When it comes to running a business, vehicles—whether they’re leased, rented or owned—are crucial for a variety of tasks. Transporting materials and tools to worksites, hauling goods for deliveries, driving to meet clients—companies of all kinds rely on safe and functioning cars and trucks to service customers and generate profit.
However, to protect their vehicles and employees, avoid accidents, and prevent insurance claims and business disruptions, companies should hire qualified drivers. That’s where motor vehicle records (MVRs) can help. This Risk Insights provides a general overview of MVRs, including what they are, how to obtain them and what to look for once you’ve secured them.
What Are MVRs?
Put simply, MVRs are historical driving records that businesses can use to evaluate current and potential drivers. Specifically, MVRs provide an overview of an individual’s:
- Driving history over a specific period of time, usually several years
- Moving violations
- Chargeable accidents
- DUI offenses
- Suspensions or revocations
- Point accumulations
- Driver’s license and restrictions
- Vehicular crimes
This information is crucial for businesses, as an individual’s accident and violation history is a good indicator of their driving performance and habits. Typically, drivers with a poor record are more likely to be involved in future incidents.
Furthermore, insurance carriers use MVRs when assessing risk. If one of your drivers has a poor driving record (e.g., several suspensions, revocations or moving violations), you could end up paying more for coverage. Or, worse still, insurance carriers may disqualify a driver from insurance coverage altogether.
By obtaining and reviewing MVRs for every one of your drivers, you are ensuring the individuals you hire are able to perform their job duties safely, helping you secure affordable insurance coverage and reduce costly vehicle accidents.
How to Obtain MVRs and What to Look For
When it comes to obtaining MVRs, businesses have several options. Specifically, you can secure an MVR through:
- Your state’s department of motor vehicles
- A qualified insurance professional
- A third-party service, usually at an increased cost
Before you request a current or prospective employee’s MVR, you must first obtain their written consent. MVRs should be reviewed before making a hiring decision and at least annually thereafter.
For workers whose roles include driving as a key component, acceptable MVRs should be a condition of employment. The definition of an acceptable MVR can differ from business to business, but it’s important to set clear standards that employees can understand. Some general guidelines to consider include the following:
- The current or prospective employee must have a valid driver’s license for the state in which they reside.
- The current or prospective employee must have at least five years of driving experience.
- The current or prospective employee should not have any serious violations in the last three to five years. Examples of serious violations can vary by state but may include:
- Speeding excessively (e.g., driving 15 mph faster than the posted speed limit).
- Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. It should be noted that refusing to take a chemical test can also qualify as a serious violation.
- Passing a stopped school bus.
- Driving with a suspended, revoked or invalid license.
- Driving recklessly or negligently. Drivers involved in vehicular assault, homicide or manslaughter should be disqualified from employment.
- Fleeing the scene of an accident (e.g., hit and run incidents).
- The current or prospective employee should not have:
- Three or more moving violations within the last three years (e.g., speeding, changing lanes improperly, running a red light or failing to yield)
- Two or more at‐fault accidents within the last three years (e.g., accidents where the driver receives a citation or causes a collision due to their negligence)
- More than one at‐fault accident and one moving violation combined within the last three years
Again, it’s important to review your drivers’ MVRs at least annually. Some states provide services that notify businesses when one of their employee’s MVRs change, which is a great way to intervene and provide the necessary coaching.
Having a consistent system for collecting, retaining and reviewing MVRs can go a long way toward hiring qualified drivers and preventing accidents. However, even if you take every reasonable precaution, collisions can still occur. As such it’s important to secure the proper insurance coverage to protect your business.
Contact Robertson Insurance & Risk Management today to learn more.