Am I required by law to register for the FMCSA Clearinghouse?

An employer covered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) drug & alcohol testing program is required by law to register with the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (DACH). Employers who do not comply with the FMCSA requirements are subject to the civil and/or criminal penalties set forth at 49 U.S.C. 521(b)(2)(C) (i.e., civil penalties not to exceed $2,500 for each offense).

Employers must register themselves in the Clearinghouse, they cannot outsource this function to a C/TPA – Consortium/Third Party Administrator.

Employers required to register include owner operators.  An employer may, after registering, designate a C/TPA – Consortium/Third Party Administrator to perform services in the Clearinghouse on behalf of the employer. An owner operator is required to designate a C/TPA – Consortium/Third Party Administrator for reporting owner operator violations.  The owner operator can also ask the C/TPA to perform other required tasks on their behalf in the Clearinghouse.

Consortium/third-party administrators (C/TPAs) must be registered before they can be designated by an employer in the FMCSA Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.  The C/TPA can perform the following tasks for an employer or owner operator when there is an agreement with the employer for the C/TPA do perform these tasks:

  • report violations
  • conduct queries
  • report negative return to duty test
  • report completion of follow-up testing program

It is important to note that the Medical Review Officer (MRO) reports all positive drug tests to the employer.

How Do I Know if I am Covered?

An employer is covered by the FMCSA drug & alcohol testing program and subject to the Clearinghouse rules when the employer or the employees:

  • hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), or similar license issued by Mexico or Canada, and
  • operate a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) in any state
    • a CMV is defined as a vehicle:
      • with a gross vehicle weight rating/gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight rating/gross combination weight of 26,001 or more lbs., or
      • designed to carry 16 or more passengers (including the driver), or 
      • of any size that is used to transport hazardous materials which require the vehicle to be placarded

Are Drivers Required to Register in the Clearinghouse? 

A driver is not required to register with the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse (DACH). However, we do encourage drivers to register. A driver will need to be registered to provide consent to a pre-employment/full query and if any violations are reported on that driver.  Bottom line drivers applying for a new job are required to register. Drivers that have a violation reported on them are required to register. A driver must designate his or her Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) who will helping the driver with the return to duty process.  Drivers that want to view any information on them in the Clearinghouse must be registered.

Need Assistance, Advice or Consultation with the FMCSA Clearinghouse

As a private company and a Consortium/third-party administrator (C/TPAs), can help owner operators, employers and drivers with their responsibilities in the Clearinghouse.  Eliminate the stress and have peace of mind for a compliant Clearinghouse program, contact today at 877-345-2425.