searching an individual’s driving history should familiarize themselves with the Drivers Protection Privacy Act (DPPA). DPPA is a federal law that regulates when state departments and authorized recipients may disclose personal information in an individual’s motor vehicle report. Under the DPPA, organizations must show a permissible purpose in pulling an individual’s motor vehicle report. For access to more information on DPPA: Drivers Protection Privacy Act.

A driving record includes driving history for a maximum of 3 years of driving history (typically) but the scope can be based on the state you are searching.  The information returned will tell you if the person has an active, suspended, or expired driver’s license, as well as provide any past violations or crimes committed while driving.

Turnaround Time:

Average:  < 1 Day

Limitations of this product

Be wary of background check companies that claim they have instant MVR access in all states in the United States.  While many states are quick to return results, others have additional requirements before releasing the information. Thus, any company offering an “instant” check is quite possibly pulling it from a database that is not updated in real time, instead of directly from the particular state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

Additionally, there are various state regulations to be aware of when requesting an individual’s personal motor vehicle report. For example, Washington requires a special release form signed by your candidate in order to pull a motor vehicle report. Your organization must keep these release forms in case of an audit. The state of Pennsylvania requires either a one-time signed affidavit before your organization can process driving record checks or a special release form from each candidate each time a driving record is requested.  Only certain permissible purposes are allowed by Pennsylvania before they will grant access to driving records without the special release form.  In the state of California, an organization is not allowed to pull just a motor vehicle report as it relates to employment or contracted work*. The organization needs to run an additional background service, like criminal history, in order to stay compliant with the state of California.

Lastly, not all states share driving history information with other states unless the person has a commercial driver's license. So, if your candidate has moved recently and is giving you a new license number in the state of current residence, you might want to ask for 3 years of driver's license numbers.

Overall, the process of selecting drivers can be a headache. There are many rules and regulations that need to be followed. When choosing a background check vendor, it is important that they are up to date with all laws, regulations, and best practices when it comes to ordering motor vehicle reports so they can be your partner in navigating the rules.

*There are exceptions for standalone Motor Vehicle Reports in California.

In our next blog, we will focus on criminal records.  In future articles, we will also provide detailed information on different services and compliance rules nationwide and around the globe.

Topics: Driving Records, Motor Vehicle Reports, MVR

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