Driver Compliance

Driver compliance applies to every driver of DOT-registered vehicles. Just like with fleet compliance, it can be useful to keep a checklist for driver compliance requirements to ensure you’re hitting all points.
Consider the following guidelines when pursuing driver compliance:
  • Conduct pre-employment drug testing for each driver and retain documentation (if possible, include any record of previous drug or alcohol abuse)
  • Keep a record of driver qualifications and safety history
  • Make sure each driver has a copy of FMCSA rules
  • Collect a signed agreement from each driver that they have read and understood their responsibilities pertaining to FMCSA rules
  • Record all hours of service (HOS) for each driver
  • Conduct random drug testing of all drivers on a regular basis and record all results


Each of these checklists cover the basics of DOT compliance, but they shouldn’t be considered comprehensive. Companies should consider creating their own checklists that are more detailed and relevant to their operations.


Department of Transportation rules that govern the operation of DOT vehicles cover a wide range of activity — ranging from vehicle operation and maintenance to driver certification and behavior.
A list of the most frequent DOT violations is included below:
  • Driver exceeding the allowable hours of service (HOS) — the maximum number of hours operating a vehicle without the required rest break
  • Driver not in possession of required qualifications or licensing
  • Failure to test or follow up on testing of the driver for drug or alcohol use while on duty
  • Vehicle not properly maintained
  • Vehicle not inspected as required
  • Unsafe transportation of hazardous materials
  • Lack of or defects in the required documentation


This category comprises a number of rules and regulations that also specify taxes (on fuel and otherwise) both federal and state. It includes such specifics as weight restrictions and types of vehicle licenses. Licenses and permits include:
Consider the following guidelines when pursuing driver compliance:
  • IRP – International Registration Plan, for payment of license fees
  • IFTA – International Fuel Tax Agreement, for payment of fuel taxes
  • Straight plates – for in-state driving
  • Single-trip permit applications


Commercial motor vehicles receive regular inspections, both from the authorities and by drivers themselves. DOT mandates a program of pre- and post-trip inspections. It requires a vehicle inspection form to be submitted when an equipment or safety issue is discovered, stating the nature of the problem and after repairs have been made, attesting that it has been corrected.

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