Driver Qualification Files

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Any person who operates a commercial vehicle is expected to demonstrate that they are qualified to operate that vehicle. This applies to all commercial drivers who must secure a USDOT number to operate their vehicle. 49 CFR 390.19

This requirement specifically applies to operators of commercial vehicles where the vehicles:

  • Gross vehicle weight (GVW) is rated in excess of 10,000 pounds; or
  • is designed to transport more than eight (8) passengers for hire or more than fifteen (15) passengers not for hire; or
  • transports hazardous materials requiring the vehicle to be placarded.

Any commercial driver who operates a commercial vehicle whose GVW exceeds 26,000 pounds, transports fifteen (15) or more passengers, or who transports hazardous materials must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and be subject to drug and alcohol testing.

Any driver who operates a commercial vehicle under the authority of a USDOT number must:

  • Be at least twenty-one (21) years of age;
  • Read and speak English;
  • Have the experience and training to operate the commercial vehicle he/she will be driving; and
  • Have a valid commercial driver’s license.

A driver qualification file will demonstrate the driver’s compliance with these requirements. The following drivers are exempt from the requirement that he/she establish a driver qualification file:

  • Operators of a covered farm vehicle who are transporting agricultural products and where the vehicle is operated solely within the state or within a 150 mile radius from its point of origin;
  • Drivers who primarily drive for another employer who has established a driver qualification file for that driver.
  • A completed driver qualification file will include the following documents:

      A driver’s application for employment completed consistent with 49 CFR 391.21.

    • A letter from each previous employer of the driver over the last 3-10 years including information as required by 49 CFR 391.21.
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