In a Final Rule to be published on March 9, 2022, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is doing away with the regulatory requirement that drivers operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce prepare and submit a list of their convictions for traffic violations to their employers annually. According to the agency, this requirement "is largely duplicative of a separate rule that requires each motor carrier to make an annual inquiry to obtain the motor vehicle record (MVR) for each driver it employs from every State in which the driver holds or has held a CMV operator’s license or permit in the past year." Accordingly, effective on or about May 9th, drivers will no longer be required to prepare and submit the annual certificates of violation, and carriers will no longer be compelled to obtain them.
Importantly, aside from doing away with the certification of violation requirement, the agency is also amending its regulations to add some additional obligations for motor carriers. Specifically, "to ensure motor carriers are aware of traffic convictions for a driver who is licensed by a foreign authority rather than by a State, the Agency amends the rule to provide that motor carriers must make an annual inquiry to each driver’s licensing authority where a driver holds or has held a CMV operator’s license or permit."
This is a departure from existing rules, which only require carriers to make inquires to every U.S. state in which a driver is or has been licensed in the past year. Under the new rule, carriers will now have to make similar inquires to foreign authorities for any drivers licensed in Canada or Mexico in the past year. Likewise, the agency is amending its hiring regulations to require carriers to make these same types of inquiries during the hiring process.
Going forward, driver applicants will now need to provide prospective carriers, via a driver application, a list of all CMV licenses held over the past 3 years, including those issued by U.S. states and foreign authorities. Carriers must then, as part of the vetting process, make inquiries to those states and/or foreign authorities to obtain and review the drivers' driving records (e.g., MVRs). Carriers will then have to make similar inquires annually.
If you have any questions about this rulemaking or how it may impact your fleet, please feel free to contact us. Looking for a compliant Annual Review form? We offer them through our online store!