April 9th, 2019 | Alla Schay, General Manager, Industrials, Government & Education.

7 Reasons Your Organization Needs A Continuous Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) Program

Group of workers standing together

You’ve made a considerable investment on new equipment and transportation. You are working hard every day to ensure your customers have the best experience. In good faith, you pre-screen your drivers and re-screen them every year. Many questions may come to mind when you see an issue with your driver’s records, including:

  • Was there a way for me to know sooner?
  • How much risk was my company exposed to?
  • What else could I be missing?
  • Will I continue to be lucky that no serious accidents (or worse) occur?
  • What can I do to change this fast?

Here are seven reasons why you should consider adopting a continuous Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) monitoring program:

1. Business Sense

In 2015, Sterling was the first background screening provider to announce an arrest monitoring program. Driver risk management has recently become a critical business issue for many organizations, affecting budgets and profitability. The standard yearly motor vehicle record process is necessary. It ensures you are operating compliantly according to
regulations, and that qualified drivers get behind the wheel. But, by pulling a Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) only once a year, you are leaving a big gap. You may very well have individuals driving for your organization with a serious violation or other items on their record. The implications on your workflows, profitability, and brand reputation are manifold.

The tough questions to consider include:

  • What happens when your driver gets a Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI, applicable in NY), soon after you pull the annual report?
  • What if another offense leads to the suspension of a license?
  • What if one of your drivers is operating a vehicle with a suspended license, and you don’t know about it?

In all these instances, you will only discover an anomaly at the next yearly pull, possibly months away. While this may be a bigger issue for the transportation industry, you too may have employees with a significant part of their role that involves driving. This can represent real liability along with threats to the bottom line and your company’s hard-earned reputation if you don’t take proactive measures to monitor real-time driver safety data. 

2. Cost to Business

According to a report prepared by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) and the Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle crash injuries on and off the job cost employers more than $47 billion a year. Crashes are attributed to a variety of driver behavioral issues such as driving under the influence, distracted driving, unrestrained driver or co-passengers, and speeding.

Preventive measures are always best, and safety initiatives are effective when they are not reactive in nature. Protecting employees from accidents could be a profitable investment of your company’s time and resources. Pro-active workforce motor vehicle record monitoring may require increased initial investment, but avoiding the costs of incident compensation and crisis management allows for rich dividends on a long-term basis.

3. Compliance

DOT regulated carriers are directly responsible for drivers’ actions. As a result, there is the possibility of negligent retention litigation if a driver causes an injury with a company vehicle. Keeping drivers’ records up to date can assist in identifying high-risk drivers. While many drivers are not likely to have a violation requiring the pulling of an MVR. But, even the best drivers can commit a violation or worse, cause a serious accident resulting in a lawsuit. An organization’s lack of knowledge on a driver being a potential risk, is not likely to work as a viable defense.

Also, not knowing what violations are on a driver’s license may be deemed negligent entrustment. In other words, it is the act of entrusting a vehicle to a driver who, based on previous behavior, could use the vehicle to cause harm to others. And that’s why having continuous driver license monitoring to address these issues makes a lot of sense.

Did you know?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), when a driver has an on-the-job crash that results in injury, the average cost to the driver’s company is over $70,000. This does not include liability costs, which could add tens of thousands of dollars.

Driver signing sheet

4. Safety for All

Beyond the costs outlined above, any opportunity to remove a potentially dangerous driver from the road — either permanently or for a certain time period — benefits the entire driving public.

Wondering how can you make our roads safer and enhance your organization’s compliance with MVR reporting? Start with a reliable, and efficient continuous continuous MVR program.

Before you opt for a continuous MVR monitoring program, here are some questions to consider:

  • Is pulling an MVR once a year good enough?
  • Is the cost of continuous monitoring prohibitive?
  • Are there parts of your workforce particularly well suited to this approach?

5. Efficiency and Risk Mitigation

Continuous MVR monitoring searches drivers’ records on an ongoing basis. As a result, it becomes much easier to quickly identify driver problems, and correct them. MVR monitoring continuously checks your fleets’ driving records. When a ticket, accident, suspension, or revocation is found, you receive a notification, and an updated MVR is provided for that driver.

A robust screening program should include monitoring. Also, identify risky drivers in coordination with training and education programs. Remember, even a safe driver could receive a violation. This could escalate into a serious injury or worse, and the company could be held liable. An MVR monitoring program not only helps organizations identify a potential risk, but also correct it before it escalates.

6. Quick Decisions, Brand Protection

Workforce Monitoring provides organizations with information to help make early strategic decisions, and more frequently. With swift turnaround time comes the advantage of flexibility to decide on the correct course of action. You have the time to choose corrective, disciplinary, or punitive action depending on the circumstance.

When it comes to brand reputation management, remaining alert to potential crises is important. Swift, preventive capabilities play a valuable role in protecting a company’s hard-earned brand reputation. With an MVR monitoring service, the management team is empowered to stay one step ahead.

7. Behavioral Impact

Records being checked through a continuous MVR program helps influence behavior and yields favorable results. You can potentially reduce accidents, lower risk, and decrease insurance premiums. In conjunction with a solid safety program, you can demonstrate that your fleet of drivers are safe and that operations run in a compliant manner. The resulting protection of your employees’ lives and lives of other drivers on the road is a considerable benefit.

Sterling — a leading provider of background and identity services — offers a foundation of trust and safety that spans across industries, professions, and borders. Our technology-powered services help organizations create great environments for their workers, partners, and customers. With office locations around the world, Sterling conducts more than 75 million searches annually.

With pre-hire screening only, employee issues may never be discovered. With periodic re-screens, information may surface after it is too late. Sterling’s workforce monitoring services help companies to proactively and efficiently mitigate risk, whether the risk is associated with illegal activity by employees or driving incidents. To learn more about reducing insider and safety-related risks, click here.


Sterling is not a law firm. This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.