Limousine background checks frequently asked questions
Why do I need to be fingerprinted and have a background check completed?
State law requires all limousine and rental car chauffeurs/operators to complete a criminal background check. Law changes found in NJSA 48:16-22-3.a were enacted on January 18, 2010 and become effective on April 19, 2010. Limousine and rental car chauffeur service companies who are not compliant with law changes as of the effective date may be issued summonses.
Do all limousine and rental car chauffeurs need fingerprint background checks?
No. Only driver applicants employed as limousine or rental car chauffeurs as of January 8, 2002, are required to get a fingerprint background check. Individuals hired as a driver/chauffeur prior to this date are exempt at this time. If you are exempt from the requirements, your employer can certify that you were continuously employed as a driver/chauffer prior to January 8, 2002 by completing an Employment History Certification - Chauffeur form and send it to the MVC. If a driver applicant was employed by one company prior to January 8, 2002 and separated from that company, and then went to work for another company after January 8, 2002, he/she will need a background check.
I own the limousine/rental car chauffeur company/business and also drive for the company. Do I need to complete a background check on myself?
Yes. If a company’s owner also operates a limousine, he/she is subject to the background check requirements. If based on the background check, the owner is not qualified; the law states that you may not drive a limousine.
Can a new (employee) begin driving a company limousine or rental chauffeur car prior to completion of the background check and MVC notification?
No. The law does not include waivers, extensions or delayed requirements for new or existing employees. Only drivers employed prior to January 8, 2002 are exempt from the background check requirements.
Are drivers that I currently employ subject to background checks?
Drivers employed on and after January 8, 2002 must be fingerprinted and qualified by the MVC.
How do I get fingerprinted?
Applicants must complete the Fingerprint Application Form No NJAPS2, Version 4.0 and contact the State’s vendor, MorphoTrak, to schedule an appointment. MorphoTrak may be reached at 1-877-503-5981 or visit the company’s Web site at www.bioapplicant.com/nj. Make sure the statute number in box 3 on the application is 48:16-22.3.a.
What does the fingerprint background check cost?
The fee for fingerprinting is $51.00. This fee is collected at the time of scheduling. MorphoTrak accepts most credit cards or electronic debit from a checking account only.
How do I find a MorphoTrak location?
MorphoTrak has locations throughout the state. Appointments for fingerprint collection can be scheduled at a number of convenient locations, which can be found by calling 1-877-503-5981 or visiting www.bioapplicant.com/nj
How will I find out if I’m qualified or disqualified to operate a limousine or chauffer driven rental car?
The MVC will review criminal history based on reports provided by the New Jersey State Police Bureau of Identification. If there are any disqualifying convictions, the MVC will notify a driver applicant’s employer that he/she is disqualified from employment. If there are no disqualifying convictions, the MVC will notify the employer that the driver applicant is qualified. The employer is responsible for notifying current and prospective employees of the background check results.
What happens if I’m convicted after being qualified?
Once collected, a driver applicant’s fingerprints will be kept on file with the State Police. The MVC will be notified of any new convictions. If the conviction disqualifies the driver applicant, the MVC will notify the employer that he/she is now disqualified.
Will my employer receive a list of all convictions including minor offenses?
No. The employer will only receive a letter qualifying or disqualifying the limousine driver applicant.
What happens if I’m disqualified in error?
On very rare occasions, an error may occur resulting in a disqualification letter being issued. The driver applicant should call the MVC CDL Unit at (609) 292-7500, extension 5077 Mon – Fri 8:30 – 4:00 for information on how to correct the error. If the error involves an incorrect conviction record, the driver applicant will be instructed to write the State Police who will review its records and determine a course of action. Requests for the State Police to review a background check outcome will only be handled in writing, not by phone or in-person. The MVC cannot resolve incorrect conviction records. This can only be done by the New Jersey State Police.
I am a driver working for more than one limousine or rental car chauffeur company. Do I need more than one background check?
No. However, each employer needs to complete and submit a Limousine Driver or Rental Car Chauffeur Employer Certification Application to the MVC. This will ensure that each company receives a driver applicant’s background check results.
Should companies report address changes to the Motor Vehicle Commission?
Yes, this is important. The MVC will not be able to notify a company of a driver/employee disqualification unless a current address is on file.
How often will I need to have a fingerprint background check done?
A background check is required only once.
I currently hold a CDL passenger endorsement and that required a fingerprint background check, must I also be fingerprinted to drive a limo?
No, the revised law provides that CDL holders with passenger endorsement are also qualified as limousine driver or rental car chauffeur. The employer must still submit an application to qualify the employee.
I live in another state but work for a New Jersey limousine or rental car chauffeur company. Do I need to have a background check done?
Yes. All chauffeur/drivers and employers in New Jersey must comply with the requirements.
I live in New Jersey and I am licensed here but work for a limousine company in another state. Do I need to have a background check done?
Maybe. Some other states also require background checks for limousine drivers. A background check completed in another state will not qualify a driver in New Jersey.
How can I get the fingerprint application?
Before a driver applicant can be fingerprinted, the employer, or potential employer, must complete a Limousine Driver or Rental Car Chauffeur Employer Certification Application and send it to the MVC. After this is done the driver applicant can be fingerprinted. Fingerprint applications are available from the employer or on the MVC Web site www.njmvc.gov
Since there could be a fine for not completing a background check, how will I prove that I am qualified to operate a limousine or chauffer rental car?
When qualifying an employee, MVC sends the employer a certification letter and form. The form (and letter) will identify the employee as qualified and can be presented to a law enforcement officer if qualification is requested. MVC will also update the driver’s record to reflect limo/rental car chauffer qualification.
What is a Rental Car Chauffeur?
Some companies now offer a service that pairs a rental car with a driver. The customer pays to rent the car and for someone qualified to drive the car. The driver of the rental car is called a rental car chauffeur. Recent law changes require the rental car chauffeur to meet the same background check requirements (as a limo driver) and be qualified by MVC.