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The Importance of a Criminal Background Check in Driver Screening

Posted: December 16, 2021

While Motor Vehicle Records (MVR) and Pre-Employment Screening (PSP) reports are crucial elements of screening new hires, a thorough screening process will go beyond looking at just driving history. A criminal background check allows you to ensure a candidate doesn’t have anything in their record that indicates they might become a liability for your company in the future. An employee with a history of theft, fraud, or violent crime could end up hurting your company. Criminal background checks are essential to ensuring that you are protecting yourself and your company.

There are two different types of background checks. The names are pretty self-explanatory: State background checks reveal a candidate’s history in a single state, and a nationwide background check runs a search across all states. The information available about an offense or offender varies by state. Some states will only allow the last seven years of history to be reported.  

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) provides a national set of rules that must be obeyed when conducting background checks, but local and state laws must be taken into account. Authorization is required before running any background check on a candidate, and it must be kept separate from the job application. The services of a professional screening company are often used to conduct criminal background checks. Finding a screening company, like StarPoint, that provides FCRA-compliant reports helps protect you from legal liability without forcing you to become an expert in FCRA rules. 

However, FCRA rules do not end with obtaining a report. If there is something in a background check that causes you to decide against a candidate, you are required to inform them with an adverse action notice. (Reference our blog on this topic here.) It is also ideal to have hiring standards in place to reference when determining whether or not to hire someone with a criminal background. Having concrete reasons consistent across hiring decisions can help protect you from accusations of discrimination. 

While it is important to review the driving record for a candidate through an MVR check and PSP report, a criminal background check is a critical piece of any screening process. Taking the time to complete a thorough screening of a candidate during the hiring process ensures you hire quality employees who will not become a liability later.