FMCSA Unveils CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

cdl operator truck driverThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on March 20, 2019, unveiled its Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse) website. Registration by Motor Carriers will begin in the fall and will be required by January 2020.

Information maintained by the Clearinghouse will enable employers to identify those who commit a drug or alcohol program violation while working for one employer, but who fail to subsequently inform another employer (as required by current regulations). Records of drug and alcohol program violations will remain in the Clearinghouse for five (5) years, or until the driver has completed the return-to-duty process, whichever is later.

Beginning on January 6, 2020, Medical l Review Officers, Substance Abuse Professionals, and consortia/third party administrators will be required to report all positive drug, alcohol and controlled substance tests to the Clearinghouse consistent with violations of the drug and alcohol regulations as part of 49 CFR , parts 40 and 382 by current and prospective employers. Motor Carriers will be required to report any refusals to test.

For the next three (3) years trucking companies will have to both consult the Clearinghouse and conduct traditional manual checks with previous employers of all driver applicants to inquire about drug and alcohol violations. In January 2023 only the Clearinghouse checks will required. Carriers will also be required to perform annual Clearinghouse inquiries for every driver in its fleet.

State Driver Licensing Agencies will be required to query the Clearinghouse whenever a CDL is issued, renewed, transferred, or upgraded.

Every driver will be required to open their own individual account in the Clearinghouse.  A driver must give each trucking company permission to query their record, whether the driver is an applicant for a position or a current driver. If a driver refuses to give permission to have their record checked, they cannot be hired and must be suspended from driving at their current employer.

Sign up to receive updates and registration notifications at the website: https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov

Frank Botta counsels local, regional, national and international clients in logistics, supply chain, transportation operations, labor and employment matters and general commercial litigation. He can be reached at fbotta@lynchlaw-group.com or (724) 776-8000.
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