Are you ready for the FMCSA Clearinghouse?

Jan 6, 2020

The US Department of Transportation has its latest change coming into effect today, January 6th, 2020. As of today it will be required to report all violations to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s drug and alcohol testing program through their online database, called the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. 

The Clearinghouse is a database which will hold information about any commercial driver’s violations to the drug and alcohol prohibitions as laid out by the DOT in the 49 CFR Part 382, Subpart B. Violations which would be listed include positive drug tests or refusals to test, and if the driver has completed a return-to-duty process (RTD) that too would be listed in the Clearinghouse with the follow-up testing plan information included as well.

The Clearinghouse will ONLY contain information about violations that occur ON or AFTER the start date of Jan. 06, 2020, this includes any return-to-duty programming that was required for that violation; meaning if the violation occurred prior to the start date and the employee is still in the RTD process for that violation, this information will NOT be entered into the Clearinghouse.

The Changes

It is very important for all collectors to be aware of the changes in how they are to fill out the DOT Custody and Control Form (CCF) and Alcohol Testing Form (ATF) going forward. The current versions of the CCF and the ATF, which both require an ID number to be entered for the donor, specifically permit the use of the donor’s Social Security Number (for Americans), or employee identification number (EIN). As of today, collectors will be REQUIRED to use the donor’s full commercial driver’s license number for this section as well as annotate the state/province of issuance as this information is required for reporting violations to the Clearinghouse.

If the employer or C/TPA does not provide the CDL and/or the State of Issuance then the collector should ask the driver this information at the collection site. However, even if the CDL and/or the State/Province of Issuance are not listed on the CCF (if the collector was unable to obtain this information) the collector must still send the specimen to the laboratory for testing. 

TPAs must register with the Clearinghouse if they are going to be doing any queries on behalf of companies they administrate (requests for violation information on any specific driver) and/or to report any violations as needed. You can learn more about how to register with the Clearinghouse, the details as to how querying works and what the specific responsibilities of each entity are by taking the DATAC’s free course, the FMCSA Clearinghouse Guide, accessible here.