The safety of the traveling public and Department of Transportation employees depends on the integrity and accuracy of the drug and alcohol testing process.
At Tomo Drug Testing, we work closely with our clients to provide customized solutions to meet their individual needs.
What is the FMCSA Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse?
On January 4, 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) established a Clearinghouse final rule which requires mandatory use of the Clearinghouse for employers to report and collect information about driver drug and alcohol violations.
This rule establishes requirements for the Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, which is an electronic database used for FMCSA regulated employers’ and individuals that will contain information regarding violations outlined in 49 CFR part 382.
The Clearinghouse is a secure online database that will give employers, FMCSA, State Driver Licensing Agencies, and State law enforcement personnel real-time access to important information about CDL driver drug and alcohol program violations.
When must I use the Clearinghouse?
January 6, 2020: Authorized users will be required to complete the actions described in the Clearinghouse final rule. At this time, employers will be required to conduct both electronic queries and traditional manual inquires with previous employers to meet the three-year time-frame, required by FMCSA’s drug and alcohol use testing program, for checking CDL driver violation histories. Drivers may also view their own records for information recorded on or after January 6, 2020
January 6, 2023: Once three years of violation data is stored in the Clearinghouse, employers are no longer required to also request information from the driver’s previous FMCSA-regulated employers under 391.23(e); an employer’s query of the Clearinghouse will satisfy that requirement.
How will the Clearinghouse improve highway safety?
- Make it easier for employers to meet pre-employment investigation and reporting obligations
- Make it more difficult for drivers to conceal their drug and alcohol program violations from current or prospective employers
- Provide roadside inspectors and other enforcement personnel with the means to ensure that drivers receive required evaluation and treatment before performing safety-sensitive functions, such as driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV)
- Make it easier for FMCSA to determine employer compliance with testing, investigation, and reporting requirements
What information will the Clearinghouse contain?
The Clearinghouse with contain information on all CDL driver drug and alcohol program violations. These violations include:
- Report for duty/remain on duty for safety-sensitive function with alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater or while using any drug specified in the regulations (Part 40), other than those prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner
- Alcohol use while performing, or within four hours of performing, a safety-sensitive function
- Alcohol use within eight hours of a post-accident alcohol test
- Test positive for use of specified drugs
- Refusing to submit to a required alcohol or drug test
How will I use the Clearinghouse?
Employers: Report drug and alcohol violations and check that no current or perspective employee is prohibited from performing safey-sensitive functions, such as operating a CMV, due to a drug and alcohol program violation for which a driver has not successfully completed a Return-To-Duty (RTD) process.
CDL Drivers: View own record, provide consent to current or prospective employers to access details about any drug and alcohol program violations, and select a Substance Abuse Professional, if needed.
Medical Review Officer (MRO): Report verified positive drug test results and test refusals.
Substance Abuse Professionals: Report RTD initial assessment and eligibility status for RTD testing.
Consortium/Third-Party Administrators: On behalf of an employer, report drug and alcohol program violations and perform driver queries as required.
State Driver Licensing Agencies: Query the Clearinghouse prior to completing licensing transactions.
What types of drivers and employers will the Clearinghouse affect?
All CDL drivers who operate CMV’s on public roads, and their employers and service agents. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Interstate and intrastate motor carriers (including passenger carriers)
- School bus drivers
- Construction equipment operators
- Limousine drivers
- Municipal vehicle drivers (waste management vehicles)
- Federal and State agencies that employ drivers subject to FMCSA drug and alcohol use testing regulations (Department of Defense, public transit)
NOTE: What is Allowed in Pre-Employment Testing?
Tomo Drug Testing’s interpretation of current Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations in 382.301 allow a future CDL driver to be tested as a FMCSA pre-employment drug screen as long as the donor at a minimum has their CDL permit within 30 days from the date of the collection. In cases where donors don’t receive their CDL permit in 30 days the test is void and a new FMCSA pre-employment would be collected at the time their permit is received.
The issues we have seen recently, involving the above interpretation, occurs when a driver is sent for an FMCSA pre-employment test before receiving their permit and receives a positive result. In these cases, the Medical Review Officer (MRO) isn’t able to enter the drug positive result into the Clearinghouse.
Department of Transportation is urging employers not to complete an FMCSA pre-employment test on a new hire until they have received their CDL permit. This will correct the issue and allow the MRO to enter FMCSA pre-employment positives into the Clearinghouse.