5 Things You Need to Know About the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse

On January 6, 2020, the FMCSA and DOT will implement the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse will help to monitor drivers that are not legally permitted to operate a Commercial Motor Vehicle due to drug or alcohol violations. The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will be used to enforce the rules already in place regarding drug and alcohol testing.

"This secure online database will provide access to real-time information, ensuring that drivers committing these violations complete the necessary steps before getting back behind the wheel, or performing any other safety-sensitive function," states the FMCSA.

Here are 5 key points you need to know about the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.

1. Timeline

Fall of 2019 - Registration for the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse begins. This will allow employers, drivers, and all personnel required to gain access to the Clearinghouse database.

January 6, 2020 - Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse implementation Date. At this point, it becomes mandatory to report and query information in the Clearinghouse database regarding driver drug and alcohol violations. For the first 3 years, employers will be required to electronically query within the Clearinghouse AND manually query with previous employers.

January 6, 2023 - The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse makes it's 3 year mark. All employers must query within the Clearinghouse regarding prospective driers with violations. Employers no longer need to manually query regarding drivers drug and alcohol violations with previous employers.

2. What information will the Clearinghouse hold?

The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will contain records of violations, including positive drug or alcohol test results and refusals. The Clearinghouse will also include the record of a driver's Return-to-duty process.

3. Who has access to the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse?

In order to gain access to the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, you must be registered with the FMCSA. Driver's may access their personal information at anytime; however, they are not privy to every driver's information.

4. Who can see Driver's information in the Clearinghouse?

Driver's information will not be available to the public. In order for a driver's information to be disclosed, they must consent. When an employer requests a driver's record, that driver will be notified and must approve the release of information.

5. Does the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse rule change any of the existing drug and alcohol program requirements?

No, the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse does not change any of the programs already in place for transportation workplace drug and alcohol testing. For more information regarding these programs, visit the US DOT website.