The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Clearinghouse goes live January 6, 2020. Do you employ commercial drivers and know your responsibilities?
The FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will go live on January 6, 2020. The law, MAP-21 or Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act was passed more than seven years ago, in 2012. The Clearinghouse provides the ability to identify and track commercial drivers who violate the FMCSA drug and alcohol testing program.
Currently FMCSA-regulated employers are required to proactively research the drug and alcohol testing record history of any covered commercial driver, in safety-sensitive positions, they intend to employ, using a look back period of three years. The Clearinghouse will make it easier for employers to verify driver history.
FMCSA-regulated employers have significant responsibilities under the new process and we wanted to ensure we alerted our customers and readers to the responsibilities. For example, employers must register with the clearinghouse and purchase a query plan, reverify their drivers every year, as well as comply with specific reporting requirements to the Clearinghouse.
Here is a compilation of resources we found that we thought would be helpful and informative. This article by Littler fully explains the new Clearinghouse and employers responsibilities. Here are links to the FMCSA Clearinghouse and the regulations. And we’ve listed the FMCSA Top 5 FAQs from their website below.
Does the final rule change any of the existing drug and alcohol program requirements in Part 40?
No, the final rule does not change any existing requirements in the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)-wide procedures for transportation workplace drug and alcohol testing
What is the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse) and what information will it contain?
The Clearinghouse is a secure online database that will give 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 will contain 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 will also be recorded in the Clearinghouse.
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.
How do authorized users sign up to access the Clearinghouse?
Employers, drivers, medical review officers (MROs), substance abuse professionals (SAPs), and consortia/third-party administrators (C/TPAs) must register in the Clearinghouse to access the Clearinghouse.
Instructional job aids are available for:
Employers, C/TPAs, MROs, and SAPs can also invite users to complete required actions in the Clearinghouse on their behalf. These users would register as Clearinghouse Assistants.
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 will include all pre-employment queries beginning on January 6, 2020.
A driver must also be registered to electronically view the information in his or her own Clearinghouse record.
Drivers who register before January 6, 2020, will have their Clearinghouse accounts and contact preferences set up, allowing them to quickly respond to query requests from employers on or after January 6, 2020. Registration is available at https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov/register.
OPENonline can help you with your drug screening needs with our customizable drug and alcohol screening solutions. Find out more about our services here. And contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have additional questions.
This is not legal advice. For legal advice, please seek legal counsel.
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