Thursday, January 18, 2018

Better safe than sorry: order PSP data to correct any mistakes


Friday, September 3, 2010
by DEREK HINTON

My recommendation to DOTJobHistory driver members has been that, like your driving, DAC, employment, and infraction/misdemeanor/felony record information, you should obtain your PSP information, see what it says and correct any errors.
My recommendation to DOTJobHistory driver members has been that, like your driving, DAC, employment, and infraction/misdemeanor/felony record information, you should obtain your PSP information, see what it says and correct any errors.

In May, PSP (Pre-Employment Screening Program) information became available to drivers and motor carriers. PSP information consists of records from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Motor Carrier Information System (MCMIS) and contains the most recent five years of crash data and three years of roadside inspection data from the FMCSA MCMIS system.

You have no doubt been hearing and reading about CSA 2010. This PSP information affects a motor carrier’s score, so this may become an important component of their screening process.

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This availability is brand new: it is not known how many carriers will order the information, how the information will affect eligibility for hire (though I’ll take a wild guess here and wager that a report with a lot of crash data will do some affecting) and how often a particular carrier will use it (i.e., will they order it on every driver applicant, only drivers they are prepared to hire or somewhere in between).

In the early-1980s, computerized MVRs arrived on the scene; the late 1980s brought DAC employment history reports; in the early 1990s, criminal records began to be used. Outside of a few other, less important screening reports, not much has changed in the past decade or so. So this information will probably affect drivers’ eligibility for employment more than any other new information that has arrived in a decade.  It should be noted that motor carriers are NOT required to obtain this information when hiring drivers — it is up to their discretion.

My recommendation to DOTJobHistory driver members has been that, like your driving, DAC, employment, and infraction/misdemeanor/felony record information, you should obtain your PSP information, see what it says and correct any errors. (DOTJobHistory members:  log into your account at dotjobhistory.com, click on “Order PSP Report” and read more or order your report).  If you are not registered with DOTJobHistory, I would still recommend you obtain your report.

The cost of the report is $10. The turnaround time is typically immediate. If you do find errors or misinformation on your report, all requests to correct information must be handled by the FMCSA within the Department of Transportation

Again, it remains to be seen how critical a driver’s PSP report will be to his eligibility for driving employment. On the one hand, motor carriers are not required to order the information; it’s not cheap and  insurance companies will not be able to order PSP reports as they can do with MVRs (driving records). On the other hand, insurers may review carrier driver qualification files while “suggesting” to their insured carriers that they obtain this information prior to hire and follow their underwriting guidelines regarding same.

In spite of these “known unknowns and unknown unknowns” I would advise obtaining all your information including your PSP report.  If there are errors, correct them. If the information is not good, know what you’re dealing with. If the information is good — use your information to get the job you desire.

Derek Hinton has more than 20 years’ experience in the areas of employment screening, the Fair Credit Reporting Act and motor carrier safety regulations. He began his career at DAC Services in 1984 and is the author of “The Criminal Records Manual,” a book that details criminal records in the hiring process. Contact information for Hinton can be found at www.dotjobhistory.com. 

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