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What is the FMCSA’s Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP)?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) keeps driver safety records contained within a program it calls the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS). The data contains the safety record of each individual commercial driver, industry service provider, and carrier. Anyone with the proper credentials can access the MCMIS website 24 hours a day. This federal program is separate from driver data kept by individual states. Most state governments refer to driver data as a motor vehicle record (MVR). We’re going to explain a bit about the FMCSA’s Pre-Employment Screening Program.

Information Contained in the Pre-Employment Screening Program Record

A pre-employment screening (PSP) provides data for the most recent three years of roadside inspection reports as well as crash data that goes back five years. A person accessing a report for the purposes of screening potential employees can see which motor carrier employed the driver at the time of his or her crashes during this five-year timeframe. A Pre-Employment Screening Program report with crash data also includes the following information:

  • Date of the crash and location where it occurred
  • Injuries to the driver or others
  • Fatalities caused by the driver
  • Description of any tow-aways
  • Whether the company placed the vehicle out of service

While each report does contain significant details, it does not indicate any type of score. The FMCSA uploads reports that contain the most recent information each month. The FMCSA developed the Pre-Employment Screening Program under a direct mandate from the federal government. The purpose is to ensure public safety by making information available to employers that enable them to hire drivers with the best safety records.

How Motor Carriers Obtain Data to Include in the PSP

The FMCSA partners with an organization called NIC Federal to help manage this program. Before a motor carrier or service provider can access PSP data, it must enroll for an account either online or through the mail. The FMCSA provides credentials to eligible parties after the processing of enrollment materials.

Another way for motor carriers to obtain this information is through a driver screening program or another industry service provider. It is up to the motor carrier to locate such a program and abide by its registration requirements. Lastly, a motor carrier can request driver safety data for no cost by submitting a request to FMSCA under the Freedom of Information Act.

Who Has Access to PSP Records?

Accessing a driver’s record requires his or her written authorization. Motor carriers or other valid account holders requesting the information must do so for pre-employment screening purposes only. The person or company making the request needs to complete an authorization and disclosure form that they can locate within the account holder agreement.

Drivers have the legal right to request their own record for any reason without having to pay a fee. To do so, they need to complete a request with PSP Online or make a direct request to the FMCSA under the federal Privacy Act.

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