DAC Darn Report
by Dennis Shipman
Many potential drivers have asked questions regarding past criminal convictions affecting their employment opportunities in the trucking industry. Federal law has gotten stricter regarding hazardous materials endorsement. But other than that, the old rule still basically applies: No DWI/DUI, transportation related felonies, or homicide, rape, weapon or drug offenses.
All other convictions are up in the air, and decided by the recruiter, company HR representative, on a case by case basis, which is usually dictated by company culture and hiring policy.
Many companies will not hire a driver with a felony no matter what. Most of these companies are not worth driving for anyway. So, they are not hurting your prospects for a driving career with over 6,000 carriers in this country.
The Federal Trade Commission promulgates the minimum standards through the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) when a background check is done by a third party known commonly as a credit report agency (?CRA?). The FCRA does not apply to employers that conduct their own background checks, however.
It also does not apply to background checks for positions that pay more than $75,000/year. The most commonly used CRA in the trucking industry is DAC Services.
DAC Services has, over the last few years, undergone changes in both ownership and name. DAC Services was acquired, some time back, by USIS (US Investigations Services). USIS then spun it off to its current home at HireRight. Both USIS and HireRight are subsidiaries of Altegrity, which was formed in July 2009 as a holding company for USIS, HireRight, and Explore. Although DAC Services is now known as DAC Trucking Solutions, and operated by HireRight, DAC, still, is a Consumer Reporting Agency ("CRA")located in Tulsa, OK that supplies reports about prospective drivers to its subscribers.
According to the old DAC / USIS web site they "...continually assess industry needs and ensure that (their) product and service offerings meet compliance requirements and address issues such as negligent hiring, cargo theft and personnel security."
The new HireRight web site lets prospective subscribers know that a trucking company enlisting the services of DAC Trucking Solutions gets "...our expertise and unique solutions for the trucking market (that) have made HireRight DAC Trucking Solutions one of the most widely used offerings in the transportation market. When you select us for your screening and compliance needs, you join more than 20,000 other transportation companies in working with the background screening provider endorsed by the American Trucking Association (ATA) and a host of regional associations across the U.S."
An old DAC press release describes the report categories as follows: "In addition to transportation-specific services, DAC provides criminal records, motor vehicle records, social security number verifications, credit reports, drug/alcohol test histories and workers' compensation and injury reports." The new HireRight DAC Trucking Solutions has expanded on that list but the most important report, the report most requested by subscribers, is the DAC Employment History File which will include information such as number of accidents, reason for quitting or being terminated, rehire eligibility, type of driving, trailer types pulled, commodities hauled, et cetera.
What DAC Does
DAC Trucking Solutions assembles reports with information obtained from various sources including, but not limited to, a driver's previous employers. One thing to keep in mind is that the more often you change employers, the higher the likelihood that misinformation may end up on your report. Human error can occur at DAC, just like at any
other credit reporting agency, and employers may not always provide objective interpretations of events. DAC is not required to verify the information supplied by employers unless or until a report is disputed by the driver.
How HireRight DAC Trucking Solutions Affects You
You can run but you can't hide! As a matter of fact hiding from, or ignoring, your DAC report can be one of the most damaging things you can do to your career. One insurance company report indicates that over 85% of the 200 largest carriers utilize DAC reports in their hiring decisions. Another report places the total number of carriers subscribing to DAC Services at more than 6000. Chances are good your name is in their database and chances are equally good that a prospective employer will be requesting a DAC report before any other pre-employment action.
Another thing to consider is the possibility that, beside potential employers, potential creditors may have access to your DAC information. One thing mortgage lenders and other credit providers look for are indications of responsibility and stability or a lack thereof. Just like credit reports, you absolutely, positively, must know what is on your record. It's true that you're not the one responsible for providing information to DAC and you're not the one responsible for compiling the information into a report but you are responsible for maintaining the accuracy of your report. The only person that can or will effect a positive change in negative information is you.
Although I have had misinformation entered in my DAC report, which almost resulted in a disqualification, I personally found the company to be eminently responsive, relatively easy to get a hold of a customer service representative, or manager to clear up, dispute or clarify adverse information. This is not the experience of the vast majority of drivers who through no fault of their own have run afoul of DAC Services.
More importantly, I am also formally educated and, consequently, know how to write effectively and access resources. They are aware of that, and less likely to try and battle with me over an entry that is not benefiting either me or them. But as I told one prospective driver back channel, at the end of the day, it always comes down to what state you are trying to get hired in. UPS may not offer a driver with a ten, twenty or thirty year old conviction a job in Virginia but may offer that same driver one in New York, because different states have different laws governing the disclosure of criminal history records.
In New York where I live, that limit is 7 years. But a company can circumvent that requirement by simply sending a record request along with the appropriate fee to every County Court for the addresses you have listed on your application, which is precisely why they request that information. So, it never makes sense to intentionally lie on your employment application. An enterprising, resourceful company determined to minimize their liability with a "negligent hire" will most certainly find out if you have a criminal record. Once you get a shot, give it your best one, build up a reputation as a solid professional who is prompt, hard working and a team player. Trust me your "background" will not factor as importantly as it might if you have not managed to establish that sort of reputation. Best of luck. 10-4?