Becoming a Trucker? Prepare for What a Trucking Background Check Will Show Before You Apply!

The trucking industry is suffering from a large shortage of drivers. It is considered the biggest problem in the trucking industry today, with driver retention being the second largest. In order to try and solve this problem, carriers are raising pay and distributing significant bonuses in many cases. This is a great opportunity for someone wanting to change jobs to get better pay and benefits.

However, you’ll want to be prepared because whether you are planning on being an independent contractor or a company driver, carriers will conduct a background check that complies with federal regulations. Therefore, it is important to know ahead of time what is in your background check so you can correct any mistakes or think about what you want to say if there are any issues in your background check.

Mistakes in your background check can conflict with your application making you look dishonest. Also, if you are planning on leaving information off of your application you think is irrelevant, you will want to look at your background check to see if it shows up. If you don’t list something on your application and it shows up on your background check, it could look like you are trying to hide something. The best thing to do is to answer questions on applications completely and honestly. Then, just look for any mistakes included in your background check.

Your driving record will also be looked at, and driving violations can hurt your chances of getting a job. But, leaving driving violations off of your record could hurt your chances of getting a job as well if they show up on a background check. You may feel it is okay to leave the violations off of your record because they are old, or you participated in a court-sponsored adjudication program that allowed the violation to be set aside. However, before assuming the violations are off of your record, it is always best to check. Also, if you have had a driver’s license in more than one state, you will want to check each one. Additionally, if you have moved, make sure you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) for the state you live in; you usually have 90 days to do this. Some carriers require the state on your CDL to match the state on your application.

It is important to make sure your application is consistent with your driving record. One way to do this is to request your Motor Vehicle Report. You should be able to obtain this from the agency you received your CDL from. You’ll also want to get a pre-employment screening report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This will show any citations you were issued even if you were found not guilty of the violation. Carriers are also required to obtain a report from the FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse for any workers hired as of January 2020, so you should obtain one of these reports and make sure it is accurate. Carriers and MROs are required to report any positive tests or refusals to take a test. Finally, you should obtain a personal background check to ensure any criminal background information is correct.

Ensuring that you know what is in your various records will allow you to correct any mistakes and allow you to think about how to explain any issues on your record. This could make the process of obtaining a job in the trucking industry a bit easier.

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