News Stories

CDL Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse

The FMCSA has announced that on January 4, 2020 they will implement the drug and alcohol clearinghouse for all commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders.

  • May 13, 2019

The FMCSA has announced that on January 4, 2020 they will implement the drug and alcohol clearinghouse for all commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders. This clearinghouse will be an electronic database containing: 

  • CDL drivers’ drug and alcohol program violations
  • Information about driver completion of mandatory return-to-duty drug or alcohol rehabilitation process  

Clearinghouse requirement categories include: 

Reporting

  • Employers, consortium/third party administrators, and medical review officers (MROs) will be required to report all drug and alcohol violations to the clearinghouse
  • Substance abuse professionals (SAPs) will be required to report information about drivers undergoing mandatory return-to-work drug or alcohol rehabilitation 
  • Drivers will receive electronic notification each time information that affects them is changed on the clearinghouse. They will need to register with the clearinghouse to receive these electronic notifications.


Querying

  • Employers are required to query the clearinghouse for two reasons (fees will be assessed):
  • Pre-employment screening – to make sure a prospective driver is eligible to drive 
    • Annual queries – to make sure a driver did not violate the drug and alcohol program with another employer
    • State driver licensing agencies (SDLA) are required to query when a state driver obtains, renews, upgrades or transfers their CDL. 
  • National Transportation Safety Board will access the clearinghouse to investigate a crash. 
  • Drivers will be able to view their record with no fees.


Types of queries: 

  • Limited – indicates whether there is information about the driver or not, but does not release information about the driver. 
  • Full – required if a limited query indicates the presence of a driver record
    • Requires driver consent
    • Driver information is accessible for a minimum of 5 years
    • If driver does not fulfill the mandatory return to work requirements, the information remains accessible to employers indefinitely