The FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse can be confusing for employers. Compliance Specialist Erica Bussard describes the regulatory change has had hiccups but is effectively functioning and user friendly. To learn more on the regulatory change, read below.
FMCSA Clearinghouse a Month In
The FMCSA Clearinghouse was years in the making and everyone was on the edge of their seats imagining what the roll out would be. Would this make hiring easier? Would it help with accountability? Would it be easy to use? Would the launch go smoothly? With all the uncertainty of something new and feeling as prepared as one could be on its arrival, January 6, 2020 was fast approaching.
The day came for the website to go live, and to run queries, it was something of a disaster. The website continuously crashed, you would receive error after error, or you could not connect to the site at all. The server was overloaded. Mandated queries could not be ordered. Employers and drivers were having issues registering due to the large volumes accessing the site. Linking the FMCSA Portal to the Clearinghouse was cumbersome and confusing. Nothing seemed to be going smoothly.
Roll forward a few weeks and you see a different picture. No crashes. No errors. The website is functioning, is user friendly, is helping in accountability, and for the most part is visually appealing. The FMCSA knew the transition could be difficult and created helpful brochures and how-to guides for users, which are still available. Grace was given through the disaster.
The future for the FMCSA Clearinghouse will be amazing, in providing employers with real time information on their potential new hires as well as current employers. With the drivers consents they will be able to run queries and see violations on a driver. So, the days of being left in the dark will eventually be a thing of the past. The Clearinghouse will offer employers the peace of mind knowing their driver is safe on the roads and allow other service agents like SAP’s, and MRO’s an outlet to make sure employers are notified. All in all, this is going to be the start of something great!
The author of this blog post is Tomo Drug Testing’s Compliance Specialist, Erica Bussard. Her primary responsibility at Tomo is to handle clients’ compliance, both with Department of Transportation companies and Drug-Free Workplaces. Erica has been with Tomo 13 years and has held numerous positions in the company, including Drug and Alcohol Collector, Scheduler, Manager, and Compliance.