The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has published a Final Rule enabling fleets to obtain more complete information about driver candidates’ safety records. The rule goes into effect April 29, 2004.

The rule requires previous employers to respond to requests from prospective employers within 30 days. They must provide information going back three years about crash involvement, alcohol and substance abuse, rehabilitation efforts, and reversion to illegal alcohol or controlled substances if rehabilitation was unsuccessful.

Prospective employers must advise driver applicants that they have the right to review, request correction, or refute the information provided by a former employer in the safety history.

Failure to comply with the rule could result in civil penalties.

Published in the Federal Register March 30, the rule can be accessed online at www.fmcsa.dot.gov, or via the DOT Docket Management System under FMCSA-97-2277 at http://dms.dot.gov.