Frequently Asked Questions
The following is a "growing" list of many of the common questions that we receive.
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01 My company just has a small number of CDL drivers. The DOT told me that I have to be a part of a consortium. What does that mean?
The FMCSA regulations require that all drivers be enrolled in a random drug testing program and owner operators must be in a consortium. A consortium is a group of companies/drivers that are enrolled in the same testing pool to meet the random testing regulations. It is designed primarily for companies that have only a few drivers, but any company can technically be in a consortium.
Compliance Systems maintains a consortium for FMCSA, FAA, FTA, PHMSA, USCG, and FRA regulated companies and makes quarterly selections for random testing. Additionally, we have a consortium for non-CDL drivers/employees.
02 My company has some nonCDL drivers that drive trucks with a GVW of 18,000 lbs. What types of paperwork do I need to have?
Companies that utilize trucks (including combination units) with a GVW of 10,001 lbs and greater must adhere to the following regulation:
1. Driver Qualification Files
2. Vehicle Maintenance Files for all trucks and trailers
3. Hours of Service Regulations
4. Accident Register maintained
Please note: this is not a complete list, but covers the main points.
03 When do I have to implement a DOT drug/alcohol testing program?
You must implement a drug and alcohol testing program If you use drivers that drive trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating/gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight rating/gross combination weight of 26,001 lbs and greater; carry 15 passengers plus the driver; or a vehicle of any size that must be placarded
04 Which of my trucks need to have an annual inspection?
Any commercial vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of 10,001 lbs and more must be inspected annually. This also includes both parts (truck and trailer) of a combination unit.
05 I've heard something about having to pull an MVR after a driver renews their medical card. What does that mean?
This rule applies to CDL drivers only. A motor carrier is required to pull an MVR 15 days after a driver has renewed his/her medical card to ensure that the new expiration date is accurately recorded on the MVR and the license has not been downgraded.
06 My company is contracted by a railroad company to mow grass around their railroad tracks. The railroad company just told me that I need to be in a drug testing pool. Why? We're just cutting grass.
Effective June 12, 2017, all employees of railroad companies and companies that are contracted by railroad companies and are performing maintenance of way functions as defined by the definition of "roadway worker" as defined in Part 214.7, must implement a drug and alcohol testing program. This new definition also includes other positions such as signal employees who inspect, repair or maintain signal systems. So, yes, if you are mowing around railroad tracks, you may be required to implement a testing program.
07 I just started a trucking company and now I'm having a DOT audit - why so soon?
More than likely, your audit is a New Entrant Safety Audit, which must be conducted within 18 months of a company establishing a DOT number or MC number. This is an educational opportunity for you to learn from the experts, so hopefully, you won't have compliance problems down the road. This can help you avoid needless citations resulting in fines or being placed out of service.
08 When do I have to have an IRP license plate and file IFTA returns?
If you drive a commercial truck or a vehicle that is designed to transport persons for hire that crosses state lines and meets one of the three following criteria, you must have IRP plates on the truck, IFTA decals on the truck, and file a quarterly IFTA tax return:
(i) has two Axles and a gross Vehicle weight or registered gross Vehicle weight in excess of 26,000 pounds (11,793.401 kilograms), or
(ii) has three or more Axles, regardless of weight, or
(iii) is used in combination, when the gross Vehicle weight of such combination exceeds 26,000 pounds (11,793.401 kilograms).