1880 S Dairy Ashford Rd, Suite 650, Houston, TX 77077

Prepare for Your DOT Compliance Review: How to Avoid the Leading Errors

If you are a commercial carrier or any entity that is governed by the US department of transportation, you must already be aware that DOT regulations are essential. You need to follow them till the last detail. Also, if you are being asked to prepare your employees and workplace for a DOT compliance review, there are certain steps that you should take to make the process much less daunting and a lot smoother. This review/exercise can be a little challenging if you do not have the right DOT compliance facilitator by your side. But we are going to give you a few tips so that you can prepare for your DOT compliance review easily. Let’s begin:

1.  Review All Your Records

All your company records should be maintained flawlessly. The department of transportation is going to need a copy of them for the review process to begin. These documents are going to include your:

  • Driver qualification files
  • Vehicle maintenance records
  • Logs of the hours of service put in by every driver and safety-sensitive position holder
  • Records of the drug and alcohol tests that you have performed over the years
  • information and statistics related to any accidents
  • Data pertaining to any violations, if any

2.  Educate And Train Your Employees

Now comes a more critical part which is to train and educate your employees and safety-sensitive position holders about the entire process. DOT compliance is a very essential responsibility that all of you have to fulfill. Your employees, drivers, safety personnel, and also all your dispatchers should be trained for these reviews by making them more familiar with DOT rules and regulations.

3.  Conduct Mock Reviews At Your Workplace

Conducting mock DOT reviews at your workplace is a very intelligent step. You can interview your employees and ask them pertinent questions related to workplace safety, the use of drugs and alcohol, compliance procedures, vehicle inspections, and a lot more. You can also test your supervisors, team leaders, and managers on how to identify signs of strange behavior or compromised conduct to recognize the use of drugs and alcohol at the workplace by employees. Conducting mock reviews puts you in a better position overall and increases the chances of you coming out with flying colors when an actual DOT compliance review takes place.

4.  Address All Safety-Related Issues

In the process of conducting these mock reviews, you will be able to identify several issues within your organization. You can recognize where your employees, vehicles, and several of your procedures are failing when it comes to fulfilling the requirements of the federal motor carrier safety administration and the various rules and regulations laid down by the US department of transportation. If there are any deficiencies or mistakes, you can remove them before an actual compliance review takes place.

5.  Familiarize Yourself With Regulations

It is not just your drivers or safety-sensitive position holders that should be familiarized with these regulations. It is you, the owner or chairman or CEO, or the board of directors in the top tier management that also need proper training and understanding of the federal motor carrier safety regulations. It becomes even more critical if you are in the business of transporting hazardous materials across state lines. There will be several requirements and very detailed nuances that you might have to take care of in the process of shipping, handling, labeling, packaging, and storing hazardous materials.

6.  Importance Of Proper Labeling And Packaging

Now, whether you are transporting hazardous materials or fast-moving consumer goods for immediate consumption, there will always be the need for proper labeling and packaging. Your DOT compliance legit groups or third-party administrators can explain to you just what it can lead to if you make a mistake in this little job. The labels you use must include the proper shipping name, identification number, and the materials contained in the packaging, among many other specifications. Remember, labeling and packaging are very vital functions that must be performed under your supervision or under the watchful eye of a responsible and dependable supervisor.

7.  Record-Keeping Is CriticalL

A lot of employers talk about Record-keeping errors. This is because it is one of the most common mistakes that they make. Companies are required to maintain records of all the shipments that they carry out throughout the year. This includes proper documentation, labeling, packaging, handling, storing, dissemination, and invoices among many other things. The DOT review officer is going to ask for a copy of these records when he visits your company premises for a review.

8.  Regular Reporting Is Essential

When you want to avoid any DOT compliance errors, you will have to cultivate a habit of proper and regular reporting within your company. All these reports have to be generated within a specific time frame. Any incidents related to the transportation, management, and storage of any materials should also be recorded in these reports. For example, if you have had any incidents related to any leaks, spills, or fires at work, all that needs to be recorded and reported without any delay.

9.  The Importance Of Regular Auditing

There is also a process called auditing which is very essential if you want to avoid DOT compliance errors. Any commercial entity that comes under the governance of the US department of transportation should carry out regular audits, especially if it transports hazardous materials. Audits are a very effective tool when it comes to identifying areas where there is little or absolutely no compliance. If you come across an area in your company that has such shortcomings, you can rectify them before an actual audit or review begins. This helps you avoid several fines and penalties quite easily.


In the end, let’s just say that you might not be in a position to do all of that on your own. This is where DOT compliance groups or third party facilitators, or third party administrators come into the picture. These people are the experts in DOT compliance. Some of them have a very solid background in information technology and vast experience in the field of transport as well. The best part is that they take away the headache of DOT compliance from you. You can manage your business operations without any stress. It’s because you have handed over the responsibility of DOT compliance to an able expert.