FMCSA prepares to launch Clearinghouse database

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has created a website which provides answers for frequently asked questions regarding the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, a national online database which will list, in real time, the names of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers who have failed drug and alcohol tests. The website lists a fact sheet and answers to questions regarding the database, which is planned to be implemented on January 6, 2020. The site also enables CMV stakeholders to register in order to receive email updates. Registration for the clearinghouse is set to begin in the fall of 2019, according to the website.

“As this congressional mandate is enacted, FMCSA’s goal is to provide as many resources and updates as possible to those who will be using the upcoming Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse… As we transition to the use of the clearinghouse, we will ensure drivers, employers and state licensing agencies are kept up to date throughout the implementation process. FMCSA is here to be helpful and to assist all CMV stakeholders who have questions regarding the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.”

FMCSA Administrator Raymond Martinez, in press release

The information provided on the website states that FMCSA employers and medical review officers will be required to disclose information related to violations of the drug and alcohol regulations outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations. Moreover, current federal regulations require employers to carry out pre-employment drug testing in addition to random testing. Employees who fail drug testing are prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions, including operating a CMV.

According to FMCSA, the collected information is aimed to support the DOT Strategic Goal of Safety by ensuring that drivers are qualified to operate vehicles such as trucks and buses on highways. The rule was established in 2012, when the U.S. Congress requested from the Secretary of Transportation to establish a national Clearinghouse containing CMV operators’ violations of FMCSA’s drug and alcohol testing program in Section 32402 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21).
The website states that the Clearinghouse will provide FMCSA and employers the required tools to identify drivers who are prohibited from operating a CMV based on DOT drug and alcohol program violations to ensure the drivers receive the required evaluation and treatment before operating a CMV on public roads.

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