State driver licensing agencies (SDLAs) may have three additional years to comply with federal drug and alcohol clearinghouse requirements if a proposed rule is approved.
In a proposed rule, published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on September 6, the agency is delaying compliance for how state agencies query the Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse database from January 6, 2020, to January 6, 2023, based on concerns raised two years ago by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), a trade association representing state driver licensing authorities.
“In the Agency’s judgment, it would be premature to implement the States’ query requirement before addressing the questions and concerns raised by AAMVA in its 2017 petition for reconsideration,” FMCSA stated in its proposal.
FMCSA emphasized that all other provision of the clearinghouse final rule will go into effect on January 6, 2020, including the reporting into the system of drug and alcohol testing program violations by holders of commercial drivers’ licenses (CDLs), as well as required queries into the system by trucking companies for current and prospective drivers. The agency recently set query pricing options for companies and owner-operators.
The clearinghouse final rule requires that employers conduct queries as part of any pre-employment driver investigation. It must be done at least annually for every driver holding a CDL who is currently employed. All queries require driver consent.