The 8 Requirements of the Driver Qualification File | Apex Capital Blog

The 8 Requirements of the Driver Qualification File

The 8 Requirements of the Driver Qualification File

Hi! I’m Hannah with Apex Capital and today I am going to talk to you about the Driver Qualification File also called the “DQF”.

A DQF is an FMCSA requirement for all trucking companies.

You need to keep records for every employed driver, including owner-operators. A DQF proves that your drivers are qualified to safely and legally operate a commercial motor vehicle.

Running a trucking company is like a game of pool. It requires planning, strategy, and you have to know the rules. Remembering all eight parts of a DQF can be difficult. But think of it like a game of 8 ball. You need all eight balls to make their way into the pocket to win the game.

The first step is the application of employment. Application of employment – This one’s easy! Just create an application for your drivers, including the required information. You can even use the new driver application package supplied by the FMCSA.

The second step is the annual motor vehicle record, often referred to as an MVR. You’ll need an MVR for every driver covering the last 12 months in every state that they held a CDL.

The third step is the MVR for the previous three years. Carriers need to keep MVR records from each driver for the previous three years.

The fourth step; review your MVR. Review MVRs every year to prove that your drivers meet safe driving requirements. You’ll also need to evaluate their driving qualifications.

The review should Include; the reviewers name and date of the review and disclose any evidence of your drivers violating FMCSA regulations like speeding, reckless driving, or driving under the influence of alcohol. Remember to review the MVR carefully. An incorrect determination of driver qualification could put your trucking company out of service.

The fifth step; record of violations. Keep a certificate showing any violations by a driver over the last year. If a driver doesn’t have any violations, great, you still need a signed certificate.

The sixth step; copy of commercial driver’s license. Here’s another easy one! You just need a copy of the driver’s CDL.

The seventh step; medical examiner’s certificate. A DOT physical exam must be conducted by a licensed medical examiner.

The eighth step is a note regarding the medical examiner’s certificate. Every carrier needs a note in the DQF verifying that the driver used an authorized medical examiner from the FMCSA National Registry.

Here’s a quick recap of what needs to go in your DQF. An application of employment, annual motor vehicle record from each state, MVRs from the previous three years, an annual review of the MVR, a record of violations, a copy of their CDL, a medical examiner’s certificate, and a note regarding the medical examiner’s certificate.

Thanks for watching! For more information, check out our blog. There you’ll find a free DQF checklist and links to helpful resources.