The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has officially opened registration for the long-awaited drug and alcohol clearinghouse.
The clearinghouse is a secure database that allows FMCSA and others to identify commercial drivers who have violated drug and alcohol testing program requirements in real time. Commercial driver’s license holders, fleets, medical review officers and substance abuse professionals can create an online account at https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov.
Motor carriers are required to register and begin using the clearinghouse on Jan. 6. The clearinghouse will contain drug and alcohol program violations, including positive test results, and return-to-duty status for commercial drivers.
“As this congressional mandate is enacted, FMCSA’s goal is to ensure drivers, employers, and everyone who will be using the clearinghouse are registered as efficiently and effectively as possible. FMCSA is here to be helpful during this implementation, and we strongly encourage all CMV stakeholders to get registered in the clearinghouse now,” said Administrator Raymond Martinez.
Fleets will be required to report certain violations to the clearinghouse, request queries on all prospective drivers and check on existing drivers at least once a year. Carriers will be charged a $1.25 transaction fee for each required query.
FMCSA is still accepting public comments on its proposal to give state agencies until Jan. 6, 2023, before they are required to request clearinghouse information before completing certain CDL transactions.
The law firm Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary has posted an alert on its website regarding the clearinghouse, recommending fleets check that their testing policies contain the needed details, develop procedures for running queries and communicate with drivers to ensure that they will be properly registered, if required.