Is this the end of my fiance's driving career?
August 3, 2011 7:30 AM   Subscribe

Will a suspended driver's license with extenuating circumstances disqualify my fiance for a position that requires him to drive a company car?

My fiance has been hired to an insurance company as a Property Claims Field Representative, pending successful background, criminal, and driving record check.

His license was suspended last year. Here's how it happened:
His boss, who is also his dad, runs a delivery company. My fiance was driving a fleet vehicle which had expired tags (he was not aware of this). He received a ticket for 1000 dollars, which he could not pay (not even to cover it for his dad). His dad fixed the tags and said to hand over the ticket and he'd pay it for my fiance. It must have slipped off the radar, because he failed to pay this ticket. Eventually my fiance figured out that his license had been suspended for non-payment. Luckily it was not a police officer who made the discovery. Outraged, he told his dad he'd had him driving on a suspended license for months, and to pay the ticket NOW and help him reinstate his license. He's back in good standing.

At that point (understandably) he began looking for other jobs. Most of his previous experience involves driving, he likes being on the road and not at a desk.

My question is, what will be HR's impression of his driving record? Should he explain what happened? To whom? At this point he hasn't said anything to anyone, and has a ride-along as the final stage in the process (save background/criminal/driving check, we think--is there a chance they've already done that?) on Thursday.
posted by powerbumpkin to Work & Money (8 answers total)
What will kill him is non-disclosure. I'd bring it up, if I were him. They WILL find it, and it sounds very explainable.
posted by Happydaz at 7:38 AM on August 3, 2011 [4 favorites]

I agree w Happydaz. I might or might not mention that this was his dad's business, but it sounds to me like he worked for a company that screwed up its paperwork. He was driving their vehicle at the time, not his. And then they screwed up payment on the ticket, not him.

He hasn't gotten to the driving record check part yet, so it's probably not a big deal that he hasn't mentioned it yet, but I would definitely do so when they get to that point. Of course every company has their own things that they're uptight about. But my guess is that if he's up front about what happened, it shouldn't be a problem.
posted by Naberius at 7:46 AM on August 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've held positions that required driving, and all they checked was if your license was currently valid and that you had current insurance. YMMV, of course. I would imagine that an insurance company would be more thorough, but, you never know.
posted by chrisfromthelc at 7:46 AM on August 3, 2011

What they said. Be up-front about it and clear that neither the car nor the ticket was his. He had no fault in this and shouldn't try to hide it.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:52 AM on August 3, 2011

So long as he's in good standing now, I think it will be fine. He's double/triple-checked with the state to be sure that his current status is good, right?
posted by aimedwander at 7:57 AM on August 3, 2011

If someone told me that story and had a currently valid license then it wouldn't affect my decision.

If someone didn't say anything about it and had a currently valid license then it would probably affect my decision, especially if I was trying to decide between him and someone with a completely clean record.

Don't take the risk, explain it to the company.
posted by magnetsphere at 7:57 AM on August 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: "My license was suspended briefly because of a issue with an expired tag on a company-owned vehicle I was driving at the time. The matter was cleared up and my license reinstated."

Boom done, short & simple. Only elaborate if asked and you can even turn it into a Positive Learning Experience for the interview - "So I learned my lesson about trusting someone else to follow-through when it came down to things with such high potential repercussions."

Is it possible a hiring manager will, when faced with two otherwise identical choices who are only different in a past license suspension, choose someone else over your man? Maybe. But you can't do anything about that.

As HappyDaz says, hiding is way worse. When my father was at Ryder in the late 80s I remember him telling me about someone who was fired after 10+ years at the company; in the course of processing a promotion some old & minor information came to light that the person had not disclosed. The letter of the law at the company was that failure to disclose was a termination event, period, and he was summarily let go despite being a reasonably senior person and well-liked.

You can decide whether you want to work for organizations that are that rigid but they're not uncommon.
posted by phearlez at 8:55 AM on August 3, 2011 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: I forgot to say, he got the job, and has been working for 4 months already by following the advice above! Thanks everyone. :D
posted by powerbumpkin at 7:30 PM on December 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

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