The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Clearinghouse is on track to be up and running on January 6, 2020. The Clearinghouse will be a secure electronic database containing records of violations of drug and alcohol prohibitions of subpart B of 49CFR Part 382. Such violations include positive drug or alcohol test results, refusals, and other drug and alcohol violations for drivers required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). A driver’s completion of the return-to-duty process after a violation will also be recorded in the Clearinghouse.
The driver’s CDL number and issuing state will be used to identify drivers in the Clearinghouse database. BATs and Collectors should be aware employers may request you to include this information on the Alcohol Testing Form (ATF) and Custody & Control Form (CCF). In these cases, you should use the driver’s CDL number as the ID number on the form.
Who can access the Clearinghouse?
• Drivers holding commercial driver’s licenses
• Employers with drivers regulated by FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration)
• Consortiums & Third Party Administrators (C/TPAs) performing services for employers regulated by FMCSA
• Medical Review Officers (MROs)
• Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs)
• State Driver License Agencies
Frequently Asked Questions:
• How will FMCSA protect the driver’s personal information and violation history from unauthorized access?
FMCSA takes the protection of personal information very seriously. The Clearinghouse will meet Federal Security Standards and FMCSA will verify the effectiveness of the security protections on a regular basis. Only full queries, which require verified driver consent, will result in the release of records to prospective or current employers (§ 382.703).
In addition, the Clearinghouse is subject to certain provisions of the Privacy Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. For example, the Agency will verify the driver’s consent to release of information prior to allowing an employer to access the driver’s Clearinghouse record. Drivers have the right to request that inaccurate information in their Clearinghouse record be corrected or removed. FMCSA will also notify employers if previously-released Clearinghouse information has been subsequently corrected or removed.
• Will drivers be able to access their own information in the Clearinghouse?
Yes. Drivers will be able to electronically access their Clearinghouse records or determine the status of information in their record at no cost. Drivers will need to register in the Clearinghouse in order to access their information.
• How will a driver be notified when information about them is added to the database?
The Clearinghouse will notify a driver by mail using the address on his or her CDL anytime information about the driver is added, revised, or removed. A driver may elect to receive electronic notifications when registering in the Clearinghouse.
• How does the Clearinghouse impact motor carrier employers?
The Clearinghouse regulations require employers to both query and report information regarding CDL-drivers. Once the Clearinghouse is established and operational (Jan 6, 2020), 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 must 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 motor carrier employer.
• What information are employers required to report to the Clearinghouse?
Employers must enter the following violations to the database:
— An alcohol confirmation test result of 0.040 or greater;
— A negative return-to-duty test result;
— The driver’s refusal to submit to a DOT test for drug or alcohol use;
— An “Actual knowledge” violations, as defined in § 382.107;
— A report that the driver successfully completed all follow-up tests as ordered
by the Substance Abuse Professional
• What information are MROs required to enter into the Clearinghouse?
Within two business days of making a determination or verification of a DOT-approved drug test, a MRO must report the following driver information to the Clearinghouse:
— Verified positive drug test results; or
— Refusal-to-test determinations based on the employee’s inability to provide a
sufficient specimen for testing, or the adulteration or substitution of a
• What information is a substance abuse professional (SAP) required to report to the Clearinghouse?
For each driver who has completed the return-to-duty process in accordance with 49 CFR Part 40, the SAP must report the following information:
— SAP’s contact information
— Driver’s name, date of birth, CDL number & state of issuance
— Date the SAP determined the driver demonstrated successful compliance with return-
to-duty requirements and was eligible for return-to-duty testing.
Find more information on FMCSA’s website at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/commercial-drivers-license-drug-and-alcohol-clearinghouse.