Maintenance of Driver Qualification Files

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations (FMCSR) require a motor carrier to maintain a driver qualification file for each driver it employs. Part 391.51 specifies which documents must be contained in this file. However, paragraph (d) of the regulation allows a motor carrier to purge specific documents from the file. The following regulations specify the duration each document must be maintained by employers as of September 1, 2017. We recommend that motor carriers review these requirements periodically to keep current.

Per FMCSR Part 391.51(c), motor carriers must retain the following records in their driver qualification files for the length of the driver’s employment plus three (3) years thereafter:

FMCSA form headerFMCSA driver forms 1Safety performance history

Per FMCSR Part 391.51(d)(1-6), motor carriers must retain the following records in their driver qualification files for three (3) years from the date of execution:

FMCSA 3 yrs from X date

Other documents required to be maintained and made available if requested by the Secretary of Transportation, any DOT agency, or any state or local officials with regulatory authority over the employer or any of its drivers:

  • Pre-Employment Drug Test Results (382.301 and §382.401)
  • All Drug & Alcohol Test Results (382.401 Retention of Records)
  • D & A Policy Receipt (382.601)
  • Supervisor Training Record (382.603)
  • D & A Clearinghouse Authorization/Release (382.703)
  • D & A Clearinghouse Query (382.701)
    • Full Query for New Hire (382.701(a))
    • Limited Query for Current Driver – (382.701(b))
  • Hour of Service Record for First Time or Intermittent Drivers - Previous 7 Days –(HOS regulation, retain for 6 months) (395.8(a)(2)(ii))
  • HM Training Documentation (177.816)
  • Brake Inspector Qualifications (396.19 and §396.25)
  • PSP (Pre-employment Screening Program)
  • Other Background Checks
  • FMCSR book receipt

For access to up-to-date forms go to:

 * This article references information obtained on January 1, 2022.

Note: These lists are not intended to be all-inclusive.

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This material is intended to be a broad overview of the subject matter and is provided for informational purposes only. Joe Morten & Son, Inc. does not provide legal advice to its insureds or other  parties, nor does it advise insureds or other parties on employment-related issues, therefore the subject matter is not intended to serve as legal or employment advice for any issue(s) that may arise in the operations of its insureds or other parties. Legal advice should always be sought from legal counsel. Joe Morten & Son, Inc. shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, action, or inaction alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the information contained herein. Reprinted with permission from Great West Casualty Company.