DOT Filing System

Members have asked me how they should keep their DOT files. DOT allows you to keep them in just about any fashion that you wish, provided the driver qualification and the drug and alcohol files are kept secure with authorized access only. Here is a suggested method that I have put together for members in the past that seems to work well. These items do not cover every situation, but they will help 99 percent of our members.

Here is what the bullets stand for:

  • = Hanging File Folders (retention period)
    • = Manila File Folders (retention period)

Files and Suggested Tab Titles:

  • DOT Filing System (place this list inside the folder to use as a table of contents)
  • MCS-90 (current)
  • MCS-150 (current)
  • Hazmat Registration (three years)
  • Unified Carrier Registration (only if you have CMVs in interstate commerce, three years)
  • List of Drivers (current)
  • List of Commercial Motor Vehicles (current)
  • Accident Register
    • Accident Register (three years retention)
    • Accident Register and Accident Report Forms (blank forms)
  • DOT Accidents
    • (place actual DOT accidents into separate manila folders)
  • Company Policy Regarding Alcohol & Controlled Substances (current version)
  • Annual Summaries of Drug & Alcohol Testing (five years of summaries)
  • Driver Supervisor D&A Substance Abuse Recognition Training (current)
  • Documentation of Brake Inspector/Adjusting Training (only if you have your employees doing brake adjustments) (retained by the motor carrier for the period during which that individual is performing annual motor vehicle inspections for the motor carrier, and for one year thereafter)
  • Documentation of Annual Inspector Qualifications (only if you have your employees doing the annual inspection) (retained by the motor carrier for the period during which that individual is performing annual motor vehicle inspections for the motor carrier, and for one year thereafter)
  • Schedule of Commercial Vehicle Maintenance (current)
  • Vehicle Maintenance Files (The records shall be retained where the vehicle is either housed or maintained for a period of one year and for six months after the motor vehicle leaves the motor carrier’s control.)
  • Leased Vehicles (maintenance lease only)(copies of the Schedule A lease agreement)(current)
  • Roadside Inspection Reports (copy of the inspection and any repair bill kept for one year)
  • Previous DOT Audits (either State or Federal)
  • Driver Qualification Files (set up folders for each driver)
    • DQ file folder (kept for three years after leaving or ceasing driver functions)
    • Driver Drug & Alcohol file folder
  • Hazmat Training (training required every three years)(current)
  • Security Awareness Training (training required every three years)(current)
  • DOT Security Program (these three items only if required to have one)
    • Vulnerability Assessment (used for the security plan)
    • Security Plan (current)
    • In-Depth Training on Security Plan (training required every three years)(current)
  • Post Trip 1 (driver daily vehicle inspection forms)(three months)
  • Post Trip 2
  • Post Trip 3
  • Post Trip 4
  • Special Permits (current plus three years of documented training on each permit)

Having these files set up and together in a filing system will really help you keep organized and look very good during a DOT audit.

Gases and Welding Distributors Association
Michael Dodd Meet the Author
GAWDA’s DOT, Security, OSHA &EPA Consultant Michael Dodd is president of MLD Safety Associates in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. Members can reach him at 573-718-2887 and MLDSafety@hotmail.com.