An essential screening tool that motor carriers should utilize is the Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP).  Many motor carriers do not know the difference between the PSP and the Motor Vehicle Record (MVR).  Below we break down the differences between the two.

What is PSP?

PSP is a voluntary program with proven safety benefits for motor carriers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) collects PSP information for carriers, individual drivers, and industry service providers. In addition, the MCMIS supplies information for the Safety Management System (SMS) and creates CSA scores.  Each time a driver gets a roadside inspection, their PSP record updates. The record displays a snapshot in time, based on the most recent MCMIS data load into the PSP system. All in all, PSP advises carriers when making informed hiring decisions. Obtain a PSP report at any time by visiting:

Most importantly, the FMCSA states, “Companies using PSP to screen new hires lower their crash rate by 8% and driver out-of-service rates by 17%, on average, compared to those that do not use PSP”.

What Information is included in a PSP Report?

  • A driver's personal information

    This includes their name, date of birth, driver's license number, and state of issuance.

  • 5 years of DOT Recordable Crash Data

  • 3 years of Roadside Inspection Data

    This incorporates a summary of the roadside inspection violations organized by the regulation and the number of times the driver violated the regulation. It also states the number of Out-Of-Service Orders (OOS) violations the driver received.

What is a MVR?

A Motor Vehicle Record is a report providing the driving history of an employee from a particular state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).  However, its data sources differ from MCMIS.  Usually, by searching the state DMV website you can obtain an MVR. Based on the FMCSA regulations, a motor carrier must obtain a 3-year MVR record. 

What Information is included on a MVR?

  • A driver's personal information

    This includes a name, address, driver's license number, and date of birth.

  • A driver's license's current status

    Valid, Suspended, Disqualified, etc.

  • Any type of endorsements or restrictions on a driver's CDL

    Endorsement: Class A, HAZMAT, Motorcycle/ Restriction: Glasses or Hearing Aids

  • Any suspensions or disqualifications from the driver's past

  • Convictions for moving violations from the driver's past

Typically, information included on a driver’s MVR is a result of a conviction on a traffic citation that went through the courts.

What are the differences between an MVR and a PSP?

Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP)

  1. Includes a driver’s 5-year crash history and 3-year roadside inspection history, including all safety violations cited during an inspection.
  2. Includes data from all CDL numbers a driver has held for the past 5 years.
  3. Always includes original violation regardless of whether it resulted in a different conviction.
  4. Managed by FMCSA using the MCMIS, so data is country-wide and up-to-date.
  5. Motor carriers can access PSP records in one place by simply enrolling in the PSP service.

In short, PSPs are a great indicator of a driver’s behavior as every roadside inspection they have received in the previous 3 years appears on it, regardless if they have received a citation or not. 

Motor Vehicle Record (MVR)

  1. Includes a driver’s motor vehicle convictions in a given state; citations, warnings, and tickets yet to be settled in court will not appear.  
  2. Includes only data from the driver’s CDL issued by that particular state.
  3. Only includes events that resulted in a conviction by the state.
  4. Managed by individual states; data is updated periodically depending on each state’s resources and process.
  5. Motor carriers can access an MVR by contacting the motor vehicle division in the license-issuing state.  
  6. Required by the FMCSA.

All in all, MVRs allow you to see the driver’s history in regards to suspensions, disqualifications, and citations.  Unfortunately, the drawback is that they have limited information on how a driver may positively or negatively affect a company’s safety rating.


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