Screening transportation program applicants using Motor Vehicle Records (MVRs)
Markel often receives requests to obtain MVRs to support staff hiring decisions. We strongly encourage programs obtain MVRs as a pre-employment risk management screening process as part of their transportation program. Proactive risk management strategies are proven to reduce loss activity, including vehicle accidents. Employers must evaluate information on an MVR in order to determine employability for anyone that may be driving a program vehicle. Hiring should not be based on whether the applicant meets an insurance company’s underwriting criteria for approved drivers.
Having applicants provide MVRs as part of an application process has a number of benefits. Most notable is it provides an opportunity for a more comprehensive analysis of a driver’s driving history. A study completed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Completeness of Driver Records, reported that both state-level and local practices (for processing MVRs) adversely affect the completeness and usefulness of driver history records. These practices reduce insurers’ and employers’ ability to evaluate risks of prospective or current insured or employees. Non-governmental agencies, such as insurance companies and employers are limited in the scope of information they can obtain on an MVR. For example, in Virginia, MVRs requested by potential employees contains up to 7 years of driving history. It may be issued to the potential employee or to employers, but must be accompanied by a signed release authorizing them to obtain records for the purpose of employment. Conversely, insurance MVRs often only obtain 3 years of records.
Why is this important? According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), when you use consumer reports to make employment decisions, including hiring, retention, promotion or reassignment, you must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The FTC enforces the FCRA.
Using Consumer Reports: What Employers Need to Know, outlines requirements that an employer must do when they use MVRs as a pre-employment screening tool.
In addition to state laws, you can consult your State’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for what information you can obtain to support a proactive transportation risk
You can access the Using Consumer Reports: What Employers Need to Know.
The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us or your attorney if you have any questions.