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Before hiring or leasing to a driver, a taxi manager should carefully review a recent driving record issued by the state motor vehicle licensing authority. The lower portion of the print-out shows that there were no actions during the last three years. If you are located anyplace other than California, details may vary, such as the standard term of issue, but the general principles of what to look for should be the same.
California usually issues a driver license for five years, but in this case (above) the term between issue and expiry is four years. Likewise, repeated violations of the same sections of the vehicle code, even if they are not major offenses, suggest that the person is a slow-learner with little respect for the law.
This driver, a recent immigrant, presents a clean print-out but he has a relatively short track record.
This print-out reveals two accidents in commercial vehicles, suggesting lack of care when using another person's vehicle.
The three-year print-out below has numerous problems, including a suspension and two accidents, as well as a four-year term between issue and expiry.


This driver's print-out shows a four-year term between license issue and expiry, but five years is typical for California. A look at the ten-year record (below) revealed a single violation in a non-commercial vehicle, and no other problems. I'd like to hear from taxi managers about how you use documents to screen and assess prospective drivers. Instead of the usual five-year term, this driver has a ten-year term indicated, from year 2000 to his birth date in 2010. Obviously you want to verify that the name is as expected and that the physical description is correct.
Sometimes the shortened period is because the person has obtained a change in license classification, such as adding a certification to operate a motorcycle. The numerous problems, even though they are not recent, suggest that you don't want to give this person the keys to your taxicab. At best they suggest irresponsibility, even if the suspensions were due to "minor" violations such as failures-to-appear (FTA) that were set aside after payment of the fines.


The driver explained everything away more-or-less credibly, and even had a letter with him that exonerated him for one of the accidents. I am learning from a colleague who over many years has had to deal with the aftermath of mistakes.
That means there were no big problems with the first five-year license and that the renewal in 2005 was allowed via mail without a personal appearance by the driver. However, no obvious reason for the shorter period appears on this print-out, so there is reason to believe that the licensing agency is keeping this driver on a shortened leash.
If he won't pay government fines, why should we expect him to pay when he owes money to the cab company? On its face, this is not a terribly alarming picture when presented by a long-time cab driver.



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