DOT Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse

New FMCSA Clearinghouse Rules go into effect on January 6th. Register Today.

The DOT Clearinghouse is MANDATORY for all Employers and Owner Operators and will go into effect January 6, 2020.

The FMCSA Clearinghouse is an electronic database required by the DOT. It will contain records of drug and alcohol violations per FMCSA regulations, including non-negative (positive) drug or alcohol test results and test refusals.

The Clearinghouse enables employers to more easily identify drivers who are not legally permitted to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) due to drug and alcohol program violations. The database will provide real-time access and updates so that employers can make smarter hiring decisions.

Queries of New Hires/Transfers: Employers must query the Clearinghouse before allowing a newly-hired commercial motor vehicle driver (or current employee who transfers into such a position) to begin operating a commercial motor vehicle on public roads. Drivers must sign a consent form allowing the employer to do so. (The query is for prospective/transfer employees’ drug and alcohol program violations)

Annual Queries of Current Employees. Employers must query the Clearinghouse at least once per year for each driver they currently employ. Drivers must sign a consent form allowing the employer to do so. The employer must maintain records of all queries and information obtained in response to the query, for a period of three years. (As of January 6, 2023, an employer who maintains a valid registration fulfills this requirement).

Drivers are not required to register for the Clearinghouse. However, a driver will need to be registered to provide electronic consent in the Clearinghouse if a prospective or current employer needs to conduct a full query of the driver’s Clearinghouse record—this will include all pre-employment queries beginning on January 6, 2020. A driver must also be registered to electronically view the information in his or her own Clearinghouse record. When registering, please choose Austin Mobile Drug Testing as your Consortia/TPA.

Safety Performance History Investigations: In addition to the items listed above, employers also will be required to conduct the drug and alcohol testing portion of the safety performance history investigation of driver-applicants through the Clearinghouse. Employers will still be required to obtain the other information required by the safety performance history investigation regulations (e.g., accident history) directly from the driver-applicants’ previous DOT-regulated employers, because that information is not reported to the Clearinghouse.

Employers who do not comply with the FMCSA Clearinghouse requirements are subject to the civil and/or criminal penalties set forth at 49 U.S.C. 521(b)(2)(C) (i.e., civil penalties not to exceed $2,500 for each offense).