Driver Qualification Record
Drivers operating the following vehicles in interstate commerce need to have a completed Driver Qualification Record:
- Vehicles with gross vehicle weight (GVW), gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), gross combination weight (GCW), or gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 10,001 pounds or more; or
- Vehicles designed to transport more than 15 people; or
- Vehicles transporting hazardous materials that require the vehicle to be placarded.
The criterion in this definition that causes confusion is the vehicle weight. The general weight criterion for which a CDL is needed is 26,001 pounds. The weight criterion for which a DQ file is needed is 10,001 pounds. So, interstate drivers of vehicles between 10,001 and 26,001 pounds (not hauling hazmat) need to have a DQ file but do not need to have a CDL.
For intrastate drivers, it depends on what the state has adopted for the weight criterion. A number of states use the same 10,001 pound criterion as is found in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Other states have increased the weight limit to anywhere from 12,000 pounds up to 26,001 pounds (which does coincide with the CDL requirements). A few states also have grandfather clauses or other exemptions that may except certain drivers from certain portions of the DQ file, such as medical cards.
Previous Employer Forms
Section 391.23 requires a prospective motor carrier to investigate the driver’s information from all DOT-regulated employers within the previous three years of the date of application for employment.
Initial Inquiry to State Agency for Driver’s Record Form (49cfr 391.21)
An initial MVR covering the last three years of driving history (for each state’s record) must be placed in the driver’s file within 30 days of the employment start date. If an MVR cannot be obtained, you must maintain documentation of a “good faith effort” to obtain the information. You may upload a copy of the MVR request in this file folder as proof of the request.
Annual Inquiry to State Agency for Drivers…
A motor carrier must obtain an MVR each year following the initial inquiry, covering the past 12 months. More frequent MVRs are permitted. The state agency responses must be retained in this file for a minimum of three years from the execution date.
Annual Review of Driving Record Form
The motor carrier shall, at least once every 12 months, review the motor vehicle record of each driver it employs to determine whether that driver meets minimum requirements for safe driving or is disqualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle pursuant to §391.15. The name of the reviewer shall be annotated in this file.
Driver’s Certification of Violations Form
Each driver must prepare and furnish a list of all violations of motor vehicle traffic laws and ordinances during the previous 12 month period.
Certification of Road Test or current copy of CDL
A copy of the driver’s current operator’s license is not a requirement of the Driver’s Qualification File. The only time that a license would be required in this file is in lieu of a road test per §391.33. You may retain a copy of the current operator license (both CDL and non-CDL) as the FMCSRs do not prohibit it.
Medical Examination Report and Medical Examiner’s Certificate
A commercial driver, which includes CDL and non-CDL drivers alike, must be medically certified at least once every 24 months. A copy of the medical examiner's certificate must be retained in the driver’s qualification file. Beginning January 30, 2014, drivers no longer need to carry a copy of the certificate. NOTE: In the event of health concerns, a medical examiner may issue a certificate for a lesser timeframe.
Multiple-Employers Driver’s Prior 7-Day Log
The motor carrier must have on file the driver's name, social security number, identification number, type, issuing state of his/her motor vehicle operator's license, medical certificate, road test and certificate, and controlled substance test results, even if that driver's primary employment is with another carrier.
Drivers furnished by other motor carriers -- A motor carrier using a driver regularly employed by another motor carrier must have on file a signed written certificate that includes the driver's name and signature, certification of the driver's full qualifications, and expiration date of the driver's medical examiner's certificate. Compliance with drug and alcohol program requirements is also required.
You may upload one or more documents to this area of the driver’s record such as training certificates, waivers, etc.