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The Importance of Employees Driver’s License Status

Posted: August 04, 2021

For employers, checking the driver’s license status of employees that will operate a motor vehicle for any business purpose is essential. This is not limited to delivery drivers—it includes anyone driving a company car, contractors who transport goods, and even employees or volunteers driving people for business-related events. Conscientious employers should check the driver’s license status of anyone whose driving might reflect on their business. Doing this ahead of time can prevent potential liability issues and damage to the reputation of a company.

Checking the driver’s license status of an employee or potential employee can be done with a Motor Vehicle Records (MVR) report. MVR reports will show driver records going back between 3 and 10 years, depending on the state. Two very important pieces of information these records provide are (1) driver’s license status; and (2) driver license class.

Any employee or volunteer that will be operating motor vehicles for any business purpose must have a valid, non-expired driver’s license of the appropriate class. While different states will have different classes of driver licenses, there are three classes of commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) that must follow federal guidelines. These are outlined below:

Class A: This applies to large combination vehicles—vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) or 26,001 lbs or more, where the towed vehicle is 10,000 lbs or more. This includes vehicles such as tractor-trailers and livestock carriers. Drivers with a Class A license can generally drive Class B and Class C vehicles as well.

Class B: This applies to single vehicles with a GCWR of 26,001 lbs or more or vehicles towing less than 10,000 lbs. This class can include delivery trucks and large buses. Drivers with a Class B license can generally drive Class C vehicles as well.

Class C: This applies to vehicles not in the first two categories that are either designed to carry 16 passengers (including the driver) or are transporting hazardous materials.

Vehicles that do not fall within these categories can usually be driven with a noncommercial license—but remember to check state requirements! It is essential that vehicles are driven by someone with an appropriate license to prevent issues further down the line.

As well as having a license of the correct class, a driver must also have a valid license. Some license statuses and their definitions are listed below:

  • Valid: The license is valid for vehicles within the license class without limitations.
  • Revoked: This means that a license and associated driving privileges have been terminated—common reasons for this may include DUI’s or medical conditions that prohibit driving.
  • Suspended: This means that driving privileges have been temporarily revoked. The individual may still be able to drive in certain instances, such as going to work or school.
  • Expired: The expiration date on a license has passed without being renewed by the driver.

MVR reports are vital to ensuring that employees or candidates can legally drive necessary vehicles. Without obtaining an MVR to check this, employers can leave themselves vulnerable to potential issues down the line. MVR reports can be quickly and easily obtained through the screening services Starpoint offers.