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Get ready for the FMCSA Clearinghouse today.

October 10 , 2019 09:45 am
Clearinghouse
Are you an Employer, Owner-Operator, Driver, C/TPA, or SAP? Registering now let’s you complete the steps needed to be ready when the Clearinghouse is operational on January 6, 2020.

What is the FMCSA Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse?

A secure, online database that will give employers and other authorized users real-time information about commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders’ drug and alcohol program violations. 

The Clearinghouse will improve safety on our Nation’s roadways by giving employers access to information they need to make informed safety decisions about when current or prospective drivers with drug and alcohol violations can safely resume safety-sensitive functions after completing the required return-to-duty (RTD) process.

Clearinghouse for SAPs

Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs) be ready for driver requests. Once you are registered, you can take the following actions in the Clearinghouse prior to implementation:

  • Self-certify your qualifications. During registration, Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs) must self-certify they have the credentials and basic knowledge required by § 40.281.

  • Invite Assistants. Send invitations to other employees who will report information in the Clearinghouse on your behalf, allowing them to register as part of your company.

  • Be ready for driver requests. Before you can enter information about a driver’s RTD activities in the Clearinghouse, the driver you are working with must identify you as his or her SAP, and send you a request to designate you as his or her SAP in the Clearinghouse. You will need to be registered in the Clearinghouse before the driver can send you this request.

Beginning January 6, 2020, SAPs will be required to report the following information in the Clearinghouse:

  1. Date the driver’s initial assessment is completed, by the close of the business day following the assessment.

  2. Date you determine the driver is eligible for RTD testing, by the close of this business day following the determination.

  • You will not upload any documentation, including driver follow-up testing plans, to the Clearinghouse.

Clearinghouse for Drivers

Drivers will need to be registered to view your own Clearinghouse record electronically, or to provide electronic consent for a current or prospective employer to conduct a full query (including pre-employment query) in the Clearinghouse. Failing to consent to a query will result in a driver being prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions for the employer conducting the query.
Registered CDL Drivers can use the Clearinghouse to:

  • Review your own Clearinghouse record and initiate the process to revise or remove incorrectly entered information.

  • Provide electronic consent to release detailed drug and/or alcohol violations information in your Clearinghouse record to a current or prospective employer (when an employer conducts a full query).

  • Identify a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) to report on Return-to-Duty (RTD) activities, if you have an unresolved drug and alcohol program violation in your Clearinghouse record.

Clearinghouse for Employers

Employers with a USDOT Number will have to verify their information is up to date.
Once you are registered, you will be able to take the following actions in the Clearinghouse prior to implementation:

  • Verify your information. If you currently have a USDOT Number, the Clearinghouse will pull your contact and company information from other FMCSA systems. Register early to verify this information is up-to-date.

  • Designate your C/TPA. If you work with one or more consortia/third-party administrators (C/TPAs), you must designate them in the Clearinghouse before they can access the Clearinghouse on your behalf. This is required of all owner-operators (employers who employ themselves as CDL drivers).

  • Invite Assistants. Send invitations to other employees who will access the Clearinghouse on your behalf, allowing them to register as part of your company or organization.

  • Select and purchase a query plan. Employers will pay a fee when querying the Clearinghouse for current and prospective employees’ drug and alcohol program violations. Learn about the pricing options and select the one that works best for your business needs.

Beginning January 6, 2020, employers will be required to:

  • Report drug and alcohol violations. This will include alcohol test results with a concentration of .04 or greater, refusals to take an alcohol or drug test, as well as actual knowledge of a violation.

  • Employers will also report negative Return-to-Duty (RTD) test results and the successful completion of a driver’s follow-up testing plan.

  • The information above must be reported by the close of the third business day after the employer is informed.

  • Conduct queries to check of the prospective employees are prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions, such as operating CMV’s, due to an unresolved drug and alcohol program violation.

  • Until January 6, 2023, you or your C/TPA(s) must conduct both electronic queries in the Clearinghouse and manual, offline inquiries to previous employers for pre-employment driver investigations.

Clearinghouse for Owner-Operators

Owner-Operators that currently have a USDOT number will need to register and verify this information is correct.
Once you are registered, you can take the following actions in the Clearinghouse prior to implementation:

  • Verify your information. If you currently have a USDOT Number, the Clearinghouse will pull your contact and company information from other FMCSA systems. Register early to verify this information is up-to-date.

  • Designate your C/TPA. As an owner-operator, you are required to work with at least one consortium/third-party administrator (C/TPA). You must designate your C/TPA(s) in the Clearinghouse before they can access the Clearinghouse on your behalf.

  • Invite Assistants. Send invitations to other employees who will access the Clearinghouse on your behalf, allowing them to register as part of your company.

  • Select and purchase a query plan. You will need to have purchased a query plan before queries can be conducted in the Clearinghouse by you or your C/TPA(s). Learn about the pricing options and select the one that works best for your business needs.

Beginning January 6, 2020 Owner Operators will need to work with their C/TPAs to make sure the following requirements are met:

  • Report drug and alcohol violations. This will include alcohol test results with a concentration of .04 or greater, refusals to take an alcohol or drug test, as well as actual knowledge violations.

  • Negative RTD tests and the successful completion of a driver’s follow-testing plan.

  • Owner-operators or C/TPAs may report violation information about other drivers employed by the owner-operator. If an owner-operator commits a drug and alcohol program violation, this information must be reported by the C/TPA.

  • The information above must be reported by the close of the third business day after the employer or C/TPA is informed.

  • Conduct queries to check if prospective employees are prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions, such as operating CMVs, due to an unresolved drug and alcohol program violation.

  • All current employees—including you—must be queried at least annually. All queries require driver consent. Queries may be conducted by owner-operators or C/TPAs.

  • Until January 6, 2023, you or your C/TPA(s) must conduct both electronic queries in the Clearinghouse and manual, offline inquiries to previous employers for pre-employment driver investigations.

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