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Date

Smog checks is the future for California truck drivers 9/23/2019 Friday Short Haul - Volvo Dynamic Steering, Meals for 18 Wheels, speeding crackdown, OOIDA opposes legislation 9/20/2019 Telematics could be insurance-premium-saving boon for fleets 9/18/2019 54 percent of survey respondents still not impressed with telematics technology 9/16/2019 Friday Short Haul - Walmart video, it's churn, not shortage, California's independent contractor bill, hemp drivers plea 9/13/2019 TCA honors three Highway Angels 9/11/2019 Now they're talking about "smart" trailers 9/9/2019 Friday Short Haul - Detention-time comments, truck orders decline, diesel fuel shortage 9/6/2019 Berkeley study says reducing independent truckers can alleviate climate change 9/4/2019 Clearing up concerns about the drug and alcohol clearinghouse 9/2/2019 Friday Short Haul - Hurricane Dorian, Speed limiter bill, Thank a Driver campaign 8/30/2019 Georgia jury awards $280 million for truck-driver-caused multi-fatality 8/28/2019 Friday Short Haul - New eCascadias, Top cities for truck driver jobs, Push against driverless trucks 8/23/2019 Decision on California drivers' employee/contractor status coming down to the wire 8/21/2019 UPS jumps on autonomous bandwagon with TuSimple investment 8/19/2019 FMCSA publishes proposed HOS rule changes 8/16/2019 Fleets, drivers coming to like automated manual transmissions 8/14/2019 CVSA asks for new truck crash study 8/12/2019 Friday Short Haul - HOS revisions delayed, AEB mandate proposed, Koch sued for sex discrimination 8/9/2019 Kodiak Robotics takes lead in autonomous truck industry race 8/7/2019 New York City combats rash of cyclist/truck clashes 8/5/2019 Friday Short Haul - CRST wins lawsuit, OOIDA opposes insurance hike, UPSNav 8/2/2019 Mechanics shortage equals driver shortage in intensity 7/31/2019 DOT announces almost 1$ billion in grants to fix infrastructure 7/29/2019 Friday Short Haul - DOL on sleeper pay, UPS drone delivery, Geowiz ELDs 7/26/2019 FMCSA takes a look at assault, harassment of female and minority drivers 7/24/2019 It's hot out there, what's a trucker to do? Can't idle. 7/22/2019 Friday Short Haul - Utah truck rollovers, aging truckers, lifetime CDL bans 7/19/2019 Truck-mounted LED billboards coming under fire 7/17/2019 Trucker 'drones on' with unique approach to teaching driving skills 7/15/2019 Friday Short Haul - Rhode Island tolls, human smuggling, contractor vs employee status 7/12/2019 ELD mandate deadline looming, many still not compliant 7/10/2019 New "boot" device being deployed to threaten Walmart overnighters 7/8/2019 Friday Short Haul - Prime Inc vs Amazon, mother fights HOS changes, truck drivers appreciation week 7/5/2019 Proper way to fly the American flag on your truck this Fourth of July 7/3/2019 Roundabouts are becoming popular; but are they best for trucks? 7/1/2019 Friday Short Haul - Skills test proposal, driver shortage, hemp sentencing, driverless trucks 6/28/2019 Experts warn of active wildland fire season 6/26/2019 More states signing on to enlist truckers against human trafficking 6/24/2019 Friday Short Haul - Shippers of Choice, insurance rates, wheel spikes, WIT award 6/21/2019 Freight numbers not holding up to 2018's highs 6/19/2019 Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers 6/17/2019 Friday Short Haul - Self-driving certificate, truck platooning, trade war stacking up cargo 6/14/2019 HOS waiver coming soon for fireworks haulers 6/12/2019 FMCSA takes a further look at detention time 6/10/2019 Friday Short Haul - Autonomous delivery, HOS rules changes, CDL retest 6/7/2019 Roadcheck 2019 in effect this week 6/5/2019 Hemp arrest prompts USDA memo 6/3/2019 Friday Short Haul - Waymo big rigs, Move over sting, Under-21 comments 5/31/2019 Severe weather prompts renewed emergency declaration 5/29/2019 Memorial Day holiday is prime time for cargo thefts 5/25/2019 Friday Short Haul - Hauling hemp, road rage fatality, new rules for autonomous vehicles 5/24/2019 Autonomous trucks on USPS test run 5/22/2019 Future era of cab-less trucks will be the end of HOS rules 5/20/2019 Friday Short Haul - FMCSA under-21 comments, Tesla autonomous car crash, 24,000 drivers sign contract with YRC 5/17/2019 Under-21 interstate drivers getting serious look by FMCSA 5/15/2019 Trucker Buddy program matches drivers with a classroom; everyone wins 5/13/2019 Friday Short Haul - Driver awarded $80 million, ODFL driver wins, loading dock black hole 5/10/2019 Storm breaks out from Rockies, slams into Midwest, South 5/8/2019 Capacity issues have shippers looking at private fleets 5/6/2019 Friday Short Haul - HOS rules, dark skies, Falcon drivers 5/3/2019 'Bug' permits now required for four eastern states 5/1/2019 Simulator use is catching on for schools, carriers 4/29/2019 Friday Short Haul - Thinking electric, Penske opens charging station, border crossing crisis, railroads taking trucking business 4/26/2019 ELDs might not be the panacea that was hoped for 4/24/2019 Truck drivers may soon see "phantoms" driving yard trucks 4/22/2019 Friday Short Haul - Nikola big rigs, WIT welcomes Peterbilt, Oregon crashes, Border crossings 4/19/2019 Carriers claim financial benefit of putting up drivers in hotels 4/17/2019 Uber's IPO application reveals interesting data about its freight brokerage business 4/15/2019 Friday Short Haul - CDL examiner arrested, tolls proposed for trucks, marijuana use on the rise 4/12/2019 Smart Load Board will get carriers the loads they need 4/10/2019 Huge lines and long wait times greet carriers at Mexico border 4/8/2019 Friday Short Haul - Marijuana, ATA campaign, personal conveyance rules 4/5/2019 Over-the-air downloads revolutionize parameter updates 4/3/2019 Don't get scammed by skimmers 4/1/2019 Friday Short Haul -- New Cascadias honored, motorist survey, U.S, Xpress awarded, rest stop parking 3/29/2019 Legislators address underride collisions, propose more underguards for trucks, trailers 3/27/2019 Motorists soon may encounter a different kind of truck convoy 3/25/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Women in Trucking, irate motorist, FMCSA eases HOS, Safe-Cap 3/22/2019 Recent survey shows cost of roadside repairs is rising 3/20/2019 FMCSA announces drug and alcohol clearinghouse website 3/18/2019 Friday Short Haul - Swift settlement, driver shortage myth, TCA Best Fleet award 3/15/2019 The hidden danger of looking but not seeing 3/13/2019 Accident scammers target trucks for financial payout 3/11/2019 3/9/2019 3/9/2019 Friday Short Haul - Snow on the roof, bypassing toll road, Waze under fire 3/8/2019 Retailers blame driver shortage for price increases 3/6/2019 Drivers' smartphones may be clue to road roughness 3/4/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Freight rates, HOS changes, tonnage reports 3/1/2019 New tax changes hit drivers hard 2/27/2019 FMCSA to implement under-21 interstate driver program for former military 2/25/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Connecticut tolls proposed, hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, cell phone use 2/22/2019 Congress committee looks at state of America's highways 2/20/2019 Number of cargo thefts is down; but dollar value about the same 2/18/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Crossing the border, CA sues FMCSA, Lobbying against larger trucks 2/15/2019 Detention - A problem still in search of a solution 2/13/2019 February Highway Angels honorees named 2/11/2019 Friday Short Haul -- C.R. England announces pay raises, eCommerce impact on trucking, TCA announces best fleets 2/8/2019 Is a guaranteed minimum pay the solution to the driver shortage? 2/6/2019 Long CDL testing wait times cost economy billions of dollars; not helping driver shortage 2/4/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Walmart hiring, Uber Freight App, Speed-limiter Law, America's Road Team 2/1/2019 Cranking -- The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly 1/30/2019 California survives challenge to its low-carbon fuel standards 1/28/2019 Friday Short Haul - Highway robbery ... autonomous trucks ... new trailers 1/25/2019 LithiumHub enters jump-starter market with Jumpbooster JP30 1/23/2019 2019 Looks Good For The Transportation Industry 1/21/2019 Raymond Burt named TMC Trainer of the Month for February 2018 3/28/2018 TMC Transportation Announces Recipient of Prestigious Wheel Master Award 3/7/2018 TMC Transportation Named The Home Depot’s Flatbed Carrier of the Year For Fourth Straight Year 2/28/2018 Pay Raises & New Peterbilts for PAM Drivers 2/26/2018 New DOT Drug Testing Rules Effective Jan 1, 2018 1/11/2018 Amtrak Derailment: Trucks Haul 270,000 Pound Locomotive Engine During Cleanup 12/21/2017 Pepsi Places Largest Order Yet For Tesla Electric Trucks 12/12/2017 Kavin Hallett named Trainer of the Month for October 2017 12/8/2017 Over 100,000 Truck Drivers Likely Have Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea And More Testing Is On The Way 8/10/2017 Drivers Share Their Best Tips, Tricks, And Secrets For Life On The Road 7/18/2017 Drivers Are Losing Money By Taking The Wrong Approach 7/13/2017 Truckers and Guns: What Is and Is Not Legal 7/6/2017 Preparing To Go Solo For The First Time? Experienced Drivers Share Their Best Advice 6/29/2017 The Truck Stop Survival Guide: Advice From Experienced Drivers 6/15/2017 The Worst Cities For Traffic In The U.S. For 2017 6/8/2017 We Ask Drivers How They Would Make The Logbook Rules Better 5/30/2017 Self Driving Trucks Are Not Coming Anytime Soon 5/25/2017 11/30/-0001

Clearing up concerns about the drug and alcohol clearinghouse

Dave Wickenhauser on Mon, September 2, 2019

Last Updated: Sat, August 31, 2019

In March of this year Trucking Truth ran a comprehensive article about FMCSA's new drug and alcohol clearinghouse.

As the time to allow registering with the new clearinghouse approaches this fall, questions and concerns have begun to surface. Refer to the above-mentioned article for details about the clearinghouse itself, and read further in this article for answers to some of the questions and concerns that drivers and employers are having about the new program.

Background

By way of review: In short, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is a secure online database that will allow FMCSA, CDL employers, state driver licensing agencies, and law enforcement officials to identify – in real-time – CDL drivers who have violated federal drug and alcohol testing program requirements.

Although registration at the clearinghouse will begin this fall for employers, the date set for making its use mandatory is January 6, 2020. That's when anyone employing drivers requiring a commercial driver's license, including CMV schools, must conduct both electronic queries within the clearinghouse, and manual inquiries with previous employers to cover the preceding three years.

Employers are still required to contact previous employers as well, but by 2023 the rule to contact previous employers will be phased out, and queries must be made exclusively through the online clearinghouse.

Other authorized users, besides employers and drivers, include third-party administrators, medical review officers, substance abuse professionals, state driver license agencies, and law enforcement personnel.

As its name suggests, the clearinghouse will be a catch-all for information accessible by all authorized parties regarding the drug and alcohol-based eligibility of a driver to drive with a commercial license.

Employers will be required to query the clearinghouse before hiring any new drivers, and must query at least once a year for all existing drivers. The system is geared toward preventing the situation where a driver would "job-shop" to a less-diligent carrier to avoid consequences of his or her drug or alcohol use.

There will be a $1.25 charge for each query by employers. Drivers may access their clearinghouse information at no charge.

FAQs

  • Q. If a driver has a drug and alcohol program violation in one State, then applies for a commercial driver’s license in another State, will the clearinghouse be able to connect that driver’s drug and alcohol violation history to the new CDL?

    A. Yes. The clearinghouse will identify drivers who move frequently and obtain CDLs in different States and link those CDLs, in order to maintain complete and accurate information on such drivers.

  • Q. Will driver data be protected?

    A. Clearinghouse information will not be available to the public; only authorized users will be able to register and access the clearinghouse for designated purposes.

    The clearinghouse will require authentication, via a login.gov username and password, to access records. Login.gov, a shared service which offers secure online access to participating government systems, also requires the completion of a user verification process to ensure the proper person is using those credentials.

    FMCSA will only share detailed drug and alcohol violation information with a prospective or current employer, and/or their designated consortium/third-party administrator, when an employer or designated C/TPA has requested and received specific consent from the driver. Drivers will be able to see the information that would be released to an employer before consenting to the release.

  • Q. Do drivers need to register for the clearinghouse?

    A. No, and Yes.

    No, drivers need not register for the clearinghouse if they are never asked for consent by an employer to do a full query.

    Yes, drivers must register at the clearinghouse to give their consent for a prospective or current employer to do a full query.

    And, Yes, if the driver wishes to review the information about himself or herself that is in the database.

  • Q. Will drivers be notified if/when information is added about them into the clearinghouse?

    A. If drivers are already registered with the clearinghouse and information is added, revised or removed about them they will receive notice either by mail or email depending on the preferences they set during registration.

    Drivers who are not already registered will receive notice by mail at the address that is on their commercial driver's license.

  • Q. Can drivers correct or challenge information about them in the database?

    A. Yes, to a degree. Drivers can petition to correct information provided in the database, but cannot challenge the accuracy or validity of test results, or their refusal to submit to testing.

  • Q. Will there be retroactive information about drivers in the clearinghouse?

    A. No. As long as previous violations have been resolved and the driver is in return-to-duty status only violations occurring after January 6, 2020, will appear in the database.

  • Q. What about abuse of the clearinghouse process by employers or others, like providing false information?

    A. An employer or service agent who knowingly submits false information to the clearinghouse may be subject to criminal and/or civil penalties.

  • Q. Is there a time limit how long drug and alcohol violation information will be held in the database?

    A. Driver violation records will be available in the clearinghouse for five years from the date of the violation determination, or until the violation is resolved through the successful completion of the return-to-duty process and follow-up testing plan, whichever is later.

  • Q. What about drivers running in the United States who are working for Mexican or Canadian carriers?

    A. All Mexican or Canadian employers, employees, or service agents operating in the United States that are subject to the FMCSA drug and alcohol testing requirements must comply with the clearinghouse final rule, including reporting driver violations.

  • Q. What is the difference between a limited and a full query?

    A. A limited query allows an employer to determine if an individual driver’s clearinghouse record has any information about resolved or unresolved drug and alcohol program violations, but does not release any specific violation information contained in the driver’s clearinghouse record.

    Limited queries require only a general driver consent, which is obtained outside the clearinghouse; this general consent is not required on an annual basis, it may be effective for more than one year. However, the limited consent request must specify the timeframe the driver is providing consent for.

    A full query allows the employer to see detailed information about any drug and alcohol program violations in a driver’s clearinghouse record. An employer must obtain the driver’s electronic consent in the clearinghouse prior to the release of detailed violation information during the full query.

  • Q. What's this about "consent?"

    A. The rule states, “No employer may query the clearinghouse to determine whether a record exists for any particular driver without first obtaining that driver’s written or electronic consent.” The type of consent required depends on the type of query.

  • Q. I'm an independent owner-operator. Do I have to conduct a query on myself?

    A. Yes. Anyone who employs a commercial driver’s license holder must query the clearinghouse. This requirement includes owner-operators, who must comply with all clearinghouse requirements imposed on both employers and employees.

    An owner-operator’s designated consortium/third-party administrator may conduct queries on their behalf. However, the C/TPA is responsible for reporting drug and alcohol program violations to the clearinghouse for the owner-operator.

Sources: FMCSA, Clearinghouse website, FAQs

Tagged Under:

Background Checks Becoming A Truck Driver CDL Qualifications Drug and Alcohol Testing FMCSA Foreign Drivers Hair Follicle Drug Testing Medical Certification Pre-Employment Screening Program

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