Employers are required to conduct Pre-employment Queries on any potential new DOT FMCSA regulated driver prior to placing them in a safety-sensitive position. The Pre-employment Queries are conducted to ensure the driver is not prohibited from driving due to a drug and alcohol testing violation. If there was a violation, the query will show whether the driver has completed the required Return to Duty Process. This query is in addition to the Previous Employer Check process. The old paper process will be eliminated as of Jan 6, 2023, when the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (DACH) has 3 years of data.
A Pre-employment Query is a full query that requires the driver to be registered and log in to provide electronic consent. The Pre-employment Query is different from an Annual Query in that if any violations for the driver are reported within 30 days of the Pre-employment Query a notification will be sent to the employer notifying them that information in the DACH has changed for that driver.
An employer will need to have purchased a Query Plan from the FMCSA through the Clearinghouse Dashboard on their DACH account and have queries available in order to be able to conduct queries or for a C/TPA to conduct queries on their behalf.
Employers cannot allow a new driver to operate on public roads without a clear result from the Clearinghouse. This is the safety feature of the queries and the Clearinghouse. All drivers operating commercial vehicles on public roads must have verification that they are drug-free. It is important to note that a pre-employment negative drug test result is also required prior to allowing the driver to operate in a safety-sensitive position.