Why You Should Automate Your Company’s DQ Files


February 10, 2021


As prevalent as paperless DQ file software is, it’s apparent the industry as a whole can still make improvements when it comes to the compliance of Driver Qualification Files. It is alarming to see that there are still FMCSA Critical Violations regarding DQ file violations, indicating that many fleets can still benefit from the trend of automating their DQ files.

On the whole, critical violations in these areas are seeing a decrease from the listed data between FY 2016 and FY 2020. This can, no doubt, at least be partially attributed to the adoption of technology that allows fleets to monitor aspects of the DQ file that are out of compliance and easily rectify the discrepancies before they become problems in the first place.

The critical violations for 391.51A — Failing To Maintain Driver Qualification File On Each Driver — was 3.81% of total critical violations for 20. This is a concerning upward trend that doesn’t have to be there at all.

Other rates of the percentage of total critical violations relating to the DQ file for 2020 are:

  • 391.51B2 — Inquiries Into Employment Record Not Kept in DQ File (9.13%)
  • 382.301A — Using A Driver Before Receiving A Pre-Employment Result (8.15%)
  • 391.51B7 — No Medical Certificate In Qual. File (2.66%)
  • 383.23A — Operating A CMV Without A Valid CDL (0.21%)

DQ files can present a challenge for even the best of fleets as there are so many moving parts and so many people involved in this process. This is compounded when the DQ files are kept on paper and you’re tracking this information on spreadsheets and in filing cabinets. Add in a few terminals and it’s easy to see why these infractions occur.

A compliant DQ file actually starts during the application process. Having a software solution that ensures you are collecting the right forms and documents from the beginning and continues through the driver’s life cycle with the company can go a long way in ensuring nothing is missing from the file. Pair this with a solution that automatically measures the compliance of each file and you’re on the road to an easier audit experience.

A cloud-based portal can help both the driver and the fleet understand what is missing from the file and understand whose responsibility it is. Real-time updates, via email or text message, can directly notify the driver when something is missing from the file.

Not all online solutions are created equal, so ensure you select one that meets your needs.

Click Here to get started with paperless DQ files today.

% of Total Critical Violations (source )

(391.51B2) Inquiries Into Employment Record Not Kept in DQ File8.21%8.96%8.99%9.43%7.72%
(382.301A) Using A Driver Before Receiving A Pre-Employment Result Eve7.34%9.39%9.88%9.72%9.22%
(391.51A)Failing To Maintain Driver Qual. File On Each Driver5.40%3.57%3.77%3.03%3.45%
(391.51B7)No Medical Certificate In Qual. File1.30%2.31%2.29%1.83%1.43%
(383.23A)Operating A CMV Without A Valid CDL0.43%0.15%0.32%0.56%1.30%