FMCSA's Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP)

Northland Insurance logo
By Northland Insurance
2 mins • article

Whether you are a driver, a small trucking company owner, a safety director or a driver recruiter, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) can help you screen applicants for driving positions more effectively.

While motor vehicle records and background checks are beneficial, they don’t always provide detailed information about a driver’s past employment record or history of Department of Transportation (DOT) violations and crashes. The Pre-employment Screening Program offers information that can help you make a more informed hiring decision.

The program allows motor carriers to get a prospective driver’s three-year roadside inspection history and five-year crash record. This includes information about hours-of-service violations, drug or alcohol violations, DOT-recordable crashes, moving violations recorded on inspection reports, as well as other data contained in the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS).

What companies should know about PSP

Although motor carriers are not required to use PSP, using it to research a driver’s past safety record is considered an industry best practice. Here are some driver screening steps to consider when using PSP:

  • Create hiring standards that take into consideration a driver’s history of DOT violations and crashes.
  • Cross reference information from the applicant’s PSP report with the employment application, motor vehicle record and inquiries made to previous employers.
  • PSP reports do not replace FMCSA-required steps in the driver qualification process.
  • Driver pre-employment reports are only available from NIC Federal, the FMCSA’s appointed vendor for this service. There is a $10 fee for each report. Small companies with fewer than 100 trucks pay a $25 annual subscription fee to use the service. For large companies, the fee is $100.
  • The applicant’s written consent is required prior to ordering a pre-employment report. Motor carriers must keep a record of the driver’s consent.
  • For more information about PSP, or to enroll in the program, go to psp.fmcsa.dot.gov.

What drivers should know about PSP

The FMCSA compiles data on driver roadside inspections and DOT-recordable crashes.

PSP takes this information and, upon request, provides individual driver reports to a motor carrier for which a driver applies to work. Employers must obtain a signed authorization from the applicant in order to access this information.

Having a good PSP record is beneficial. More and more employers are using PSP reports, along with motor vehicle records (MVR) and references from previous employers, to determine an applicant’s qualifications to work as a professional driver.

You can purchase your own PSP report for a $10 fee on the PSP website at psp.fmcsa.dot.gov. It’s a good idea to review your PSP report. Requests to correct information must be submitted to the FMCSA’s DataQ program at dataqs.fmcsa.dot.gov.

DOC#: LCT775

Two truck drivers wearing blue baseball caps shake hands

Up Next

The Benefits of Keeping Good Drivers

Improving driver retention starts by examining how drivers are recruited, selected, hired and qualified.

Learn More

Truck Driver Management Resources

Driver Orientation Program Basics

An orientation program is important to help drivers become familiar with a company’s operations before they begin driving.

Instructor in front of class teaching truck driver students

Truck Driver Management Resources

9 Keys to Choosing Safe Drivers for Your Fleet

Screening potential drivers can help ensure you choose safer drivers who will also provide quality customer service.

Man standing beside truck smiling with arms folded wearing a red vest

Truck Driver Management Resources

Selecting and Hiring Safe Drivers

A thorough screening process can help ensure your new drivers contribute to your success by driving safely and providing quality service to your customers.

Man with glasses sits and interviews truck driver
Male insurance agent wearing a headset, in a meeting, sitting in front of a computer screen.

Agents, do your trucking customers need reliable coverage?

Find a Northland general agent who can help.