Who’s Driving That Rig? What You Need to Know About Background Checks for Truckers

A recent collision between a truck driver and an Amtrak train in North Carolina is shedding light on how big rig drivers are screened for duty

ICYMI, the collision happened in early March when a tractor-trailer got stuck on the tracks while trying to make a turn. The train barreled into the rig leaving 55 of the trains’ more than 200 passengers injured, however, no one was seriously hurt.

 Since the accident, the driver’s actions that day and his driving history, as well as his criminal history, have come under fire. Turns out the driver, John Devin Black, has a history of at least a dozen driving violations, including speeding and driving with a revoked license. He’s also a convicted felon.

So how on earth did he get a job as a trucker?

The Associated Press looked into the issue and this is what it found. Federal law mandates transportation companies to conduct background checks before hiring drivers, but individual companies can decide for themselves whether to hire someone with a sketchy driving record or criminal convictions. Black has a valid commercial driver’s license, however, he did not need to pass a criminal background check to get it.

But how can a person with a criminal record earn a commercial driver’s license?

Federal law does not prevent a person with a criminal record from obtaining a commercial license, as long as they didn’t commit the crimes while driving a truck.

We know you’re scratching your heads about this. What we can tell you is this – Active Screening offers exemplary service specifically tailored to the transportation industry. We offer complete Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) and Motor Vehicle Driving Records (MVR) that meet Department of Transportation (DOT) compliance standards. What this means is that transportation companies are given all of the necessary information they need to make informed, educated and smart decisions about the drivers they hire.

Here is a selection of the services we offer transportation firms:

Driver’s Records – Determine eligibility for driving a company or personal vehicle for business use.

Criminal Records – Identify criminal convictions or lack thereof so that you can hire with confidence.

References & Credentialing – Confirm the information provided on a resume and/or job application.

DOT Employers Clinical Services – Reduce the costs of your DOT clinical services program through our online suite of screening, collection and management services.

Even better, we’ve designed our screening solutions to communicate with each other so information, such as a candidate’s MVR, seamlessly integrates into his or her entire screening report. This means you get a chance to see a candidate’s complete picture by using one process.

And, knowing how important re-screening truck drivers is to transportation companies, we’ve crafted a re-screening management feature that clocks the date from the last background check and automatically pulls the applicant into a re-screening queue for you to check if that driver is still active. From this re-screen queue our software makes it easy to re-screen your drivers for compliance purposes. Set the clock with our recurring screening feature and we’ll help you monitor candidates eligible for review.

Don’t let precious information about your big rig drivers slip through the cracks. Use Active Screening to get you a full report on a candidate today. Our expert team members are standing by to talk with you at 1-800-319-5580.

This entry was posted in Background Screening, Clinical Services, Criminal Records, DOT Employers Clinical Services, Driver’s Records, General, News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , by Patricia Carlson. Bookmark the permalink.

Patricia Carlson is a content writer who specializes in B2C and B2B inbound marketing. She blogs regularly for clients about the background screening and finance industries, and generates newsletters, white papers and email campaigns for a variety of businesses. Patricia also produces a heavy rotation of editorial material for home design, law enforcement, and family magazines. She’s been writing professionally for more than a dozen years, and for Active Screening for more than two of those. Check out LinkedIn for a roster of Patricia's clients and links to published works. When she’s not interviewing sources or researching trends, she’s living a fast-paced Florida life questioning the antics of her two young children, partner and mischievous cat. Patricia loves to talk tennis and TV on Twitter - give her a shout @pattycfreelance.
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