What Commercial Drivers Need to Know About FMCSA Clearinghouse
The FMCSA launched an online database that gives employers and other authorized users real-time information about commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders’ drug and alcohol program violations. Called the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse, this initiative is part of improving public safety and use is mandatory for drivers, employers, and service agents.
In order to improve safety on the nation’s roadways, FMCSA provides real-time information about drug and alcohol violations. Drivers, employers and service agents can register, login, submit and obtain information from one central location.
FMCSA Clearinghouse for Drivers
As a commercial driver, you can consent to an employer’s request to view your Clearinghouse record or review your own driver record.
If an employer or prospective employer is performing a limited query, they may supply you with a consent form outside the Clearinghouse to obtain consent. For a full query, specific consent is provided electronically in the Clearinghouse. This includes all pre-employment queries. In order to provide consent for a full query, you need to login and use your account as a driver.
If you are already registered for the Clearinghouse, the consent request notification will be sent via the method you selected as your preferred contact method, either email or U.S. Mail. If you have not yet registered for the Clearinghouse, you will receive a letter via mail.
If I don’t register, can an employer or medical review officer (MRO) enter a drug and alcohol program violation on my record?
Yes. Even if you fail to register for the Clearinghouse, when a violation is entered, the Clearinghouse associates it with a driver’s commercial driver’s license (CDL) information. Of course, you will still need to consent for anyone to view it, but without consent, your employment could be in jeopardy.
The Clearinghouse will notify the driver using the method indicated during the driver’s Clearinghouse registration—either mail or email—any time information about the driver is added, revised, or removed. If the driver has not yet registered for the Clearinghouse, these notifications will be sent by mail using the address associated with the driver’s commercial driver’s license (CDL).
If someone enters a violation, what should I do?
If the information is accurate and you’ve failed a DOT drug or alcohol test, your only recourse is to complete the Return-to-duty process which includes finding a DOT qualified Substance Abuse Professional in order to get back to work.
FMCSA Clearinghouse for Employers
As an employer of commercial drivers, you can log in, submit violations and query the clearinghouse for records on employees or prospective employees. The clearinghouse requires that employers conduct queries as part of any pre-employment investigation and at least annually for every CDL driver currently employed. There is a fee associated with each query. In either case, you will need the driver’s consent to review the records.
FMCSA Clearinghouse for Service Agents
Service agents consist of Substance Abuse Professionals, Medical Review Officers, C/TPAs and third-party administrators all must register to use the clearinghouse to report drug and alcohol program violations and to conduct queries.