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Registration Period Opens for Mandatory Use of FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Online Database

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced that online registration is now open for the Commercial Driver's License Drug and Alcohol Online Clearinghouse Database. Learn more about the employer's responsibilities, driver's responsibilities, and compliance deadlines occurring on or before January 6, 2020. 
The Clearinghouse is a secure online, searchable electronic database where all CDL driver drug and alcohol violations will now be posted. The Clearinghouse will provide employers, CDL drivers, medical review officers (MRO), substance abuse professionals (SAP), state driver licensing agencies (SDLA) and enforcement authorities real-time information about CDL drivers drug and alcohol program violations. The Clearinghouse will contain records of violations of drug and alcohol prohibitions, including positive drug or alcohol test results, test refusals, completion of return-to-duty (RTD) process and follow-up testing plan. CDL drivers, employers, MROs, SAPs and SDLAs must all register to use the database.
 
The Clearinghouse mandate does not change any existing U.S. DOT drug and alcohol testing regulations or procedures other than to require use of the online database to comply with existing drug and alcohol regulations. Employer use of the Clearinghouse database is required for pre-employment CDL driver record investigation; annual drug and alcohol investigations for all current CDL employees; to upload driver drug and alcohol violations; and return to duty status records.
 
1.   Employer Responsibilities
The Clearinghouse will offer employers (or their third-party assignees) a centralized location to query driver information and report drug and alcohol program violations incurred by their current and prospective employees holding CDLs and commercial driver learners permit. The employer must use the CDL driver drug and alcohol violation Clearinghouse to:
  • Register online to access the Clearinghouse database.
  • Search the Clearinghouse as part of each pre-employment driver investigation process.
  • Conduct limited annual queries for every driver they employ.
  • Request electronic consent form the driver for a full query, including pre-employment queries.
  • Report drug and alcohol program violations.
  • Record the negative return-to-duty (RTD) test results and the date of successful completion of a follow-up testing plan for any driver they employ with unresolved drug and alcohol program violations.
2.   Driver Responsibilities
Drivers must register with the Clearinghouse in order to:
  • Check Records – Drivers must register with the Clearinghouse to check their drug and alcohol driving record and be able to contest incorrect entries.
  • Provide Consent – Drivers must register to provide electronic consent for prospective employers to conduct pre-employment drug and alcohol records search.
3.   Compliance Deadline
  • Employers and drivers must register with the FMCSA drug and alcohol Clearinghouse no later than January 6, 2020.
  • Employers and drivers may register with the Clearinghouse starting October 11, 2019.
  • Employers and/or their third-party designees must begin using the database for pre-employment investigations on January 6, 2020.
  • Employers will no longer be required to conduct manual pre-employment driver drug and alcohol investigations once three years of testing and/or violation data is stored in the Clearinghouse. Manual pre-employment investigation will no longer be required after January 6, 2020.
  • Employers and/or third-party designees, medical review officers, and substance abuse professionals must begin uploading driver drug and alcohol violations on January 6, 2020.
It is highly recommended that employers, drivers, and drug and alcohol testing vendors and substance abuse professionals register now with the Clearinghouse rather than wait for the January 6, 2020 registration deadline.

4.   Additional Information
For additional information on the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, go to https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov

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