The FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse can be confusing for employers and drivers. What information does it contain? Who does it affect? To learn more on the regulatory change and additional frequently asked details, read below.
Frequently Asked Details of the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse
The FMCSA Clearinghouse will contain records of drug and alcohol violation per the FMCSA regulations, including positive drug or alcohol test results and test refusals. This will allow employers to identify drivers who are not legally permitted to operate commercial motor vehicles due to drug and alcohol program violations. Records of drug and alcohol program violations will remain in the Clearinghouse for five years, or until the driver has completed the return-to-duty process, whichever is later. The database will provide real-time access and updates so that employers can make smarter decisions.
Who does the Clearinghouse affect?
- Employers of CDL drivers who operate CMVs
- Drivers who hold CDLs or commercial learner’s permits (CLPs)
- Medical Review Officers (MROs)
- State Drivers Licensing Agencies (SDLAs)
- Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs)
- Consortia/Third-Party Administrators (C/TPAs)
The Clearinghouse will only include CDL drivers who operate CMVs under 49 CFR part 382 that are required to participate in the FMCSA drug and alcohol testing program. It will not apply to non-CDL holders, individuals who operate CMVs with GVWRs between 10,001 and 26,000 pounds, or to results from a non-DOT drug or alcohol test.
Will employers still be required to request an applicant’s records from a previous employer?
YES. Employers will still be required to request drug and alcohol information from the applicant’s previous employer under 391.23. However, once three years of violation data are stored in the Clearinghouse come January 6, 2023, employers will no longer be required to request information from previous employers. The Clearinghouse will fulfill the requirement.
What information will the Clearinghouse contain?
Records of violations of the drug and alcohol prohibitions in 49 C.F.R. part 382, sub-part B will include employees who:
- Reported for duty/remained on duty for safety-sensitive function with an 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
- Used alcohol while performing, or within four hours of performing, a safety-sensitive function
- Used alcohol within eight hours of an accident, or until post-accident test, whichever occurs first
- Tested positive for use of specified drugs
- Refused to submit to a required alcohol or drug test
The information will include results from pre-employment testing, post-accident testing, random testing, reasonable suspicion testing, and reports of actual knowledge violations.
What rights will an employee have within the Clearinghouse?
All applicants and employees who meet the inclusion requirements of the Clearinghouse will need to:
- Register with the Clearinghouse only when a full query is being conducted (i.e. they are seeking new employment or a limited query shows records of a violation). An employer cannot register for them; they must do so on their own
- Provide or refuse consent to a full query
- View their information in the Clearinghouse
- Receive notifications of reports and employer queries
- Identify an SAP that can enter RTD information
- Submit a dispute to correct any inaccurately reported information in the Clearinghouse
How will the information be reported?
Will there be record keeping requirements?
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