Background Checks

Driver iQ Product Series Part 2: CDLIS

  • April 13, 2022
  • Jenni Gray
  • Approx. Read Time: 2 Minutes
  • Updated on June 25, 2024

In transportation, there are four reports that most employers will request when reviewing applicants for driving positions at their company. These are:

  • MVR: Motor Vehicle Records;
  • CDLIS: Commercial Driver’s License Information System;
  • PRE: Previous Record of Employment; and
  • PSP: Pre-employment Screening Program


In this four-part series, we’ll review these primary reports you need when screening your drivers, as well as best practices when ordering them from Driver iQ, Cisive’s transportation employment screening division.


What is CDLIS? Why is it important?

CDLIS stands for Commercial Driver’s License Information System. This is a nationwide database administered by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), with information provided by state driver licensing agencies (SDLAs). This system helps ensure that each commercial driver has only one current Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), as well as one complete driving record. The database can help employers verify a driver’s current CDL, as well as the past three CDLs the driver may have held in other states.

Based on the information returned in the CDLIS report, employers may then run a Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) report on each license returned.

A new FMCSA rule change, taking effect May 9, 2022, requires that motor carriers must look at the previous three years of licenses held by a driver (the rule used to require only one year). The CDLIS report, while not required, is crucial in helping employers ensure they are being as thorough as possible while vetting the safety of their incoming and current drivers.


What’s on a CDLIS Report?

The CDLIS report returns the following information about the driver applicant or current employee:

  • Current CDL license number
  • Current issuing state
  • Three prior CDLs held by the driver
  • May include aliases or former names, if applicable


Once the employer has this information, it can be used to order MVRs, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse reports, and the Pre-Employment Screening Program report.


What are some tips & best practices for ordering a CDLIS report?

Driver iQ provides a few reminders when ordering a CDLIS report:

  • Always submit the driver’s name exactly as shown on the Drivers License.
    • For example, submitting “Rob” instead of “Robert” will result in a no-match for the CDLIS report.
  • Driver consent forms must be signed prior to (or same-day as) when a CDLIS report is run. CDLIS/AAMVA runs regular audits to verify that these consent forms have been completed in compliance with this rule.
  • If a motor carrier is seeking verbal consent, the carrier must have written prior approval documented from CDLIS/AAMVA. Contact Driver iQ with questions on how to become pre-approved for verbal consent.
  • SDLAs submit the information found on the CDLIS report to AAMVA. If there is any incorrect information included on the CDLIS report, the driver will need to address the issue at the state level.
    • Note: It can take up to 10 days for updates or corrections from the state to reflect on a CDLIS report.


How can Driver iQ help?

Contact Driver iQ today to develop a background screening program that meets both your quality and transportation industry requirements.

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