A career as a trucker allows you to enjoy the freedom of the open road. While this is a great job for many people, it also comes with significant responsibility. Semi-trucks are larger than the average vehicle and since you will be operating a tractor-trailer on public roads, it is necessary to prioritize safety. Given this, trucking companies want to ensure they hire the best and safest drivers.
There are a variety of methods a motor carrier may use to check applicants’ driving history. The most common by far is the Drive-a-Check (DAC) report. Companies aren’t required to use this service specifically, but most medium and large carriers do. As a trucker, it’s important to understand what DAC reports include and how they can affect you so you are fully prepared.
Driver Background Check Requirements
The Department of Transportation (DOT) is responsible for regulating the trucking industry and they require motor carriers to obtain certain information before employing drivers. This includes checking their motor vehicle record (MVR) and employment history.
The DOT does not require employers to use DAC reports specifically. However, many of the categories in these reports must be reviewed in some form for DOT compliance. As a result, the information in this article is often relevant to whether a potential employer uses DAC reports or a different method.
Who Compiles DAC Reports?
The background check service HireRight is the creator of DAC reports. They compile the information these reports contain and the goal is to provide an overall view of a trucker’s professional history. Because HireRight operates under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), they have certain obligations to truckers whose information the reports include. Namely, you can request a copy of the report and correct any errors, which we’ll discuss more later in this article.
Information in DAC Reports
A DAC report covers the past ten years of a truck driver’s employment history. It gives detailed information about a variety of items, which vary depending on what the motor carrier requested to see.
Some information that may be included:
- Your commercial driver’s license (CDL) number and any restrictions or endorsements
- A record of any accidents
- Names and addresses of previous motor carriers you’ve worked for
- Length of employment with each trucking company you’ve worked for
- Types of trucks you’ve driven
- Types of freight you’ve hauled
- Details about your job performance
- Your reason for leaving previous trucking jobs and your eligibility for rehire with those companies
- Drug and alcohol testing results (Note: Any DOT tests are also included in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Clearinghouse system. However, the DAC report may include information about non-DOT drug testing, such as hair tests.)
What Can You Do About Your Report?
You’ll want to make sure your DAC report reflects positively on you as a driver because it can affect whether or not a company chooses to hire you. In general, the best way to do this is to maintain a clean driving record and focus on safety and professionalism. Be polite and give proper notice if you quit any trucking jobs and take steps to minimize your risk of getting in an accident.
Sometimes, these reports contain incorrect information. If this ever happens to you, you need to correct it as soon as possible to avoid any issues.
Just like you can request free consumer credit reports each year, you can do the same thing for your DAC report. You do this on HireRight’s website. Be sure to look over the information once a year and make sure it is all correct.
If there is anything inaccurate, missing, or incomplete in your report, dispute it. Keeping any records from throughout your trucking career makes this process easier.
Want to Enter the Trucking Industry?
If you are interested in a trucking career, HDS Truck Driving Institute (HDS truck driving school) can help you get started in as little as four weeks. We give you the knowledge you need to succeed.