A new FMCSA database will contain information pertaining to violations of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) controlled substances drug and alcohol testing program for holders of CDLs. This will be called the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse).
Only employers who employ drivers subject to the licensing requirements in FMCSA Part 383 and the drug and alcohol testing requirements in Part 382 will be permitted to query or report information to the Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse will contain only violations that occurred on or after the rule’s implementation date of January 6, 2020.
The Clearinghouse regulations will require employers to both query and report information regarding CDL-drivers. Once the Clearinghouse is established and operational, employers will be required to report to the Clearinghouse specified violations of the DOT drug and alcohol testing program incurred by their current and prospective CDL drivers. In addition, all employers of CDL drivers will be required to conduct pre-employment queries through electronic requests for information to determine whether prospective hires have unresolved drug or alcohol violations that prohibit them from performing safety-sensitive functions. Employers will also be required to query the Clearinghouse annually to determine whether current employees have incurred drug or alcohol violations while working for another employer.
Owner operators will be required to query the Clearinghouse (§ 382.701). Owner-operators must comply with all Clearinghouse requirements imposed on both employers and employees.
Assistance With Clearinghouse
Our affiliated company FMCSA Clearinghouse Services Inc is offering assistance to employers with the Clearinghouse requirements. Training and consultation is available; Joe Reilly is also available as a speaker for corporate and association events. Once the Clearinghouse is active, FMCSA Clearinghouse Services Inc can help employers navigate the process and handle for you the required queries and required reporting. Service offerings from FMCSA Clearinghouse Services Inc will include:
- Querying the Clearinghouse for current and prospective employees' drug and alcohol program violations before permitting those employees to operate a commercial motor vehicle on public roads
- Querying the Clearinghouse annually for each driver they currently employ
- Reporting to the Clearinghouse positive alcohol tests and employer determined refusals to test
Medical Review Officers
Medical Review Officers (MRO) will be required to report refusals and positive results including any changes to reported results that change a result from negative to positive or positive to negative. Within two business days of making a determination or verification of a DOT-approved drug test, an MRO must report the following driver information to the Clearinghouse:
- Verified positive drug test results
- Refusal-to-test determinations based on the employee’s inability to provide a sufficient specimen for testing, or the adulteration or substitution of a specimen