Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Annual Driver Query Requirement

A reminder of Clearinghouse requirements for an annual check of all drivers

On January 6th of 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration launched the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.

The Clearinghouse offers employers a centralized location to query driver information and report drug and alcohol program violations incurred by their current and prospective employees who hold Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDL) or Commercial Learning Permits (CLP).  If you employ drivers who require a CDL, you are, as an employer, required to participate in the Clearinghouse.

Employers are required to query the Clearinghouse prior to hiring a CDL driver and that requirement has been in effect since January 2020.

Nationwide wants to remind employers that in addition to conducting queries on new hire employees/drivers, the employers are also required to conduct an annual check of all CDL or CLP drivers in their employ, once every 365 days.  Since the program has been in effect for almost 11 months, most employers should be coming up on the annual requirement.

To conduct the annual Clearinghouse query, you must have a written and signed permission form for each driver on file and you need to maintain that form for the length of employment, plus 3 years.  A copy of this form can be found on in the Rules of the Road.

If, while conducting the limited annual query, the Clearinghouse returns an indication that there are records in the Clearinghouse for a specific driver, then the employer must conduct a full query of that driver.  If the full query is not conducted within 24 hours, the driver shall be removed from safety sensitive functions, including operating a commercial motor vehicle until the query is complete.  If the driver has a violation and no negative return to work test result, then the driver must be removed from all safety-sensitive functions.

Nationwide encourages you to start this process soon as December and early January can be very busy times with holidays and vacations that could interfere with you completing this important requirement.