Employment History Verification in Truck Driving

by Pride Transport | Mar 28, 2024

Part of becoming a truck driver is agreeing to background checks during the hiring process. Background checks in the trucking industry include a comprehensive review of a job applicant’s driving record, drug or alcohol testing, and, like many other jobs, employment history.


But why do truck drivers need verifiable employment history, especially if they already have their CDL? Well, employment history tells employers a lot more than what initially meets the eye. Learn why your employment history matters, how companies verify employment, and what you can do to ensure you’re ready for the next great driving opportunity.

Why Do Trucking Companies Verify Employment History?

Employers often request some background information from job applicants. In most instances, they’re interested in a person’s employment history and contact information for a few professional references. Trucking companies are just like any other company when asking for these details, but their motivation is a little different.


First, verified employment checks are legally required by the Department of Transportation (DOT). The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), an agency within the DOT, describes itself in this way:


“As the lead federal government agency responsible for regulating and providing safety oversight of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), FMCSA's mission is to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.”


By conducting employment verification checks, trucking companies are doing their part to ensure roadway safety while following the rules and regulations set by the FMCSA and DOT.


This leads to the next reason for verifying past employment: to confirm that drivers are qualified for the jobs they apply for. While drivers need to have their CDL, pass the DOT physical, and meet other requirements, these qualifications don’t offset the need for real-life driving experience. Truck transportation is in high demand, so most companies need drivers who are ready to hit the road immediately. If a new driver with no over-the-road experience is hired for an OTR job that they can’t safely perform, it puts the driver, driving public, and company at risk.


Verified experience is also important in regards to the type of freight drivers can haul. Drivers need to earn specific endorsements for certain load types, which includes driving double- and triple-trailers. Experience in addition to endorsements offers greater reassurance to driving companies that their drivers can handle the work.

How far back do trucking companies look in your employment history?

The DOT requires trucking companies to verify employment history for the past three years. However, companies can also set their own requirements and they may choose to verify more years than the minimum.

What Qualifies as Verifiable Employment?

When trucking companies go through a candidate’s employment history, they’re looking for three big things to start:

  1. Who the driver worked for
  2. How long they were employed by that operation
  3. Why they left that role


These factors help recruiters determine not only driver qualifications, but also if the driver is prone to jumping around from job to job. Trucking companies value consistency and dependability in their drivers, so a history of job-hopping is important to know about in advance.


Trucking companies can complete DOT employment verification either on their own or through a third-party background check agency. In either case, the entity verifying employment will also request a motor vehicle record (MVR) from any state where the driver earned a permit or license to gather a more complete picture of the person’s driving record and qualifications.


Here’s what official employment verification confirms:

  • Dates of employment and job titles held
  • Driving record, including history of any accidents while on the job
  • Previous drug and/or alcohol testing results
  • Whether the applicant refused to take a drug or alcohol test
  • If the applicant was professionally referred to a rehabilitation program and whether or not they completed the program


Additionally, previous employers must provide any records of accidents or violations to the inquiring company upon request. (If there aren’t any accidents or violations to report, they need to confirm that in writing as well.) In cases where former employers don’t provide this information, the company asking for it should note in the driver’s file that they attempted to retrieve those records.


It’s also important to note that trucking companies are legally required to let job candidates know that they can review information provided by their former employers. If the driver thinks the information is incorrect, they can dispute the inaccurate parts of the report or provide a rebuttal to the information listed by the employer.

two pride transport employees standing in front of truck


Advice for Keeping Employment Records in Order

Actually doing the work of verifying employment history falls to the trucking company. But there are a few things that drivers can do to keep the process moving along smoothly.


  • Keep accurate records of previous employment. You’ll need this information when applying for any new jobs. Make your life easier by keeping track of which companies you drove for and when. This can be as simple as storing a note on your phone and keeping an updated resume file on your computer.
  • Maintain good connections with previous employers. Make sure you have at least one person’s most up-to-date contact information at any company you worked for in the last 3–5 years. People do change jobs, so ask if you can include contact information other than a work phone or email to avoid confusion or dead ends.
  • Fill out information correctly. Set aside time to fill everything out completely and accurately. Note that you might have to spend some time researching exact dates and contact information, so plan accordingly.
  • Be honest. There’s always room for growth and obtaining new skills once you’re working for a trucking company, but you have to get hired first. Using inaccurate information on your application or lying about certifications and employment history will make it hard for potential employers to trust that you’ll be a good hire.

Being hired as a truck driver takes a few extra steps, but we think the effort is worth it. Our drivers at Pride Transport are among the best in the business, and they continue to receive the training and support they need to set a good example on the road. Learn more about driving with Pride today.

pride transport truck in parking lot

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