Rules of the Road: The New CDL Clearinghouse and YOU

Members | January 16, 2020 | by Dee Pekruhn

On January 6, 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and other partners launched the new Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse for Commercial Drivers License (CDL) holders. Learn about what’s required of employers of CDL holders, and how this affects your employees.

What Is Required?

CDL holders, and their employers, must register and report on their drug and alcohol testing violations through the new Clearinghouse. Specifically, CDL holders and their employers must report drug and alcohol program violations, negative return-to-duty (RTD) substance test results, and successful completion of a driver’s follow-up testing plan.

What Do I (as an Employer) Have to Do?

If you employ CDL drivers, you must:

  • Register as a user and invite your employees to enter violation information.
  • Request consent from your employees to conduct queries of their violation history.
  • Query before hire all prospective employees who may be employed CDL drivers.
  • Query annually all current employees who are employed as CDL drivers.
  • Report the above violations, RTD results, and completion of testing plans.

What Do My CDL Prospective/ Current Employees Have to Do?

  • Register as a user.
  • Respond to a consent request.
  • Review his/ her Clearinghouse Record.
  • Designate a substance abuse professional (SAP) in the Clearinghouse.

What If My CDL Prospective/ Current Employee Does NOT Consent?

If a CDL driver does not consent to an employer’s record query through the Clearinghouse, the driver will be prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions, including operating a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) for that employer, in accordance with 49 CFR 382.703(c).

Where Did This Come From?

This Clearinghouse was mandated by Congress and published on December 5 2016. (MAP-21, Section 32402.) You can read the full Final Rule here.

How Can I Learn More / Where Are Resources Available?

Do be sure to visit the Clearinghouse, and see the great resources available to you, as an employer, to train and educate your CDL employees. Questions? Feel free to contact Dee Pekruhn.