DOT Driver Qualification File Management


Driver Qualification Files are required for all drivers who operate a vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) or Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of 10,001 pounds or more.

Driver Qualification files hold records and documents that ensure the employee meets the safety, health, and qualifications necessary to operate a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV), including owner-operators as they are considered both employers and employees.

The following requirements for Driver Qualification Files can be met in Unified Compliance Services Driver Qualification File. Managing your fleets files can be time consuming and confusing. With a short interview with each of your drivers we could have your completed files uploaded to your online audit portal or mailed to you directly. In addition, we will manage and maintain these files annually (Regulation 49 CFR 391).  Let us help you hire the safest drivers and avoid fines for non-compliance. We are here to be your guide, if you have more questions, contact us today at (877) 647-4582.

DOT Employment Application

The FMCSA requires an employment application to be on file even if you are an owner-operator and have to fill one out for yourself. The following information is required on an employment application in order to be considered acceptable for the FMCSA, which may not typically appear on a standard employer application.  

  • Three years of employment history. If an applicant is applying for a job that will operate a vehicle with a GVWR/GCWR of 26,000 pounds or more, they must list 10 years of employment history.
  • The nature of the applicant’s experience operating any type of motor vehicle.
  • All moving violations received over the previous three years. 
  • All accidents the applicant was involved in over the previous three years. 
  • Any circumstances that resulted in a denial, revocation or suspension of any license to operate a motor vehicle. 

Medical Examiners Certificate

It is important to ensure that before a driver operates a CMV they have undergone a DOT medical examination.  A DOT medical evaluation must be completed at minimum once every 24 months, some may be renewed at 12, 6, or 3-month intervals due to health conditions.  The employer must obtain a copy of the applicant’s current and valid medical certification. It is also the employer’s responsibility to keep track of certification expiration dates in order to ensure that drivers are consistently qualified to operate CMVs.

Commercial Driver's License or Completed Road Test and Certification

A copy of the applicant’s current and valid driver’s license must be obtained. If the applicant holds a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), a copy of that is sufficient. If no CDL is required, employers must retain evidence that the driver successfully completed a road test in the type of vehicle being operated.  It is the employer’s responsibility to keep track of license expiration dates in order to ensure that drivers are consistently qualified to operate CMVs.

Motor Vehicle Reports 

This investigation must be run on an applicant for the previous three years for all DOT regulated positions he or she may have held, and must contain the following:

  • Signed authorization from the applicant allowing the investigation to be conducted.
  • Responses from any DOT-regulated employers. If previous employers do not respond to the inquiry, you must have documentation that outlines what attempts were made to obtain the requested information.
  • If the applicant did not hold any DOT-regulated positions, you must have documentation indicating such.

The employer must maintain at minimum an annual review (every 12 months) of the Motor Vehicle Reports.

Annual Driving Record Review

Employers must require drivers to submit a list of any moving violations they received over the previous 12 months. If no violations have occurred, documentation must be maintained that the employee stated as such.  The employer must maintain documentation of the driving record review of; violations and motor vehicle report.

Previous Employer Requests and Responses

The employer must maintain information from the previous 3 years of employment for all DOT regulated positions and must include:  

  • A written authorization form from the applicant permitting an investigation to be conducted.
  • Documented attempts made from previous employers who do not respond. 
  • Documented responses from previous DOT regulated employers. 
  • Documentation if the employee held no previous DOT regulated positions. 

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If you are interested in our Driver Qualification File Management Services and do not have an  online account, please call us today at 

(877) 647-4582.

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Wondering where to obtain your medical card?

  The medical examination must be performed by a medical examiner listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.  You can check the list by clicking below. 

Find a medical examiner

Want to see the full FMCSA Instructions?


Feel free to contact us by phone to speak to an experienced compliance specialist at (877) 647-4582

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Unified Compliance Services

Corporate Office: 6154 North Meeker Place, Suite 200, Boise, ID 83713, US

Direct Phone: (877) 647-4582 Fax: (866) 393-1260



6:00 am – 4:30 pm


6:00 am – 4:30 pm


6:00 am – 4:30 pm


6:00 am – 4:30 pm


6:00 am – 4:30 pm