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FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse – Jan 6, 2020

by Brad Bockey
Background: The FMCSA has established the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse as a secure online database that will give employers and other authorized users real-time information concerning drug and alcohol program violations of both Commercial Driver's License (CDL) and Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP) holders. Within the blasting industry, registration applies to all CDL drivers and the carriers that employ CDL drivers. Registration will also include Consortia/Third-Party Administrators (C/TPA's), Medical Review Officers (MRO's), and Substance Abuse Professionals (SAP's). The following will detail what is required of drivers and carriers within the blasting industry.

CDL Drivers
The Clearinghouse website is https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov/register and is now operational. Registration is necessary by Jan 6, 2020. You will need to create login.gov credentials, enter your CDL information and confirm all information is accurate in their database. You will need to have mobile phone/email access in order to receive a verification code. Ensure your notification method is kept up to date in the system.
Information will be kept secure. Drivers will need to give consent to any employer(s) that query their information within the Clearinghouse. Queries will be required if you seek new employment or annually by your current employer.
The responsibility lies with the CDL driver for timely registration.
Employers of CDL Drivers
The Clearinghouse website is https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov/register and is now operational. Registration is required by Jan 6, 2020. You will need to create login.gov credentials. Have your FMCSA Portal information available to ease the registration process. It is recommended to request an FMCSA Portal account prior to Clearinghouse registration to avoid any unforeseen issues.
Employers will be required to query the Clearinghouse database when qualifying a new driver, and at least annually for existing drivers. Employers will be required to report drug & alcohol violations and negative Return To Duty results within the close of the 3rd business day after the employer is notified.
Until Jan 6, 2023, carriers will perform both the Clearinghouse query and the manual query that is currently accomplished to previous employers for drug and alcohol information. After that date, only the Clearinghouse query will be necessary.
The Clearinghouse registration is a simple process if you read and follow the on-screen prompts for both drivers and employers.