Federal regulators made final rule, delaying the compliance deadline for the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse by three years for state motor vehicle agencies.
State agencies will have until January 6, 2023, instead of January 6, 2020 to comply with the rule. This gives states more time to ensure IT systems can securely tap into the Clearinghouse system, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The 2020 deadline still remains in effect for drivers and carriers.
“The compliance date extension allows FMCSA the time needed to complete its work on forthcoming rules to address the states’ use of driver-specific information from the clearinghouse and time to develop the information technology platform through which states will electronically request and receive clearinghouse information,” the agency noted in a recent release.
While the FMCSA stated that the delay would have no effect on safety, industry experts and safety advocates have warned of potential risks to a delaying of the rule’s requirements for state agencies.
The three-year extension came at the request of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, which raised five major questions:
- What does FMCSA intend that the states do with information they receive from the clearinghouse?
- What specific information would states receive in response to a request for information about an individual commercial driver’s license holder or applicant?
- What privacy and data controls will be applied to the transmission of clearinghouse information to SDLA’s [state driver’s license agencies]?
- How would an erroneous clearinghouse record be corrected?
- What are the cost implications for the SDLAs?
The FMCSA said it will address AAMVA’s concerns in “Clearinghouse II,” a proposed rule it is currently developing. “Delaying the implementation of the states’ query requirement will provide FMCSA time to resolve AAMVA’s concerns and ensure a seamless implementation of the states’ clearinghouse-related requirements.”
Announcing the deadline extension also clarified that the clearinghouse final rule requiring that states conduct a query prior to the issuance, renewal, transfer or upgrade of a CDL and that commercial learner’s permit holders were not part of that requirement.