Things to Know About the FMCSA Clearinghouse

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is establishing a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. This clearinghouse will create a database of information of Department of Transportation (DOT) violations directly connected to DOT drug and alcohol testing. The clearinghouse is a database that stores records of violations of drug and alcohol prohibitions in part 382. Violations stored in the database consists of positive drug or alcohol tests results, refusals and other drug and alcohol violations for drivers required to have a CDL and completion of return to duty process. The clearinghouse will be implemented on January 6, 2020.

All FMCSA regulated employers, medical review officers, substance abuse professionals, consortia/third party administrators and other service agents will be required to report any clearinghouse information related to drug and alcohol violations in accordance to 49 Code of the Federal Regulations, Parts 40 and 382. This pertains to current employees as well as prospective employees.

Employers will be required to query the clearinghouse for all current and prospective employees before operating a commercial motor vehicle on public roads. Also, a query will need to be performed on all employees annually. Lastly, when renewing, transferring, issuing or upgrading a CDL, the state agency will be required to query the clearinghouse.

How does this help the employer?

The clearinghouse will provide employers with a tool to identify drivers who aren’t legally allowed to drive a CMV due to DOT drug and alcohol program violations.  Also, drivers who have violated the DOT drug and alcohol program rules can be given the appropriate treatment and evaluation to return to driving CMVs on public roads. Employers will be able to quickly and more easily locate violators using the clearinghouse system and not just rely on previous employer inquiries.

How long is a CDL holder on the Clearinghouse?

All drug and alcohol program violations will be available for a minimum of five years or until the violator has completed the necessary return to duty process, whichever is later. There are some driver exceptions, which can be found in part 382.719(c).

Contributed by Director of Operations, Adam Galante

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