The Driver Fitness Violations BASIC

Nov 1, 2022 11:40:31 AM / Written by: Mike Riegel

The Driver Fitness Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) is one of seven categories that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) uses to determine how a motor carrier ranks relative to other carriers with a similar number of safety events (i.e., inspections, violations, or crashes). This is used to determine a carrier's CSA score.


What is the Driver Fitness BASIC?

The Driver Fitness BASIC is a less commonly enforced area of the FMCSA's BASIC categories. These violations are tied to the driver's overall health and physical ability to operate a CMV. It covers areas of having proper endorsements, training, knowledge and ability to safely operate CMVs.

There are 55 sections in the FMCSA CFR that relate to driver fitness. These include areas such as driving with an expired medical examiner's certificate up to operating a CMV while possessing a fraudulent medical certificate.

Getting violations in this FMCSA BASIC category can lead to DOT audits and other penalties by the FMCSA.

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What are the Driver Fitness groups?

Driver fitness violations are broken into seven different groups. These groups help determine the severity of the infraction as it relates to safety. Items such as "no medical certificate in driver's possession" are less severe while items like "fraud" are the most severe.

Violation Group Severity Weight
Fraud 10
General Driver Qualification 4
License-related: High 8
License-related: Medium 5
License-related: Low 1
Medical Certificate 1
Physical 2


Top 10 most issued driver fitness violations

Below are the top 10 most issued driver fitness violations issued across the country for 2021. This gives some indication into what the DOT finds most important in terms of unsafe driving.


Violation Count
No medical certificate in driver's possession 13,941
Operating a CMV without a CDL 12,899
Operating a property-carrying vehicle without possessing a valid medical certificate. 9,475
Expired medical examiner's certificate 2,842
Driver lacking valid license for type vehicle being operated 2,770
Driver cannot read or speak the English language sufficiently to respond to official inquiries. 2,554
Driving a CMV while disqualified from holding a CDL 2,172
Driver not physically qualified 2,086
Driving a CMV while disqualified 1,731
Failing to submit medical certification documentation as required. 816


If you are ever wrongfully issued a violation keep all of your documentation and fill out a DataQ to have the violation reviewed by the FMCSA.

To see the full list of driver fitness violations that make up the unsafe driving basic you can download here.


Topics: Safety, Fitness, FMCSA

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