Fleetowner 39330 110519 Drug Test Form

Time to register with FMCSA’s drug, alcohol clearinghouse

Nov. 5, 2019
Come January, the Federal Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will be up and running.

Come January, the Federal Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will be up and running. In the works since 2016, this electronic database will track commercial truck drivers who have tested positive for prohibited drugs or alcohol.

It also will track those drivers who refused to take required tests. Beyond just testing, drivers who are in violation of drug and alcohol policies will have to complete a return-to-duty process. This too will be captured in the Clearinghouse.

Drivers and motor carriers need to register to be included in the Clearinghouse, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently opened registration for the Clearinghouse. To create an online account, drivers, fleets, medical review officers, and substance abuse professionals can go to the official website.

FMCSA will begin collecting data on January 6, 2020, and that is when employers can begin checking the database during the hiring process. It is important to note that before a carrier can get information from the Clearinghouse, the driver must give consent. Until January 6, 2023, employers must continue to check prior employers for the information using the current verification of employment paper forms.

The Clearinghouse seems like a good tool to help identify drivers who job-hop in order to avoid the substance abuse professional’s evaluation, treatment and follow-up care mandated in the regulation for violating drug and alcohol testing.

Some drivers may be leery of the Clearinghouse and drag their feet when it comes to registering. Of course, failure to register could delay the hiring process for drivers, as fleets will be hesitant to and may be prevented from hiring someone without having access to this key information. 

Third-party administrators and drug and alcohol consortiums are determining what services they can provide to their customers in order to help them navigate the process. But most say they are waiting to commit until the database is open, and they can see what is actually required.

If you have not registered your company, you should plan on doing so. At the same time, encourage your drivers to register as well.

I am sure there will be a learning curve when it comes to the Clearinghouse, but once it is operational, it will be a good tool to help fleets ensure they are employing safe drivers.

Photo credit: Urine Drug Test HQ 

Sponsored Recommendations

Way Beyond Weight: 5 Ways Truck Weights Affect Fleet Operations

Truck weights affect everything from highway safety and operational costs to back-office efficiency. Here’s how.

Heavy-Duty Maintenance Checklist

A maintenance checklist can help ensure you hit everything necessary during an inspection. Check out our free downloadable checklist to help streamline your repairs.

Five Ways a Little Data Can Save Your Company Millions

While most trucking and logistics companies rely on cellular to keep their work fleet connected, satellite has the ability to connect anywhere and through small data transmission...

Fleet Case Study: 15% YOY Growth for ITDS

Learn how this small trucking company scaled significantly and maintained outstanding customer service without adding additional people. Sylectus TMS can automate operations and...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!