Are you a CDL driver regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) wondering if you need to register for the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse? The short answer is no, you are not required to register. Although, there are a few good reasons why you should.
Under the new Clearinghouse regulations, all motor carrier employers are required to register with the Clearinghouse. They are responsible for conducting queries on all new hire drivers, conducting annual queries on all existing drivers as well as reporting drug and alcohol violations.
If you are applying for a new position, your potential employer is required to run a query of the Clearinghouse. If you are already registered with the Clearinghouse you will receive an email notifying you of the request, you will then log in and provide electronic consent for the query. If you have not registered with the Clearinghouse, a notification letter will be sent via e-mail or mailed to the mailing address on record with your CDL. Using regular mail slows down the process considerably. If you have not provided consent within 24 hours of the request the employer is unable to place you in a safety-sensitive position and potentially being denied for the job. Bottom line, if you are applying for a new truck driving job, you must register.
Your current employer is required to conduct an annual query of the Clearinghouse on all existing drivers. This process is slightly different than the new hire query. Your employer will conduct the limited query, using consent outside of the Clearinghouse. If you have no information within the Clearinghouse there is nothing further for you to do. However, if you have any violations that have been reported to the Clearinghouse a full query is required and you will be notified following the same steps as outlined above. If you do not provide electronic consent within 24 hours of the request your employer is required to remove you from your safety-sensitive position. The bottom line, if you have violations in the Clearinghouse you must register.
All employers and Medical Review Officers (MRO) are required to report drug and alcohol violations to the Clearinghouse. If you want to know what information is in the Clearinghouse about you, you will need to register. This is also an important step to ensuring the information in your Clearinghouse record is accurate. The bottom line, if you have violations in the Clearinghouse and you want to know what they are, you must register.
So, while as a CDL driver you are not required to register for the Clearinghouse, to make sure you are receiving query notifications in a timely manner, providing consents within the required 24 hours and to monitor the information in your Clearinghouse record, you should register. Driver registration instructions are available for you to review and to help you register. Assistance to CDL Drivers for the Clearinghouse is always available from ClearinghouseServices.com.