Similarly to the ELD mandate, the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse final rule was ruled upon and published in December 2016, giving businesses and carriers plenty of time to prepare. However, if you’ve procrastinated this new process change or if you are new to the industry and are just getting your processes established, keep on reading. Here are the 3 things you need to know about registering for and implementing the FMCSA CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.
Register for the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse
Registration is the first step in complying with new FMCSA drug and alcohol clearinghouse regulations. Drivers, employers, SAPS & MROs are all able to register for the clearinghouse. Drivers are not required to be registered for the clearinghouse but should be registered to electronically provide consent in case an employer needs to run a query of the driver’s record. If you haven’t already, register today to be prepared for access clearinghouse records.
Mandatory Clearinghouse Begins January 6, 2020
Mandatory use of the clearinghouse for employers begins on January 6, 2020. Employers will be required to conduct electronic queries (searches) and manual inquiries with previous employers to check a driver’s CDL violation history. Driver’s who are registered clearinghouse users are able to access and view their own Clearinghouse records. After 3 years (01/06/2023), the violation data will have enough data stored that employers will no longer have to request manual inquiries with previous employers and will rely only on the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse database.
How will the Clearinghouse Improve the Trucking Industry?
With most transportation regulations, the most important goal is to improve safety for drivers on the road. With a centralized database to store drug and alcohol-related violations, employers will have electronic access to drug and alcohol-related driver violations. Employers will be able to identify drivers who have drug and alcohol-related violations and get them the help and support they need to provide safe and secure driving conditions and functions. The Clearinghouse will also hold employers accountable to ensure they are following all FMCSA employer compliance guidelines of testing, investigation, and reporting driver violations.
Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse FAQ:
The Clearinghouse is a secure online database that will give employers, FMCSA, State Driver Licensing Agencies, and State law enforcement personnel real-time information about CDL driver drug and alcohol program violations.
Employers who hire CDL drivers are required to use the Clearinghouse starting January 6, 2020, to report and inspect drivers’ drug and alcohol violation history.
Drivers, Consortia/third-party administrators (C/TPAs), Medical review officers (MROs), Substance abuse professionals (SAPs), and Enforcement personnel are all authorized users of the Clearinghouse and may benefit from registering.
There is no cost to register for the Clearinghouse. However, employers and carriers will be charged to run queries on drivers. The cost per query is $1.25. Carriers can purchase an unlimited query package for $24,500 annually. You can learn more about the costs and purchase a query plan on the FMCSA Clearinghouse website.
All CDL driver drug and alcohol program violation history will be available on the Clearinghouse.
For more information and full details on the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, visit: https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov/Learn
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