On January 6, 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will release an online database called the Clearinghouse that provides real-time information about driver drug and alcohol violations. Those who can access the data include the FMCSA, employers, state driver license agencies (SDLA), and state law enforcement personnel. We’ll go over what you should know about Clearinghouse registration.
Specific information available in the Clearinghouse.
49 CFR Part 382, Subpart B outlines driver expectations when it comes to the use of drugs and alcohol on the job. It also describes the testing process, when testing takes place, and consequences of a failed or refused drug and alcohol test. The Clearinghouse will contain information about positive test results, refusal to test, and a driver’s progress with a return to duty plan. The new database will only include information on violations that occurred after its implementation date.
Clearinghouse registration requirements.
Drivers will need to provide the organization with their electronic consent if they know a current or prospective employer intends to review the record. Additionally, drivers need to register with the Clearinghouse to view their own alcohol and drug violations after January 6, 2020. Registering before this date gives drivers the advantage of setting up contact preferences and quickly responding to employer requests. Registration is available at this link.
Tracking of CDL Violations in different states.
One of the biggest benefits of the Clearinghouse is that it allows employers and other third parties to obtain accurate information on drivers who frequently apply for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in different states. The Clearinghouse links the CDLs from various states to one driver, making it more challenging for drivers with alcohol and drug violations to simply move on to another state and drive there without facing consequences for impaired driving.
Clearinghouse obligations for owner-operators.
A self-employed driver must follow the requirements for employers regarding Clearinghouse registration. That means they need to designate a third-party administrator or consortium and abide by its drug and alcohol testing procedures. It also requires owner-operators to comply with the Clearinghouse registration requirements of the third-party administrator or consortium.
Driver notifications and the petition process.
Drivers who provide an email or another form of contact will receive notification from the FMCSA when someone adds, removes, or modifies information about them. Those who have not yet registered for the Clearinghouse will receive this information at the mailing address the FMCSA has on file for them.
The FMCSA also gives commercial drivers the right to dispute any information contained about them in the Clearinghouse that they feel is inaccurate. However, drivers can only challenge whether the information reported is accurate. They cannot challenge the validity of drug and alcohol test results or refusals on record.
Stay updated with insurance obligations too.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) and FMCSA create regulations to improve public safety. As a commercial driver, it’s your responsibility to keep up with them. It’s also important to check your insurance coverage frequently to make sure you have the financial protection as you need. Get started with truck insurance quotes by filling out our online form, giving us a call, or messaging us on LiveChat.