Employer Drug Testing: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse activates Jan. 2020

May 22, 2019

Starting Jan. 2020 all employers who employ or hire CDL-licensed drivers must query the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse to assure that the applicant has not failed a drug screening.

Employers are also responsible for inputting drug test results into the clearinghouse when current employees take the required drug screening.

When was this requirement activated?

Mandated as part of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, or MAP-21, legislation signed into law by President Obama in 2012,  the drug and alcohol clearinghouse is scheduled to launch January 6, 2020. The clearinghouse is one provision of many to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.

What are employers required to do?

The Clearinghouse regulations require employers to both query and report information regarding CDL-drivers.

Employers will be required to report specified violations of the DOT drug and alcohol testing program incurred by their current and prospective CDL drivers.

In addition, all employers of CDL drivers must conduct pre-employment queries through electronic requests for information to determine whether prospective hires have unresolved drug or alcohol violations that prohibit them from performing safety-sensitive functions.

Employers will also be required to query the Clearinghouse annually to determine whether current employees have incurred drug or alcohol violations while working for another.

Employers must receive the approval of the current or potential employee in order to query or input data into the Clearinghouse.

What information must employers report?

Employers must report the following events to the Clearinghouse:

•    An alcohol confirmation test result with an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater;
•    A negative return-to-duty test result;
•    The driver’s refusal to submit to a DOT test for drug or alcohol use;
•    An “Actual knowledge” violation, as defined in § 382.107;
•    A report that the driver successfully completed all follow-up tests as ordered by the Substance Abuse Professional.

Do CDL-licensed drivers have access to the clearinghouse?

Drivers will be able to electronically access their Clearinghouse records or determine the status of information in their record at no cost. Drivers will need to register in the Clearinghouse in order to access their information.

How long are driver’s records stored in the clearinghouse?

Driver violation records will be available in the Clearinghouse to authorized employers for 5 years from the date of the violation determination, or until the driver completes the return-to-duty process, whichever is later.  There are limited exceptions which could result in earlier removal of driver violations from the Clearinghouse, as described in 382.719(c).

For more information on the FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse, visit https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov/

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