Module 1: Setting Up Your Business Records Overview Glossary Help Next Module


In this module, you’ll learn what records you need to keep to comply with the National Safety Code (NSC), and the best way to keep these records.

Timeframe: 10 mins

In this section you will:
  • Identify why good record keeping is important.
  • Understand what records need to be maintained by carriers.
  • Learn to apply good record keeping practices that support compliance.

For technical assistance please reference the Help and Troubleshooting Guide.

What is the Pre-Entry Program Process?

Pre-Entry Program Process:

SFC Application Process:
Visit the online application portal. You should be ready to provide:
  • Certificate of completion for the online SFC compliance course.
  • Your Motor Vehicle Identification (MVID) number, as found on vehicle registration.
  • Information about the nature of your business, including commodities or passengers transported and where you intend to operate.
  • Insurance information.
  • Confirmation that you have written safety and maintenance programs.
  • Copies of your Commercial Vehicle Inspection (CVIP) (if applicable).
  • Credit card information for payment of the application fee (Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted).

Record Keeping

You may have some digital records and some paper records, or you might have all paper records. However you decide to keep your records, they must be:

  • Organized
  • Complete
  • Up-to-date

Good record keeping is part of your safety and maintenance program. When you keep records, you’re making sure you have good safety practices in place. This helps protect your business.

So what can happen if your records are disorganized? In the next topic, you’ll read three brief stories about what happened when carriers do not keep good records.

Risks of Poor Record Keeping

Story 1

Alex didn’t keep the records from when her trucks were serviced. Also, she didn’t have a written plan for when to do routine maintenance on her vehicles. Her business lost more money this year from delays caused by mechanical breakdowns, and her trucks pose a safety risk on the roads. Just last week, an inspector caught one of her trucks with faulty brakes. That could have cost lives if one of Alex’s commercial drivers had to suddenly stop—so the inspector put the vehicle out of service.


Story 2

Ryan trusted his gut when hiring a driver. He operated in a small town, and knew almost everyone. He didn’t bother checking driver abstracts. A driver he hired was involved in a fatal accident while speeding. Now, Ryan’s company is being sued. If Ryan had reviewed the driver’s abstract, he would have seen that the driver had had many speeding violations over the past year.


Story 3

Lee didn’t do regular checks of his drivers’ log books. When he did check the logs, he didn’t compare them to things like fuel and meal receipts to make sure the times matched. One of his drivers was pulled over for careless driving. The officer found out the driver was over his maximum driving hours for the day. The driver was placed Out of Service and Lee had to pay another driver to go pick up his truck.

Another driver got a speeding ticket in Saskatchewan even though her daily log said she was in Alberta. She falsified her records to drive for longer hours than she was allowed by law. Lee's drivers’ hours of service records resulted in fines after an audit was completed.

How Records Help you Comply

Those three stories show just a few things that can happen when you don’t keep accurate records. But how do records keep you safe?

  • When you obtain and keep driver records, you’ll know your drivers are qualified to drive commercial vehicles.
  • When you keep correct Hours of Service records, you know if drivers are too tired to drive.
  • When you keep up-to-date vehicle records, you know if your vehicles are safe or need maintenance.
  • When you keep other safety records, you can make sure goods are properly handled.

Maintaining Your Records

All transportation related records must be maintained at your principal place of business in Alberta. You must also keep a copy of your safety and maintenance programs available for everyone in the business at all times. All employees in the business, including drivers, dispatchers, managers and others must follow company policies.

►It’s a good idea to keep your driver records secure in a locked filing cabinet and to protect any digital records with a password.

Not all records are started in an office. The table below shows three examples of these kinds of records. It shows how they move from the driver who made the record to an office.


Three examples of record maintenance:

Record Type Person Responsible Timeframe
Traffic ticket Driver gives to the carrier to be stored in driver file with other records of driving convictions. Carrier keeps for 4 years.
Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Certificate Carrier keeps copies of all training certificates for each driver. Carrier keeps for 2 years after expiry.
 Hours of Service daily logs Driver gives to the carrier within 20 days. Carrier keeps for 6 months.

In the next three modules (Driver Requirements, Hours of Service, and Vehicle Maintenance), you will see other charts that show you how long to keep records.

Remember: The law states the point when these records must be filed and how long they must be kept. In Alberta, you may find this information in the following regulations:


In this module, you learned about the records you must keep to meet NSC requirements. You learned that you must keep records in three topic areas:

  • Drivers
  • Hours of Service
  • Vehicles

You also learned how good record keeping is part of a safety and maintenance program. There are consequences for your business and your safety if you do not keep good records.

In the next section, you’ll learn about your NSC obligations to make sure your drivers are qualified, well-trained and monitored.

You have now finished Module 1: Setting Up Your Business Records. Please comlete the Self-Assessment.

NOTE: To complete the training, save your progress and receive a certificate, you are required to have an account and be logged in with 511 Alberta.