Fleet safety managers and consultants have long recognized the benefits in using an automatic notification service as a best practice when it comes to managing fleet vehicle operators’ Motor Vehicle Records. What can be better than nearly “real time” notification of changes in one of your driver’s MVRs?
Even if you follow the recommended practice of checking MVRs once a year, you could face a potential 11- or 12-month window when a driver’s record could change without your knowledge. While you don’t want drivers with suspended licenses or less than stellar records operating vehicles on behalf of your business, you may lack the means to obtain current information.
Now 19 states offer direct Automatic Notification Service or “Employer Notification Service.” ENS automatically sends updates to the employer when a driver’s license status changes, if there is a crash or if a conviction is posted to the driver’s record. While many third-party vendors provide this service as well, these states provide the service directly. This saves employers the expense and extra effort of using a third-party service provider.
If you have drivers based in the following states, this could be a great tool in your fleet management practices:
|* Arkansas||* California||* District of Columbia||* Idaho||* Louisiana|
|Maine||* Maryland||*Massachusetts||* Michigan||* Nebraska|
|* New Mexico||* New York||* North Carolina||North Dakota||* Oregon|
|* South Carolina||* Utah||* Virginia||* Wisconsin|
*States whose systems satisfy the federal requirement to obtain annual MVRs.
Additionally, 17 of the 19 state systems – all but Maine and North Dakota – also satisfy the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s requirement for a regulated motor carrier to conduct annual inquiries into each driver’s record. In lieu of obtaining (and paying for) MVRs on every driver at least once every 12 months, a business can participate in these recognized state programs and meet the mandate.
Even though two of the 19 state programs and third-party provider programs are not recognized as acceptable alternatives to the annual MVR obtainment mandate, they still provide you with near “real time” monitoring capability of your drivers’ MVRs regardless of regulated or non-regulated capacity. This could be the difference between knowing almost immediately when a driver’s license has been suspended instead of finding out months later when you conduct your annual screening.
As always, any such driver management program should also include a provision that requires all drivers to notify their employer immediately of any moving violation convictions, suspensions or any other administrative status changes to their individual driving history.
The program structure and use details vary from state to state. The FMSCA website provides additional information – such as pricing structure, registration process and links to the 19 states’ specific service sites. You’ll also be able to download a PDF containing the information.
Cincinnati Insurance policyholders can receive further assistance and guidance regarding fleet driver qualifying, benchmarking and management by reaching out to your local, independent insurance agent or your Cincinnati Loss Control representative.
This loss control information is advisory only. The author assumes no responsibility for management or control of loss control activities. Not all exposures are identified in this article. Contact your local, independent insurance agent for coverage advice and policy service. Neither The Cincinnati Insurance Company nor its affiliates or representatives offer legal advice. Consult with your attorney about your specific situation.