Understanding your DAC Report

A DAC (Drive-A-Check) report is a form of background check this is used in the trucking industry. Understanding Your DAC ReportPotential employers use it to determine whether a driver is considered hireable.

DAC Report Information

DAC files cover records over the past ten years. The information within falls into two main categories: Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) and past employment history. If requested, the DAC report includes criminal background information.

Motor vehicle report

The driving record portion of a DAC file lists the last physical passed and CDL certifications expiration dates. This section also includes ticketed offenses and accidents, as well as the number of points on a license.

Employment history

The DAC report may not list every employer. Many small trucking firms do not report employment data. However, most mid-to large-sized carriers do share information with the company. Potential employers can learn when and where a likely employee was employed and the reason for leaving. The report also indicates whether past employers would consider the likely employee for rehire. The report also lists the freight and trailer type hauled for each company.

The company in which you are applying for with will likely order new drug screening tests. However, past drug test results are included with employment history data. The information allows employers to screen applicants that have substance abuse issues quickly.

Criminal background

Certain employers, such as oilfield companies and hazmat jobs, may request a criminal background check. A few misdemeanours’ do not usually create issues. However, if you have a felony that is less than five years old, be prepared to explain it.

Having a felony does not automatically disqualify you from employment. Individuals should be upfront and honest. Explain what you did to make things right, whether you served time or paid fines. Show your prospective employer the steps you are taking to break negative cycles. Some companies are willing to give good drivers a second chance.

How Does a DAC Report Affect Truckers?

The impact a DAC report has may depend on the weight the prospective employer gives it. Some use it as one of many tools. Others rely on it completely. A DAC with few issues has a positive impact. However, negative reports from employers can affect truckers, even if they have a clean driving record.

Trucking firms self-report information on past employees to reporting agencies. Unlike an MVR, employment history reporting is subjective. The company’s and driver’s points of view on the same event can differ widely. Because of this, it is important to know what is in your DAC file.

Getting a Free DAC Report

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) regulates DAC reports. Under this law, truckers are entitled to a free DAC report once every 12 months. Usually you can file a request online. Once they receive your request, they will mail you a hard copy of the report. It takes about two weeks to arrive.

You must be able to provide specific information to receive your free report. The agency will ask for your name, address, Social Security number, driver’s license number, and a current phone number. The information verifies your identity and ensures you receive the correct report.

Ordering additional copies

Although you are limited to a single free copy, you may purchase additional ones for a small fee. You may need multiple copies if you are trying to dispute inaccurate items on the report.

Who Has Access to Your DAC File?

Under the FCRA regulations, most consumer report agencies require written permission before releasing a report. The rules for the trucking industry are different. Most companies you apply with will ask for permission to view your report. If you verbally give them consent, they do not have to have your written consent.

Upon request, the reporting agency will provide you with a list of employers that have requested your DAC report within the past two years. Companies that use consumer report information against you must notify you of that fact.

How to Dispute an Inaccurate DAC Report

If you believe an item in your DAC file is incorrect, you can challenge it. To do so, you must have a copy of your report that is less than 60 days old. The recent copy ensures you are disputing current information.

Several online companies offer DAC dispute resolution services for a fee. However, you can challenge an item for free.

Some experienced truckers recommend printing the form and mailing it by certified mail. The mail receipt establishes a clear record of when the dispute process began. You may also file a dispute via telephone.

Investigation period

Registering your dispute triggers an investigation period, which can take up to 30 days. The agency contacts the company or agency connected to the disputed item and requests supporting documentation. Based on this information, the agency determines the validity of the disputed item.

Disputing an item does not guarantee its removal from your record. It is a good idea to retain proof of your claims. This documentation can include pictures, video, witness accounts or accident reports.

Going Beyond Disputes

Unfortunately, options are somewhat limited if the dispute does not clear your record. First, be upfront with potential employers. Let them know about the issue. Present your side calmly and stick to the facts.

Second, if you feel the inaccuracy was deliberate, contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). They are a watchdog agency that enforces FCRA compliance. Although this will not resolve your case, it will alert the FTC to unethical practices. Multiple complaints can trigger investigations or lawsuits.

Finally, you may need legal representation. Check with trucker advocacy groups or find an attorney experienced in trucking law.