FMCSA Opens Registration for Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has opened registration for the new Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, which is aimed at preventing drivers from job-hopping to avoid the impact of failed drug tests. This is a key step in preparation for Jan. 6, 2020, when use of the clearinghouse will become mandatory to report and query information about driver drug and alcohol program violations by CDL holders.

The agency noted that its clearinghouse website contains such resources as user brochures and instructional aids with step-by-step registration instructions for all users.  

Scopelitis Law Firm recommends that given the impending compliance date, “carriers should begin taking steps to ensure they are prepared to utilize the clearinghouse.” Scopelitis recommends not only registering with the clearinghouse now but also:
  • Ensuring that federally mandated drug and alcohol testing policies contain all necessary details about the clearinghouse
  • Developing procedures for running initial queries for prospective drivers and annual queries for existing drivers
  • Communicating with drivers to ensure that they will be properly registered through the clearinghouse, if required
Also, while FMCSA has proposed a partial compliance delay of certain clearinghouse requirements for state driver licensing agencies, there is no extension proposed to delay compliance for motor carriers.

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