All FMCSA regulated employers are likely already somewhat aware of the fact that new regulations are going into effect. Specifically, the US Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Clearinghouse is slated to go into operation on January 6, 2020. At that date, all who are regulated by the FMCSA will need to be ready to comply with the Clearinghouse requirements.
The clearinghouse itself is a national database that contains info about commercial driver drug and alcohol violations. The rules themselves went into effect in January of 2017, but the implementation date for all FMCSA regulated employers was a bit later – January 6, 2020.
Under these rules, all regulated employers will need to report all violations of drug and alcohol testing regulations by current and prospective employees. In short, if an employee fails a drug screening test, that info must go into the database.
Employer Requirements for the Clearinghouse
- Employers are required to query the Clearinghouse each year for every driver they employ.
- Employers must query for current and prospective drug and alcohol violations before allowing those employees to operate on public roads.
- Employers must report refusals to test to the Clearinghouse
- Employers must report breath alcohol testing results to the Clearinghouse
- State driver licensing agencies must query whenever a CDL is issued, renewed, upgraded, or even transferred.
- Drivers can query the clearinghouse to check their records
There are also additional dates to keep in mind as the January 2020 date rolls closer. Some steps that must be taken include:
- Employers must register with the Clearinghouse
- All FMCSA regulated employers must modify their drug and alcohol policies to notify drivers that their info will be reported to the clearinghouse
- Applicants and drivers should register in the Clearinghouse
January 6, 2020
This is when all employers must report to the clearinghouse. The info they’ll have to report includes:
- Annual queries of all current employees
- Queries for all new hires or transfers
- Report all drug and alcohol program violations
- Regular safety performance history investigations must be conducted
In short, employers will still oversee how they administer their drug screening test and responsible for their own enforcement of the policies. The actual drug & alcohol testing regulations are not changing. But this new national database may help keep our nation’s roads somewhat safer and help employers identify potential employees who may cause a safety risk to them and to the general public.
Being ready for these new laws is important and having the right drug screen test facility or TPA working for you will be vital to meet all Clearinghouse requirements and stay compliant throughout the future. 2020 will be here faster than you realize and being ready now is a must.