FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

Happy New Year; I hope your 2020 is off to an excellent start!

A lot of you have probably heard about the new Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse that the FMCSA brought online January 6, 2020 and you may have some questions about it.  If you haven’t heard what the Clearinghouse is, it is basically a large Federal database that will house results of drug tests of CDL holders.  Carriers are required by FMCSA to ‘query’ or search the database when hiring new drivers.  So, what does this mean to you guys?

If you’re a current driver, not much.  As a Carrier, we are required to run a limited query on all current drivers once a year.  Once our new training platform Luma launches, we’ll ask you to sign an electronic permission form authorizing us to run this limited search.  This search is simply asking the database whether they have any information regarding a particular driver – yes, we are required to do this even though we know there is no information in there.  Other than giving us permission to do this limited search, there is nothing else that you have to do. 

For all CDL holders seeking employment with a new carrier, there are a few more steps.  Carriers are required to run full queries on all new hires.  To run a full query, the FMCSA requires the CDL holder give their permission directly to FMCSA.  A carrier goes to the database and asks to run a query on a potential hire, providing the email address the driver would have on their application.  The driver would then receive an email from the FMCSA Clearing house prompting them to register an account.  This requires some very basic information – CDL number, email, address, etc.  Once the driver has registered an account, they will then get a notification letting them know a carrier has requested permission to query them.  The driver can either consent to the query or deny the carrier permission. 

I know this process can be a little intimidating, so if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to Bison USA’s safety department.  We would be happy to answer any questions you may have.