(January 2020) - The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has opened its Congressionally-mandated Commercial Driver's License (CDL) drug and alcohol Clearinghouse portal. CDL holders, employers, medical review officers, and substance abuse professionals can register to create a secure account through the portal. Drivers are not required to register for the Clearinghouse, but will need to be registered to provide electronic consent in the Clearinghouse if a prospective or current employer conducts a query of the driver's Clearinghouse record. Drivers may also view their own Clearinghouse records once registered.
One of the purposes of the Clearinghouse is to identify drivers who move frequently and obtain CDLs in different states in order to maintain complete and accurate information on those drivers. The Clearinghouse contains records of violations of drug and alcohol prohibitions set forth in 49 CFR Part 382, Subpart B, including positive drug or alcohol test results and refusals to be tested. A driver's completion of the return-to-duty process and follow-up testing plan is also recorded in the Clearinghouse.
Employers, service agents, medical review officers (MROs), and substance abuse professionals (SAPs) are required to report verified positive, adulterated, or substituted controlled-substance test results and refusal-to-test determinations by MROs. See 49 CFR §382.705, which also provides the following chart explaining compliance requirements:
REPORTING ENTITIES AND CIRCUMSTANCES
|Reporting Entity||When information will be reported to Clearinghouse|
|Prospective/Current Employer of CDL-Driver||
|Service Agent acting on behalf of Current Employer of CDL Driver||
Pursuant to 49 CFR §382.725, as of January 6, 2020, states may obtain a driver's record from the Clearinghouse if the driver has applied for a CDL from that state. By January 6, 2023 it will be mandatory. Violations of provisions of the subpart relating to the Clearinghouse are subject to the civil and/or criminal penalties set forth in 49 U.S.C. 521 (b)(2)(C).
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