Congress passed a law in December of 2016 to establish a “clearinghouse” for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) DOT drug and alcohol testing. The Clearinghouse will be an electronic database containing records of violations of drug and alcohol prohibitions. Violations that will be included are positive drug and/or alcohol results, refusals, and other drug and/or alcohol violations for drivers that are required to possess a commercial driver’s license. After a return to duty process has been completed by the driver, that will also be recorded. Violations that predate the Clearinghouse will not be included.

All DOT companies and self-employed drives will be required to establish an online account for the Clearinghouse. Individual drivers that are not self-employed may register for an account but are not required to do so. Owner/operators can choose to use a third-party administrator, such as Essential Screens, to act as their employer and all companies can use a third party administrator to manage their Clearinghouse information input.

Companies can begin to register for the Clearinghouse in October 2019 and can pull information and queries from the Clearinghouse beginning on January 6, 2020. After January 6, employers will be required to query the system for violations that would prohibit a driver or prospective driver from performing safety-sensitive functions.

In the interim of the 3 year look back you will be required to query the clearinghouse and do the current 3 year employment DOT drug and alcohol verification process.  You must also complete queries during pre-hires.  You are allowed 30 days to be in compliance after a hire. All employees must be queried annually.

If you have any additional questions about the Clearinghouse, do not hesitate to reach out to one of our knowledgeable consultants.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: