The FMCSA Clearinghouse is a new national database for all drug and alcohol violations for drivers holding Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDLs). It imposes a large burden on employers, as well as all service agents in the industry.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the US Department of Transportation agency responsible for safety on the roadways, implemented the FMCSA Clearinghouse on January 6, 2020.

When a new driver is hired, the employer must not only conduct a pre-employment drug test, but must also query the Clearinghouse for recorded violations. The employer cannot put the driver on the road until both screens are clear.

Employers must also conduct an annual query of all existing drivers.

Violations, including failed drug and alcohol tests, refusals to test, and “actual knowledge” must be reported to the Clearinghouse.

On Friday, February 21, 2020, the FMCSA revealed that, since the Clearinghouse went live on January 6, nearly 8000 positive tests have been recorded. At more than 1000 per week, that number surprised many in the industry.

CDL drivers are those who operate vehicles the meet one of the following criteria:

  • Rated for 26,001 or more pounds (GVWR)
  • Capable of 16 passengers or more, including the driver
  • Must be placarded for hazardous materials

They include school bus drivers, trucking companies, many in the contracting and construction trades, as well as some delivery vans and moving companies. Drivers who take on these jobs understand that being drug-free is a condition of employment, and DOT-regulated drug testing has been standard since 1991.

InOut Labs, experts in DOT regulations, provides DOT drug testing compliance services nationwide, and recently added Clearinghouse Support.