Driver Qualification Files – What You Need to Know

Driver Qualification Files must be produced on demand or you are in violation of 391.51. Producing these documents after completion of the review does not negate a violation.

Driver Qualification Files relate to the class of a vehicle, not the type of license a driver possesses. Per 49 CFR Part 391, you must maintain Driver Qualification Files for anyone who operates a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV). In 49 CFR Part 309.5 a CMV is defined as a vehicle involved in interstate commerce with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more, or one that is designed to transport more than 8 people for hire or more than 15 people not for hire, or a vehicle that transports hazardous materials in a quantity that requires placards.

As an owner-operator, you are responsible for both employer and employee requirements, since you are both the driver and the motor carrier. There are requirements that you as the driver must meet (have a current medical card, driver’s license, etc.) and other requirements that an employer must meet (e.g. document maintenance, random drug testing program participation).

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