DOT Compliance Checklist

DOT Compliance and DOT Audit

Don’t be unprepared for a DOT audit

Any employer, employee, or vehicle involved in the transportation of property or passengers in interstate commerce with a vehicle of gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or combination weight rating (GCWR) of more than 10,000 lbs. is subject to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) and potential Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) audits.

What is a DOT audit? A DOT on-site audit evaluates a company’s safety performance and confirms proper and complete recordkeeping. The review also determines if the company has adequate management controls in place to ensure FMCSR compliance. A DOT review contains six inspection categories, or factors:

  1. General
  2. Driver
  3. Operational
  4. Vehicle
  5. Hazardous Materials
  6. Accidents

The Federal Department of Transportation uses a 3 1/2-page list of requirements when performing an audit. Here are some relevant FMCSR guidelines you need to be aware of:

Part 40/382 Drug Program and Requirements
Part 385 Safety Fitness Procedures
Part 387 Minimum Levels of Financial Responsibility
Part 390 General (Knowledge Test and Accident Files)
Part 391 Qualification of Drivers
Part 392 Driving of Commercial Motor Vehicles
Part 393 Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation
Part 395 Hours of Service
Part 396 Inspection, Repair and Maintenance
Part 399 Employee Safety and Health Standards
Appendix G Minimum Periodic Inspection Standards

Compliance Safety Manager™ (Demo Request) can help you meet all these safety and compliance guidelines.

Assuming that you have a good safety program in place, a Department of Transportation (DOT) audit is not something to be feared. But you must be vigilant.

Check your potential liability by completing the DOT compliance checklist below. As an example, a successful DOT audit requires a "yes" response to each of the following questions. A "no" response could result in fines and/or the temporary or permanent closure of your business.

Do You Have… Yes No
1. Driver qualification files with 8 required items?
2. Equipment files with required information?
3. Preventative maintenance plan?
4. Daily vehicle inspection processes and procedures?
5. Hiring orientation and training program?
6. DOT required vehicle marking?
7. Accident register?
8. Mechanic certifications on file?
9. Safety management plan?
10. Annual review process?
11. Previous employment background check documented?
12. Substance abuse policy?
13. Substance testing program?
14. Substance testing record keeping?
15. Certification for reasonable suspicion?

If you answer "no" to three or more of these questions, you need to click here to discover how Compliance Safety Manager™ can get your safety and risk management programs in compliance:

Here are 9 documents or records that the DOT requires:

  1. MVRs
  2. Approved DOT application
  3. CDL license
  4. Physical/medical on drivers
  5. Annual driver review
  6. Last 7 days on duty
  7. Pre-employment check
  8. Background check on drugs
  9. Road test for all new CDL drivers with less than one year experience and classroom

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