If you hire employees to operate company vehicles, you want to be as certain as possible that your incoming hires are safe and responsible behind the wheel. While there are methods of verifying employee driving records that may help the employer save money, they aren’t necessarily legal. Cutting corners on motor vehicle reports may seem like a great way to save money now, but one costly lawsuit can quickly erase any savings experienced and send your business into the red.
THE INSURANCE LOOPHOLE
A company must add a new driver (whether they're hired as a driver or just provided a company car), that individual to the company vehicle insurance policy. As a standard practice, vehicular insurers verify the Motor Vehicle Report of any party added to a policy, as a matter of underwriting. If a driver has many black marks on their record, the insurer will require an additional premium cost for riskier drivers…such is the business of insurance.
As you might imagine, a business that has found someone they fully expect to hire might find it wasteful to spend money on verifying an MVR before reviewing their insurer’s findings. This practice plunges a business into a very murky area concerning legality. The Fair Credit Reporting Act makes clear what an employer may use and how when gathering personal information on potential hires.
Enacted in 1970 by the US government, the FCRA was intended to protect citizens from consumer reporting in many areas, pre-employment screening among them. The business of background reporting lies under the scope of the FCRA, whether we are considering criminal background checks, drug screening, or driver records.
Any background report used for employment purposes is subject to the rules of the FCRA. When acquiring MVR’s for employment purposes, the candidate must provide signed permission for the potential employer to obtain their records. Insurance companies do not need written consent. Employers are typically not allowed to use MVR’s for multiple purposes.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
It differs from state to state. Most things do. The most important thing to keep in mind is this: If you misuse a Motor Vehicle Report, it can be a violation of federal law. If you are relying on your insurer to run your driver background screening, you are generally not allowed to use the information returned to hire or fire a candidate.
Yes, it costs a bit more to have a professional screening company run MVR’s for your organization. In the short-term. However, the cost of performing accurate and legal verification pales in comparison to the cost of losing a federal lawsuit. We implore you to consider employing an NAPBS-certified service to complete your background screenings for potential corporate drivers. You can’t afford not to. Learn what we can do for your business by downloading our free guide. Click the link below to get started.