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A Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) is a report provided by the state, which details an individual’s driving history. As part of their commercial driver’s license (CDL) programs, states are required to exchange data with the federal Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS). MVRs are crucial for the driver qualification process, as employers must ensure that anyone hired to drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) has a valid CDL. Maintaining these records is part of the record keeping requirement. The MVR (Motor Vehicle Records) check is one of a number of items that belong in your DQ Files (Driver Qualification Files).

DQ File Requirements

Motor carriers must conduct an MVR check on each new driver hired which covers the previous three years, and must renew it annually for the duration of their employment. The initial 3-year MVR must be obtained by making a request to each state where the driver has held a license or permit during the previous three years. Each state’s record must be recorded within 30 days of employment in the driver’s qualification (DQ) file and maintained for three years after the driver’s employment expires.

The requirements also require that a motor carrier collect and assess each driver’s MVR for the past 12 months yearly. Employers must maintain at least three years’ worth of these annual MVR checks.

Medical certification information is included in the MVRs of CDL drivers. In such instances, the driver’s MVR must be obtained prior to operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in order to check their physical qualifications. This MVR must be obtained if a driver’s medical certification status changes, and within 15 days following their medical examination. Moreover, it may fulfill both the initial and yearly MVR requirements.

What Is the Annual MVR Check?

Federal law mandates that employers with commercial drivers (CDL) annually review their Motor Vehicle Record (MVR). Carriers are required to verify drivers’ driving records to guarantee compliance with minimal safety criteria.

“Carrier must maintain a motor vehicle record for each driver in their Driver Qualification file. The carrier must request each driver’s MVR every 12 months and must keep the record for 3 years. The carrier must review the motor vehicle records of drivers it employs to determine whether that driver meets minimum requirements for safe driving or is disqualified to drive a CMV. Driver’s records can be obtained from the State motor vehicle department from which the driver’s license is issued.” Source

MVRs provide organizations with knowledge regarding the driving characteristics of their workers. The report contains details on the driver’s current license status, accident history, and driving offenses.

The Annual Review of the MVR is intended to verify that CMV drivers have not committed any disqualifications listed in 49 CFR Part 391.15.

Checking the MVRs of all employees who drive for work, regardless of whether it is mandated by law or not, is a prudent business practice.

What Are the Advantages of MVRs?

When employees use a vehicle while performing their job duties, their employer may be held responsible for accidents, violations, and inspection infractions. All these can all result in a rise in insurance costs and expensive legal action. To protect themselves from liability, many employers use Motor Vehicle Records (MVRs) to monitor their employees’ driving records and ensure that they are not putting the company at risk. Through MVRs, employers can obtain comprehensive reports about their employees’ driving records, including traffic violations and license suspensions.

MVRs typically contain the following information:

  1. Personal information: This includes the driver’s name, address, date of birth, and license number.
  2. Driving history: This includes the driver’s driving record, such as accidents, traffic violations, and any points accumulated on their license.
  3. License status: This includes the driver’s current license status, such as valid, suspended, or revoked.
  4. Endorsements: This includes any special endorsements the driver may have, such as the ability to drive a commercial vehicle.
  5. Violations: This includes any traffic violations the driver has been charged with, such as speeding or running a red light.

In conclusion, MVRs are an important tool for employers, insurance companies, and licensing agencies to assess an individual’s driving history. The information contained in an MVR helps to ensure the safety of drivers and others on the road by providing a comprehensive overview of an individual’s driving record.

But how often should you conduct an MVR check?

Is the annual report enough to give you a clear idea about what’s going on with your drivers? Even if by law you need annual reports, you should keep in mind that a lot can happen in twelve months. An employee’s driver’s license may be suspended and he might not report it. Or your driver may receive a citation after causing an accident. To avoid having to face litigation, it is recommended to conduct MVR checks at least annually.

Other reports necessary when employing CDL drivers

MVR checks are mandatory in the pre-employment stage and then annually. MVR monitoring can help your company even more to avoid facing liability. However, MVR is not the only report that you need to see the big picture when it comes to the candidates for your driving job openings and even for existing employees. Here are other reports and background checks offered by ScreeningWise that can help you create and maintain a healthy, safe and productive workplace: