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DOT Recordkeeping Requirements

Written by Nick Webster

Published on Dec. 11, 2023, 4:09 p.m.


Here are the most critical DOT recordkeeping requirements for carriers all across the USA:

  • Maintain an agency drug and alcohol testing program that complies with Part 40 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
  • Develop a written safety policy that is available to all employees.
  • Ensure that a current, accurate logbook is kept for all commercial motor vehicles operated.
  • Track information such as driver licensing, hours-of-service compliance, inspection and maintenance records, accident registers, and vehicle registration information. Read here about Starting a Trucking Company Correctly.
  • Report any hazardous materials incident or fatality immediately after it occurs.
  • Keep detailed records on each driver’s qualifications, performance reviews, medical examination forms, and work/rest scheduling records. You must visit the link.
  • Make sure DOT-regulated employers maintain a controlled substances testing program. How To Request the DOT PIN Number?

Drug and Alcohol Testing Recordkeeping Requirements

It is important to remember that all DOT Drug and Alcohol Test (DAT) records must be kept in a separate file with controlled access at all times. The papers should not be stored in personnel files, even for single-driver companies. Owner-operators should also take care to store their DAT files separately from other documents. This helps ensure that the information remains secure and private. Taking the time to keep these records separate will help you meet your company's regulatory requirements and protect the safety of everyone on the road.

  • It is essential to maintain records regarding alcohol and drug test results, refusal-to-test documentation, Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) evaluation reports, and calendar year summaries required by 49 CFR 382.403 for a minimum of five years.
  • All test results indicating a BAC of 0.02 or greater must be kept on file to comply with the regulations set forth by the Department of Transportation. Verified positive controlled substances tests must also be recorded and stored securely for at least five years. Refusal-to-test documentation must be maintained and signed off on by authorized personnel to ensure accuracy and validity. What is the DOT SAP Program?
  • Maintaining records of random selections, reasonable suspicion testing documentation, and medical evaluations for shy lung and shy bladder situations for at least two years is essential.
  • For at least 12 months, employers must keep a record of damaging and canceled drug tests, as well as alcohol test results displaying a blood alcohol content (BAC) lower than 0.02. How do you get an Oregon Trip And Fuel Permit?
  • The employer's policy and the driver's signed receipt should be kept in an accessible location for as long as the individual is performing safety-sensitive or supervisory tasks, and then for a further two years afterward. In addition, records relating to any training and education provided by the employer or supervisor must also be retained for this period. Visit the DOT Authority Package, which contains tips to prepare for 2023 DOT Week filings in minutes.

Driver Qualification Recordkeeping Requirements

The employing company should keep all Driver Qualification and Safety Performance History files for as long as the safety-sensitive individual is employed, and three years after they leave. After three years have passed, certain documents can be discarded from the Driver Qualification File:

  • Annual List of Violations
  • Annual Inquiry to State Agencies
  • Annual Review of Driving Record
  • Medical Examiner’s Certificate
  • Safety Performance Evaluation Certificate (if applicable)

Hours-of-Service Recordkeeping Requirements

It is a legal requirement to keep driver logs and accompanying documentation for a period of six months.
To maintain compliance with the applicable regulations, all documents must be securely stored for the designated duration. Failure to do so could result in penalties or sanctions being imposed.

Vehicle Maintenance Recordkeeping Requirements

Motor carriers must maintain records of every vehicle under their control for 30 days or more. These documents should be kept at the garage where the vehicle is located and retained for at least one year after it has left the carrier's control. The required information includes company number, make, serial number, tire size, and the inspection schedule with type and date. It is essential to have this information on file to ensure that vehicles are in good condition and up-to-date with safety regulations.

Post-trip inspection Reports must be kept for at least three months from the date on the report. The Periodic Inspection Report or Copy must be retained for 14 months from its report date. Lastly, documents that show an inspector's qualifications should be kept on file for one year after they stop conducting company inspections. Must visit FMCSA Hours of Service Suspended topics.

Use Electronic Logging Devices To Your Advantage

Electronic logging devices (ELDs) are designed to improve safety for drivers and reduce fatigue-related incidents. When connected to the vehicle's engine, these devices automatically record data, making monitoring, managing, and sharing records of a driver's hours on the road is easier and faster. The FMCSA announced that as of December 18th, 2017, most motor carriers and drivers were required to use an ELD or Automatic Onboard Recording Device (AOBRD). This was followed by an announcement on December 16th, 2019, determining that all motor carriers and drivers could only utilize ELDs. Also, take a look at the Drug and Alcohol Program policy. Give us a call.

These devices log crucial data such as the following:

  • date and time
  • location
  • engine hours
  • miles traveled
  • driver identification
  • vehicle information
  • motor carrier details

As a result, companies can easily access real-time records of their fleet's activities. This comprehensive overview of operations helps ensure that resources are used efficiently, and safety regulations are correctly followed. Importance of The FMCSA 30-Minute Break Rule.

Recordkeeping for Dispatch and Trip Records

Transport companies are responsible for retaining dispatch and trip records in addition to information collected and recorded by their fleet's ELD. The carrier must retain these supporting documents for no less than six months, and their data must match that on the ELD. Read about Texas DOT Numbers and USDOT Numbers.

Recordkeeping for Bills of Lading and Manifests

Every shipment transported by a carrier must come with a bill of lading (BOL), both as proof of receipt for the freight services, and details about what is being shipped. It's also an official agreement between the driver, carrier, and shipper that spells out everything needed to complete the delivery appropriately. Additionally, a manifest is required to give an overview of all the BOLs related to one particular trip. This acts like a tally sheet summarizing all those bills. Learn here How to Prepare for a Compliance DOT Audit.

Fleet Management Communication Record

Fleet Management Software (FMS) offers motor carriers a great way to simplify and streamline the tasks associated with fleet vehicle management. Not only can it be used to manage vehicles, but also to monitor driver performance and track incidents. Route optimization is another key benefit that FMS provides, helping transport companies comply with all federal regulations from the FMCSA. What is Unified Carrier Registration?

Also, this system creates records for each communication transmitted through the fleet management system, which is mandatory for these types of businesses. With FMS, staying on top of fleet operations has never been easier! What is DOT Clearinghouse Enforcement?

Keep Your Files Organized To Streamline DOT Audits

Organizing and purging unnecessary paperwork can be challenging, but it is essential for ensuring that your safety audit or compliance review runs smoothly. Taking the time to sort through your DOT compliance records carefully will save you from scrambling at the last minute trying to find critical information. IFTA Sticker Registration steps.

Keep a system in place so that all documents are easy to locate and view when auditors arrive. This will ensure that the audit process is efficient and thorough, accurately evaluating your compliance with all applicable regulations. With adequately organized files, both you and the auditor will have peace of mind knowing that no critical details were overlooked during the review. You will need driver qualification files filed out by all employees who drive for you working.

Be Sure To Browse the FMCSA Record-Keeping Requirements Handout

Have you heard about the FMCSA Record Keeping Requirements Handout? Well, if you're a commercial driver, it's something that you need to be aware of. This handout helps drivers understand what records they must keep and for how long to comply with federal safety regulations. That's right - if you plan on hitting the road as a professional driver, then this handout is your guidebook! So don't leave home without it! Also, take a look at what IRP or Apportioned Registration is.

The rules may seem confusing, but they are essential for your safety and could save your career. Don't take any chances out there. Make sure you know exactly what records you need to keep and when! It'll help ensure you stay compliant and can hit the highway confidently. If you have questions about the information in the handout, you can call our organization. Check out The Basics of Farm Exemptions. You will then be able to maintain complete motor carrier authority or broker. What are the Top 3 DOT paper-appointedViolations?

Summary: DOT Recordkeeping Requirements

These are some of the most important DOT recordkeeping requirements to keep in mind:

  • All motor carriers must keep accurate, current, and legible records for all drivers.
  • Records must include the driver's name, address, date of birth, and copies of their medical examiner's certificate (CMV form MCSA-5876), license, commercial learner’s permit (CLP), and any other relevant documents. Visit BOC-3
  • Records should also include detailed information, such as logs documenting the number of hours worked by a driver each day and trip sheets that detail what routes a driver took during that period.
  • Motor carriers must also maintain an accurate accident register detailing any incidents involving their vehicles or drivers over the past 12 months.
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