DOT Filing System

Here are what the bullets stand for:

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

Here are the files and the suggested tab titles:

  • DOT Filing System Table of Contents (place this sheet in the file)
  • MCS-150 (current information)
  • MCS-90 (current)
  • Hazmat Registration (3 years)
  • Unified Carrier Registration (only if CMVs in interstate commerce) (3 years)
  • List of Drivers (current)
  • List of Commercial Motor Vehicles (current)
  • Accident Register
    • Accident Register (3-year 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 (5 years of summaries)
  • Driver Supervisor D&A Substance Abuse Recognition training (current)
  • Documentation of Brake Inspector / Adjusting training (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 (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 1 year and for 6 months after the motor vehicle leaves the motor carrier’s control.)
  • Leased Vehicles (maintenance lease only) (copies of the lease agreement; Schedule A) (current)
  • Roadside Inspection Reports (copy of the inspection and any repair bill kept for 1 year) (suggest 2 yrs. because of the SMS program)
  • Previous DOT audits (either State or Federal) 
  • Driver Qualification Files (kept for 3 years after leaving or ceasing driver functions)
    • DQ file folder
    • Driver Drug & Alcohol File folder
  • Hazmat Training (training required every 3 years) (keep for 3 years)
  • Security Awareness Training (training required every 3 years) (keep for 3 years)
  • DOT Security Program (these three items only if you are required thave a security plan)
    • Vulnerability Assessment (used for the security plan) (current)
    • Security Plan (current)
    • In-Depth Training on Security Plan (training required every 3 years) (keep for 3 years)
    • Post Trip Month 1 (only required when something is found defective) (3 months)
  • Post Trip Month 2
  • Post Trip Month 3
  • Post Trip Month you are currently working on
    • Special Permits (copies of the permits and training on the permits for anyone that handles the special permitted package) (3 years)
  • Shipping Papers / Manifests (keep for 2 years)
  • CargTanks (U1A forms) (permanent) (Periodic testing except for 173.20 exceptions (25.3 psig and under)) (current)

Many people don’t have their employees doing their own brake adjustments or annual DOT vehicle inspections, as they would not need the above 2 files documenting the training certifications (Documentation of Brake Inspector / Adjusting training, Documentation of Annual Inspector qualifications).

Many people don’t have a maintenance lease set up for their vehicles, as they will not need the file titled “Leased Vehicles.”

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.

If there are any questions regarding this Bulletin, please contact:

Michael Dodd

GAWDA DOT Consultant

MLD Safety Associates, LLC

P.O. Box 93

Poplar Bluff, MO 63902

(573) 718-2887

Email: [email protected]   

This article is an excerpt from the GAWDA Safety Organizer, a monthly bulletin sent to GAWDA members. For more information on the GAWDA Safety Organizer, or to read past issues, visit the Members-Only Section



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