Effective January 6, 2023, motor carriers are no longer required to manually reach out to a prospective CDL driver’s previous employer to enquire about drug and alcohol related information. This date marks three years since the rollout of the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse, which is now considered fully implemented.
What should employers know?
It is important to note that if a prospective employee was subject to drug and alcohol testing by a Department of Transportation (DOT) mode other than the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), prospective employers will still have to request drug and alcohol violation information from those DOT-regulated employers, since that information will not be reported to the Clearinghouse.
Prospective employers will still need to reach out to previous employers for non-drug and alcohol related items contained in 49 CFR 391.23, as they currently do. If a prospective CDL driver has previously tested positive on a drug or alcohol test, the prospective employer will still need to follow up with the current or previous employer to ensure appropriate follow-up testing and corrective action has taken place.
What about my current CDL drivers?
Annual query requirements have not changed. Employers of CDL drivers must conduct a query in the Clearinghouse at least once a year for each CDL driver they employ on a rolling 12-month basis. Employers must also obtain general consent from CDL drivers they employ before conducting limited queries in the Clearinghouse to view these drivers’ information.
Where can I find more information?
For complete information, please visit the FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse website at https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov/, browse the Clearinghouse FAQs, or download the Queries and Consent Requests Factsheet.
You can also check out Acuity’s Motor Carrier Toolbox and select the Human Resources tab, which includes other resources on drug and alcohol testing and sample forms for employers.