What Drivers Need to Know About Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) Monitoring

December 19, 2023

 Woman driving truck

All drivers want to work with carriers that value safety and retention. Ongoing MVR monitoring goes above the regulatory minimums and enhances safety and retention with timely carrier notification of changes in driving records. Here are the three things your drivers need to know about MVR monitoring, from what an MVR is to the benefits of ongoing monitoring and the regulatory requirements.



An MVR is a licensing-agency-issued snapshot of driving history, which may include:

  • License number and status, such as active, suspended, revoked, or downgraded
  • License issue and expiration dates
  • Type of license or class of commercial driver’s license (CDL)
  • Medical certification and self-certified driving status of CDL drivers
  • Restrictions such as air brakes, manual transmission, medical variance, and intrastate-only
  • Endorsements such as hazmat, passenger, and school bus
  • Accident reports, traffic violations, and vehicular crimes
  • State driving record points



Carriers and drivers have different regulatory responsibilities concerning driving history information. Carrier policies and procedures may require additional reporting and actions regarding driving incidents, violations, crashes, and convictions.


  • Intrastate-only drivers must follow their state’s violation reporting requirements, which may differ from the federal requirements.
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires CDL-vehicle drivers to notify carriers of traffic convictions within 30 days.
  • Non-CDL vehicle drivers must notify carriers of traffic convictions annually unless the violation results in a loss of driving privileges.
  • CDL and non-CDL drivers must notify carriers of loss of driving privileges by the close of business the day after being notified.


  • At hire (391.23):
    • Run MVRs in each state where the driver held a CMV license or permit in the past three years.
    • For non-CDL CMV drivers, the MVRs must be in the DQ file within 30 days of hire.
    • A CDL driver’s current state of licensing MVR must show their medical status and be in the driver’s qualification file within 15 days of the medical exam. Accepting a CDL driver’s current medical card from an exam over 15 days prior means the MVR must be in the DQ file before the driver operates a CMV.
  • Annual review (391.25):
    • Request an MVR at least once every 12 months in each state where the driver held a CMV license or permit in the past year.
    • Determine if the driver is disqualified from driving a CMV under carrier policies or per 391.15 for all drivers and with CDL drivers, also check the four tables in 383.51.
    • Pay particular attention to unsafe driving violations and crashes while comparing the driver’s record to company hiring criteria and progressive discipline policy.



Ongoing MVR monitoring, instead of only pulling annual MVRs or relying on driver notification, can alert carriers as soon as violations or license status changes are available from licensing agencies. If a driver’s ability to operate a CMV is affected, timely carrier notification is crucial.

Ongoing MVR monitoring can benefit carriers, which ultimately helps drivers, by:

  1. Identifying higher-risk behaviors sooner to allow for timely corrective actions and driver retention.
  2. Avoiding unqualified drivers operating CMVs after license suspensions due to reaching maximum point accumulations or expiration of CDL drivers’ medical certifications.
  3. Detecting license suspensions for administrative reasons, such as failure to pay child support.
  4. Reducing the chance of negligent retention or negligent supervision claims after a crash.
  5. Lowering Driver Fitness Behavioral Assessment Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) scores in the Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) program.
  6. Limiting FMCSA audit fines and acute violations.
  7. Reviewing only changes in the driving record or license status saves time and decreases the chance of missing vital updates.

Don't wait for an annual MVR pull to find out you have a problem driver. Learn more about J. J. Keller's MVR Monitoring Service!