The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is establishing The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, mandated by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) highway bill of 2012. Motor carrier registration begins in the fall of 2019 with full compliance effective on January 6, 2020.
The Clearinghouse rule requires FMCSA regulated employers, Medical Review Officers (MROs), Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs), consortia/third party administrators (C/TPAs), and other service agents to report to the Clearinghouse information related to violations of the drug and alcohol regulations, CFR 382.701.
The Clearinghouse will provide FMCSA and employers the necessary tools to identify drivers who are prohibited from operating a CMV based on DOT drug and alcohol program violations and ensure that such drivers receive the required evaluation and treatment before operating a CMV on public roads. This Clearinghouse information will enable employers to identify drivers who commit a drug or alcohol program violation while working for one employer, but who fail to subsequently inform their new employer. Records of drug and alcohol program violations will remain in the Clearinghouse for five years, or until the driver has completed the return-to-duty process, whichever is later.
So, what does this mean for you the motor carrier or driver? Your pre-employment and annual review requirements will change. Starting on the January 6, 2020 compliance date, employers will have to add a step and conduct both electronic queries within the clearinghouse and manual inquiries with previous employers to cover the preceding three years of a CDL holder’s history. However, as of January 6, 2023, employers will only have to query the clearinghouse and will no longer be required to make manual inquiries.
Motor carriers will be required to query the Clearinghouse for current (limited) and prospective (full) employees' drug and alcohol violations before permitting those employees to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) on public roads and will also be required to annually query the Clearinghouse for each driver they currently employ.
To provide some guidance on these changes, we have outlined a few of the new requirements below.
The Clearinghouse requires the following:
From motor carriers:
From truck drivers:
As the information on the Clearinghouse may change or as it is updated, it is important to be alert to any changes or approaching deadlines. To help accomplish this, please visit the Clearinghouse itself for guidance at https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov/Learn