Auditing Driver Logs for Errors or Falsification

Motor carriers can help ensure compliance with federal regulations by establishing and maintaining a record retention policy and conducting periodic audits of driver logs. Demonstrating carrier commitment to safety and compliance can also be effective in limiting liability and damages in legal proceedings.

Driver Log Requirements

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires the use, retention and formatting of the driver’s record-of-duty status in a driver’s log. Every driver must record on-duty or off-duty status for each 24-hour period by manually recording duty status in duplicate on a specified grid, or by using an automatic on-board recording device. Either method is acceptable. Drivers must submit the original log to the employing carrier within 13 days after completion. The carrier must obtain a signed statement giving the total time on-duty during the preceding seven days and the time at which the driver was last relieved of duty.

Record Retention
Establish a formal, written record retention policy for all forms, reports and logs to help ensure compliance with FMCSA regulations. Employers are required to maintain driver logs and all supporting documents for a period of six months from the date of receipt. Since the driver has 13 days from date of completion to submit the original log to the employer, Sentry recommends that motor carriers retain these records a minimum of six months and 13 days, to allow for drivers’ submission time. If there are no notices of incidents, lawsuits or claims, logs can be destroyed at the end of the mandatory six-month period. Procedures for the destruction of records should be defined in your company record retention policy. Document and retain a list of destroyed records. Upon receiving notice of accidents, lawsuits or claims, issue a moratorium on any document and driver log destruction. All records related to the incident should be immediately located and preserved.

Auditing Driver Logs

Auditing driver logs can help ensure driver conformance to hours-of-service rules and serve as evidence in your defense of a claim. Follow these audit procedures:

• Verify that you have all drivers’ logs and that none are missing

• Review logs for legibility and completeness

• Check for pre-trip and post-trip inspections

• Verify that all load and unload times are documented

• Verify that all fuel stops are recorded

• Verify that hours are totaled correctly

• Verify that there is a bill of lading or other load identification document

• Make sure DVIRs (Driver’s Vehicle Inspection Reports) are completed, if required


Check Logs for Hours-of-service Violations

Audit logs for speeding by dividing the miles driven by the time driving, resulting in the average miles per hour.


Auditing Logs for Falsification

Corroborate documents against driver logs for evidence of falsification.

• Check all fuel receipts against the driver log. Verify that the driver log shows stopping at the facility on the date in question.

• Check toll tickets. Occasionally, a toll booth will have the wrong date or time on the ticket. It is the driver’s responsibility to note this on the toll ticket. A driver log should not be more than 30 minutes off from the toll ticket.

• Check scale tickets for date and time

• Check speeding tickets, roadside inspection reports, and any other official paperwork that the driver has received

• Check mileage between stops against Rand McNally or P.C. Miler miles. The driver log can show more miles than the mileage references, but never fewer miles.

• Check bills of lading for dates of delivery. A driver cannot be delivering freight and be off duty.

• Check driver logs to make sure they are signed

The content of this material has been taken in large part from information published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. For more information, go to

Sentry Insurance is committed to helping you protect your business by providing resources to manage loss-producing situations and prevent accidents. For additional information visit, or call 1-877-832-1835.

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