The Clearinghouse, established by the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), is a centralized database that maintains records of drug and alcohol program violations by commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders.
It is primarily focused on identifying drivers who have violated drug and alcohol testing regulations and ensuring they complete the required evaluation and treatment process before returning to safety-sensitive positions. The Clearinghouse is used by employers, medical review officers (MROs), substance abuse professionals (SAPs), and enforcement personnel to report and access information related to drug and alcohol violations.
Who is required to register for Clearinghouse?
- Drivers who hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or commercial learner’s permit (CLP).
- Employers of CDL drivers who operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).
- Consortia/third-party administrators (C/TPAs)
- Medical review officers (MROs).
- Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs).
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What is a question?
A query is an electronic check in the Clearinghouse, conducted by an employer or their designated C/TPA, to determine if current or prospective employees are prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions, such as operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), due to unresolved drug and alcohol program violations.
Full queries will disclose to employers and C/TPAs detailed information about any resolved or unresolved violations in a driver’s Clearinghouse record. The driver’s specific electronic consent in the Clearinghouse is required. Electronic consent in the Clearinghouse is required.
What is a Clearinghouse record?
The Clearinghouse contains records of violations of drug and alcohol prohibitions in 49 CFR Part 382, Subpart B, including positive drug or alcohol test results and test refusals. When a driver completes the return-to-duty (RTD) process and follow-up testing plan, this information is also recorded in the Clearinghouse.
Key features and functions of the Clearinghouse for trucking companies:
- Reporting Violations: Employers are required to report drug and alcohol program violations by their CDL drivers, such as positive drug test results or refusals to test.
- Driver Queries: Trucking companies are mandated to query the Clearinghouse before hiring a CDL driver to check if they have any drug and alcohol violations on their record. They are also required to conduct annual queries for their current drivers.
- Consent and Authorization: Drivers must provide consent and authorization for their information to be accessed and reported within the Clearinghouse.
- Reporting Treatment and Evaluation: Drivers who have violated drug and alcohol testing regulations must complete the required evaluation and treatment process. The completion of this process is reported to the Clearinghouse.
- Driver Record Privacy: The Clearinghouse maintains the privacy of individual driver records while allowing authorized users, such as employers and enforcement personnel, to access necessary information for compliance and safety purposes.
How does Clearinghouse improve roadway safety?
•Real-time access to violation information
• Harder for drivers to conceal violations
• Easier for employers to meet obligations
• More insight into employer compliance