New FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse
The long-awaited launch of the FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse is just days away with an effective date of January 6, 2020. Expect delays in hiring new drivers.
As of the effective date of January 6, 2020, before placing a new driver into a safety sensitive position of driving an FMCSA covered vehicle, the employer must run a query in the Clearinghouse database and receive back a clear result from the Clearinghouse database. In order to receive back the results of the query, the driver must be registered in the Clearinghouse and must consent to the query. If the driver does not consent to the query, the employer cannot place the new employee in a position of driving a commercial motor vehicle.
This process will undoubtedly cause delays in the ability to get new drivers on the road. This is a big change in the hiring process for new drivers, these drivers must register in the Clearinghouse and be ready to consent to the pre-employment query.
In 2023 Clearinghouse will be the only database
By the way, the requirement to check with previous employers for drug & alcohol testing previous violations will remain in effect for three additional years. After 01/06/2023, the Part 40 Section 40.25 requirement will for FMCSA regulated employers be replaced totally by the Clearinghouse. This previous employer check also requires a written consent from the new hire for you to go back and check with previous employers. Regarding the consent, in both cases (Clearinghouse and written requests) if the driver refuses to provide the consent, you must not permit the employee to perform safety-sensitive functions.
For the Part 40 Section 40.25 previous check you do not have to wait until you receive back the information in order to put your new hire to work driving the commercial vehicle. You must obtain and review the information as soon as possible. However, you must not permit the employee to perform safety-sensitive functions after 30 days from the date on which the employee first performed safety-sensitive functions, unless you have obtained or made and documented good faith effort to obtain this information.
For the Clearinghouse query into the database, you must receive the information back before allowing the new driver to perform safety-sensitive functions.
Register Into Clearinghouse As Soon As Possible
It is recommended that as soon as you start discussions with a prospective employee, you require them to register in the Clearinghouse. The registration process begins at https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov/Register. You cannot register the driver in the Clearinghouse, he or she must register themselves. Clearinghouse registration assistance is available from ClearinghouseServices.com. In order to register, a driver will need an e-mail address, the state of issue for the driver CDL and the driver CDL #. Two authentication methods are required for registration, the methods include Phone, Authentication APP, Security Key or Codes that will be issued to you. This may seem complicated but as you go through it, you will find that by following detailed instructions, the driver can get registered in about fifteen minutes.
As an employer you must be registered in the FMCSA Clearinghouse in order to run required pre-employment queries on new hires. The queries cost $1.25 and when you register you should purchase query credits at $1.25 each in order to have these in your account when you need to run a query. Detailed instructions for you as an employer to register are available. Once you register, you can invite others in your company to also register as assistants to manage your operations in the Clearinghouse.
Drivers who are also the employer must register as an employer and will input driver information in their employer account.
Clearinghouse Services Can Assist You
ClearinghouseServices.com is a private company not affiliated with the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) or the Federal Motor Carrie Safety Administration (FMCSA). ClearinghouseServices.com offers consulting services and other assistance to employers and drivers with the FMCSA Clearinghouse requirements. Call or e-mail for immediate assistance: 877-345-2425 or [email protected].