Obtaining past employment references is not only a DOT requirement, it is an essential part of the driver selection process and is necessary to verify an applicant’s experience and driving history.
Documented inquiries must be made to all past employers listed for the three years prior to application, for whom the applicant was a commercial motor vehicle driver. Inquiries are not required for commercial driving employment in the seven years preceding this three-year period. However, the carrier is permitted to investigate the applicant’s background beyond the required three-year period. The carrier may find further investigation helpful in making an employment decision.
Investigation may consist of personal interviews, telephone interviews, letters or any other method of obtaining information that the carrier deems appropriate. It is important to be familiar with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (Refer to Page 2.4).
A written record must be made and kept on file with respect to each past employer contacted. The record must include:
- The past employer’s name and address.
- The date the employer was contacted.
- The comments the employer made with respect to the driver.
Form 2-7, “Past Employment Reference”, or a similar form, can be completed for each reference listed on an application.
Although the regulations require that all inquiries be made within 30 days of the date of employment, it is recommended that background investigations of drivers be completed prior to making a hiring decision in order to maintain a good driver selection program.
Tip: Ask past employers for references shown on their application as another means to further verify past employment