January 6th – No More Previous Employer Checks

FMCSA regulated employers have been required all along to perform previous employer checks when hiring new drivers. This requires a manual paper form to go back to any previous employers for 3 years back and asking these previous employer if the driver has had drug/alcohol testing program violations.

This requirement was outlined in 49 CFR 391.23(e)(1)-(3) and 382.413(a) and also 49 CFR Part 40.25.

Good News!

Beginning January 6, 2023, a pre-employment Clearinghouse query will satisfy the requirement to investigate a prospective driver’s previous drug and alcohol program violations. The manual previous employer checks going back 3 years will no longer be required. Important note, this is for FMCSA only, it does not apply to other DOT agencies.

Query Requirements

Every FMCSA regulated employer must conduct in the FMCSA Clearinghouse a pre-employment query when hiring a new driver. The driver will receive an e-mail for electronic consent to this query. The driver must be registered in the Clearinghouse in order to receive this electronic consent. The employer cannot allow the driver to drive until the query comes back showing the driver is not in a prohibited status.

Annual queries are also required, employers of FMCSA covered CDL drivers must conduct a query in the Clearinghouse at least once a year for each CDL driver they employ. This annual query requirement applies on a rolling 12-month basis, which means that if you conducted your last annual queries in December 2021, it is time to conduct the next round of annual queries.

The annual queries also need a consent from the driver, but the consent can be a paper form and a limited query can be performed. This limited query is an easier process for the annual queries.

Learn much more about annual queries from Clearinghouseservices.com