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CMV Stakeholders Cleared to Register for FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Registration has begun for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse, a centralized database that carriers will use to report drug and alcohol program violations and check the status of current or prospective employees with regard to drug and alcohol program violations. These queries must be conducted as part of a pre-employment driver investigation, and at least annually for current employees.

The cost-free registration became available on Oct. 1, 2019, just months before the database is slated to go live on Jan. 6, 2020. Authorized users, including carriers, drivers, third-party administrators, medical review officers and substance abuse professionals must complete the registration process before they can access the Clearinghouse.

Motor Carrier Registration

Since carriers are required to conduct electronic queries starting on Jan. 6, 2020, they must register as soon as possible to ensure they are prepared to utilize the Clearinghouse. The steps carriers will take to register in the Clearinghouse will depend on whether or not they currently have an FMCSA Portal account. The FMCSA Portal is a web system that allows employees of motor carriers to access FMCSA web systems. If the company has a USDOT Number, they should request an FMCSA Portal Account prior to registering for the Clearinghouse. For more information, click here.

Carriers will be required to report drug and alcohol program violations to the Clearinghouse and to run queries on all prospective drivers, and annually for existing drivers. In the near future, carriers will be able to purchase query bundles through their registered Clearinghouse account.

CDL Driver Registration

CDL holders are not required to immediately register for the Clearinghouse but will need to register with the database to respond to an employer’s request for consent prior to a pre-employment query or other full query. Failing to consent to a query will result in a driver being prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions for the carrier conducting the query. 

Drivers who register before Jan. 6, 2020, will have their Clearinghouse accounts and contact preferences set up, allowing them to quickly respond to query requests from employers on or after Jan. 6, 2020. 

The FMCSA’s Clearinghouse website contains important resources, including user brochures and instructional aids, with step-by-step registration instructions for all authorized users.


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Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.

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