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Any person who operates a commercial vehicle is expected to demonstrate that they are qualified to operate that vehicle. This applies to all commercial drivers who must secure a USDOT number to operate their vehicle. 49 CFR 390.19
This requirement specifically applies to operators of commercial vehicles where the vehicles:
- Gross vehicle weight (GVW) is rated in excess of 10,000 pounds; or
- is designed to transport more than eight (8) passengers for hire or more than fifteen (15) passengers not for hire; or
- transports hazardous materials requiring the vehicle to be placarded.
Any commercial driver who operates a commercial vehicle whose GVW exceeds 26,000 pounds, transports fifteen (15) or more passengers, or who transports hazardous materials must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and be subject to drug and alcohol testing.
Any driver who operates a commercial vehicle under the authority of a USDOT number must:
- Be at least twenty-one (21) years of age;
- Read and speak English;
- Have the experience and training to operate the commercial vehicle he/she will be driving; and
- Have a valid commercial driver’s license.
A driver qualification file will demonstrate the driver’s compliance with these requirements. The following drivers are exempt from the requirement that he/she establish a driver qualification file:
- Operators of a covered farm vehicle who are transporting agricultural products and where the vehicle is operated solely within the state or within a 150 mile radius from its point of origin;
- Drivers who primarily drive for another employer who has established a driver qualification file for that driver.
A completed driver qualification file will include the following documents:
A driver’s application for employment completed consistent with 49 CFR 391.21.
- A letter from each previous employer of the driver over the last 3-10 years including information as required by 49 CFR 391.21.