|The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is proposing to delay the compliance deadline by which State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLAs) must utilize the Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse). FMCSA created the Clearinghouse to share information about commercial drivers’ alcohol and drug violations among employers, state law enforcement, and SDLAs. FMCSA will require that employers of CDL drivers submit and review information about commercial drivers’ alcohol and drug violations. The compliance date for employers is January 6, 2020. FMCSA is proposing to extend the compliance deadline for SDLAs to January 6, 2023. If the extended compliance deadline is finalized, SDLAs may voluntarily request drivers’ information from the Clearinghouse prior to issuing commercial licenses or endorsements; however, SDLAs must use the Clearinghouse by the 2023 compliance deadline.
The January 6, 2020 compliance date would remain in effect for all other requirements, including the requirement for motor carriers to input drivers’ information. FMCSA requires that CDL holders’ drug and alcohol testing program violations must be reported to the Clearinghouse by January 6, 2020, and motor carriers must perform the required ‘queries’ – requesting information from the Clearinghouse – for prospective and current driver-employees. FMCSA requires all employers of CDL drivers to purchase a ‘query plan’, which is a rated access to the Clearinghouse. Employers must submit a query to the Clearinghouse – in other words, request or submit information about drivers’ drug and alcohol violations – before hiring the driver and at least annually for every CDL driver-employee. More information about the query process and purchasing plans is available from FMCSA here.
FMCSA’s objective is to share information among employers and state officials to prevent some drivers from misrepresenting his/her violations to a new employer and/or in a new state. FMCSA compiled over 50 questions-and-answers to familiarize employers and drivers on the Clearinghouse. The FAQ page is available here. More information about the Clearinghouse, including resources for employers as well as drivers, is available on FMCSA’s website here. Please direct any additional questions to Sarah Reboli, Deputy Counsel, Regulatory Affairs at NPGA.
October 10, 2019