The Clearinghouse and Drivers

Effective January 6, 2020 FMCSA covered drivers with drug & alcohol testing violations will be reported to the new Clearinghouse. The new Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is a database that will house information about driver positive drug and alcohol tests and refusals to test.

Employers hiring new drivers will be required to query the clearinghouse database to determine the driver’s eligibility for a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) covered position.  

Need help with the FMCSA Clearinghouse – Driver Assistance is available.

What do Driver’s Need to Know?

The identifying information for a driver in the Clearinghouse shall be the CDL driver’s license number and the state of issue, not the social security number or employee ID number. A driver’s drug & alcohol testing violations will follow the driver’s commercial driver’s license (CDL) event when the driver moves to another state and applies for new CDL. 

Drivers will need to provide consent to release their information from the Clearinghouse.  Without consent, the information will not be released, and the driver will not be eligible for hireDrivers must register in the clearinghouse to be able to provide consent and to view their information. 

Driver data in the Clearinghouse will be protected with strong security provisions.  The information in the Clearinghouse will only be used by the to enforce drug and alcohol testing regulations.  Drivers will be notified by the Clearinghouse each time information about the driver is entered, revised or removed. Notification will be by e-mail if the driver is registered in the Clearinghouse, otherwise, it will be by mail using the address on the drivers CDL license.  Once registered in the Clearinghouse, drivers can access their information electronically at no cost.

Drivers have a right to be aware of the information that is in the Clearinghouse and to challenge any information they believe is incorrect. Clearinghouse Services, Inc is available to assist drivers with petitions to challenge incorrect information in the Clearinghouse. 

Driver violations will stay in the clearinghouse until the successful completion of the return to duty process with the substance abuse professional (SAP) or for five years whichever is later.  Drivers upon entering a return to duty process are required to identify in the Clearinghouse the specific SAP conducting the return to duty program.

Employers are required to report information to the Clearinghouse to include:

  • Driver’s name, date of birth, commercial driver’s license (CDL) number, and State of issuance;
  • Alcohol test results at 0.04 BAC or above 
  • Employer determined refusals to test
  • Negative return to duty test results 
  • Successful completion of all SAP required to follow up tests

The employer may engage a consortium/third-party administrator (C/TPA) to perform queries and report violations on the employers’ behalf.

Medical Review Officers report information to the Clearinghouse to include positive drug test results and MRO determined refusals to test.

The Substance Abuse Professional will report their determination that the driver has demonstrated successful compliance with education and treatment requirements and is eligible for return-to-duty (RTD) testing.

What about Owner Operators?

Owner-operators must use a consortium/third-party administrator (C/TPA) for interactions with the Clearinghouse.  Violations must be reported. Owner-operators will need to register in the Clearinghouse and assist a C/TPA to act on their behalf.  The owner-operator is unique as he/she must follow the Clearinghouse requirements of the driver and of the employer. Clearinghouse Services, Inc is available to assist owner-operators. 

The Owner Operator Membership from Clearinghouse Services, is perfect for owner operators to be in complete compliance with the Clearinghouse.  The membership will include unlimited consultation, employer required queries and required reporting of violations.