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Who is authorized to use Clearinghouse and how do they sign up?

The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is a database maintained by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The purpose is to provide real-time access to law enforcement personnel at the state level, State Driver License Agencies (SDLA), and the FMCSA itself regarding violations of alcohol and drug use. It is a violation of the FMCSA drug and alcohol policy for a driver to have a blood alcohol concentration greater than .04 percent while performing any official duties. However, truck drivers might wonder who is authorized to access the new Clearinghouse.

Who is authorized to use Clearinghouse?

Information contained in the Clearinghouse

All positive test results for alcohol and substances listed in 49 CFR, Part 382, Subpart B of FMCSA regulations become part of the Clearinghouse record. This includes all instances of a driver refusing to test for the presence of alcohol or drugs. The Clearinghouse also documents each driver’s return to duty (RTD) process as well as the driver’s follow-up testing plan.

Parties authorized to access the FMCSA Clearinghouse

The FMCSA only allows authorized parties to access the Clearinghouse to protect the confidentiality of drivers. These parties include:

  • Commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders
  • Consortia and/or third-party administrators
  • Employers to include motor carriers and others in the transportation industry that employ drivers who operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) requiring them to hold a commercial driver’s license or permit
  • Law enforcement personnel
  • Medical review officers (MRO)
  • Substance abuse professionals (SAP)

Parties authorized to use the Clearinghouse must register via this link and follow the instructions depending on their classification. The FMCSA offers separate instructions for each of these groups of authorized Clearinghouse users:

  • Consortia and/or third-party administrators
  • Drivers who hold a CDL
  • Employers with access to the portal
  • Employers without access to the portal
  • MROs
  • SAPs

The FMCSA charges a fee for the above parties to access information contained in the Clearinghouse. It also provides the opportunity to purchase a query plan based on anticipated business volume.

The Clearinghouse only contains records of new alcohol and drug violations

The FMCSA recently developed the Clearinghouse database and made it available to authorized parties on Monday, January 6, 2020. That means it only contains information about alcohol and drug violations occurring on or after that date. Authorized users will not find records of earlier violations even for drivers currently completing the RTD process if the violation occurred prior to January 6.

Types of drivers the FMCSA monitors in the Clearinghouse

Any person holding a CDL who drives a CMV on public roads is subject to both random and scheduled alcohol and drug tests as well as inclusion of positive test results and RTD status in the Clearinghouse. The most common examples include intrastate and interstate motor carriers, but the new regulations affect several other categories of professional drivers as well.

Don’t forget your truck insurance.

Protecting yourself, your vehicle, and the goods you deliver in case of an accident is an essential part of operating as a responsible driver. We invite you to reach out to our team of transportation insurance experts – they can help you get the insurance you need to protect your business. You can get started with your truck insurance quotes by filling out our online form or giving us a call. Or you can LiveChat with us.