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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse) and what information does it contain?

The Clearinghouse is a secure online database that gives employers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLAs), and State law enforcement personnel real-time information about commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders’ drug and alcohol program violations.

The Clearinghouse contains records of violations of drug and alcohol prohibitions in 49 CFR Part 382, Subpart B, including positive drug or alcohol test results and test refusals. When a driver completes the return-to-duty (RTD) process and follow-up testing plan, this information is also recorded in the Clearinghouse.

How long will CDL driver violation records be available on the Clearinghouse site for employers to see?

Violation records for CDL drivers stay on the Clearinghouse site for five years after successful completion of the DOT return-to-duty (RTD) process and follow-up testing plan.

If a driver has a drug and alcohol program violation in one State, then applies for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in another State, will the Clearinghouse be able to connect that driver’s drug and alcohol violation history to the new CDL?

Yes. The Clearinghouse will identify drivers who move frequently and obtain CDLs in different States and link those CDLs, in order to maintain complete and accurate information on such drivers.

Does a failed DOT drug test go on your record?

Yes. If you failed or refused a DOT Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration(FMCSA) drug or alcohol test, that violation is reported in the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse if it occurred after January 6, 2020. The Clearinghouse contains records of violations of drug and alcohol prohibitions in 49 CFR Part 382, Subpart B, including positive drug or alcohol test results and test refusals. Only violations that fall under FMCSA are reported into the Clearinghouse.

Are CDL drivers required to register for the Clearinghouse?

Drivers are not required to register for the Clearinghouse. However, a driver will need to be registered to provide electronic consent in the Clearinghouse if a prospective or current employer needs to conduct a full query of the driver’s Clearinghouse record—this includes all pre-employment queries. A driver must also be registered to electronically view the information in his or her own Clearinghouse record. Registered drivers will have their Clearinghouse accounts and contact preferences set up, allowing them to quickly respond to query requests from employers.

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Who is required to go through the DOT Return to Duty SAP process?

All DOT regulated safety-sensitive employees/candidates employed in the aviation, railroad, public transit, trucking, maritime, and pipeline industries who have violated federal DOT drug and alcohol testing rules. (e.g., positive test result, refusal to test)

If you fall under Federal Aviation (FAA), Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) or the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and you failed or refused a DOT drug or alcohol test you must still complete the return-to-duty process in order to return to safety-sensitive duty.

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I was terminated after a violation. Do I still need to go through the Return-to-Duty SAP process?

Yes. Once you have violated the federal drug and alcohol testing regulations, you are considered ineligible to perform safety-sensitive duties for any employer until you have completed the SAP process.

If I test positive on a DOT Drug or Alcohol test, can't I just retake the test?

If you are a DOT mandated employee, and you receive a positive test, you must be removed from safety-sensitive duty until you complete the Return-to-Duty SAP process.

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How long will the entire SAP Process take?

The time it takes to complete the DOT Return-to-Duty SAP process varies. The SAP will make a clinical assessment and recommend treatment and/or education based on your individual needs. Note: The SAP must make a recommendation for some level of care per DOT CFR 49 Part 40 Subpart O.

Are Return to Duty and Follow-Up testing required?

Yes, you must test negative on a Return-to-Duty Drug/Alcohol screening before returning to DOT safety-sensitive work. You are also subject to unannounced follow-up testing for a period of 1 to 5 years according to a plan determined by the SAP and provided to your employer.

What if I quit my job and now work somewhere else?

If you are a DOT safety-sensitive covered employee with a failed test or refused to test (DOT violation) and move to another employer, you are still required to successfully complete the DOT Return to Duty SAP process before returning to any DOT safety sensitive position. (Failing to comply with the SAP process can result in fines for both you and your new employer.)

What if I applied for a job and I was not hired?

If you are a DOT safety-sensitive covered employee with a failed or refused to test (DOT violation) you are still required to complete the DOT Return to Duty SAP process. You are unable to work in any DOT safety-sensitive position until you have successfully completed this program.

Will CBD Oil Make You Fail a Drug Test?

Non-psychoactive CBD oil is used to treat anxiety, inflammation, arthritis, epilepsy, and a range of other conditions in some cases. In many states, a prescription is not necessary to purchase CBD oil. The production of CBD products remains unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Any CBD products that contain more than a 0.3% concentration of THC are classified as marijuana. The United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classifies marijuana as a Schedule I substance. The Department of Transportation has their own notice regarding CBD use.

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