On January 6, 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) made its Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse available to authorized parties. With the program still being so new, one common question that commercial drivers have is whether CDL drivers must register for the Clearinghouse.
While the answer to this question is no, you should be aware that you need to provide your consent electronically if a current or future employer desires to access your record in the Clearinghouse. You must also register if you want to access your own records in the FMCSA Clearinghouse. To register as a holder of a commercial driver’s license, navigate to this link and follow all on-screen instructions. The benefit of registering is that CDL drivers can customize their contact preferences and respond to employer queries in a more efficient manner.
How to access your own Clearinghouse information.
Upon registration in the FMCSA Clearinghouse, you will establish a login and password that enables you to access data regarding drug or alcohol violations at any time with no cost to you. This also includes available data on your return to duty (RTD) status. Some specific actions you can take within the Clearinghouse include:
- View your own electronic record.
- Provide your electronic consent to release detailed information to current or prospective employers regarding any data contained within the database related to drug or alcohol violations occurring after January 6, 2020.
- Locate and select a substance abuse professional (SAP) for the purpose of authorizing that person to enter information regarding your RTD status.
Understanding the process of adding data to the Clearinghouse
Only authorized representatives may enter information about you into the Clearinghouse. Under the provisions of the regulation 382.705, the following parties have authorization to enter specific information pertaining to your case.
- Direct employers or consortia/third-party administrators acting as a lawful representative of an employer must enter all violations of the FMCSA drug and alcohol testing program.
- Employers or representatives also enter negative test results, the driver’s RTD status, and the drug or alcohol testing plan going forward.
- SAPs enter the date they completed an evaluation on the driver along with the date he or she is eligible to test again to begin the RTD process.
- Medical review officers (MRO) enter information regarding drug violations. It’s not necessary for the driver to register for the Clearinghouse for an MRO to enter a violation.
Type of notification drivers receive when the FMCSA adds data to the Clearinghouse
When you set up notification preferences upon registration, the FMCSA will use your preferred method of communication to let you know about any additions, corrections, deletions, or revisions to your file. If you don’t register for the Clearinghouse or have not yet done it at the time of violation, the FMCSA will mail the information to the address indicated on your commercial driver’s license (CDL).
Check your insurance coverage regularly too
Just as you should routinely review any information the FMCSA has about you in its various databases, it’s also a good idea to compare your current insurance rates and benefits. We invite you to complete a quote request form to get in contact with our team of truck insurance experts, who can help you get the coverage you need to protect your business. (Or, if you prefer, give us a call or message us on LiveChat.)