FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse – August Update

What can DriverCheck do for you?

DriverCheck can act as your Consortium/Third Party Administrator (C/TPA) to help you manage the following obligations under the new Clearinghouse regulations:

·         Perform annual queries within the Clearinghouse for all drivers.

·         Perform pre‐employment queries for your new drivers.

·         Provide a convenient online way for getting and tracking driver consents.

·         Enter drug and alcohol violations for any of your drivers.

·         Program Management

·         Account registration and setup with the Clearinghouse portal.

·         Webinar Training for Designated Employer Representatives (DERs).

·         Alcohol and Drug Policy Addendum. (To purchase the policy addendum please click here https://www.drivercheck.ca/policyorderform)

Please note that owner‐operators must have a C/TPA perform the queries and enter violations on their behalf.

For more information about the Clearinghouse please read our previous communication https://www.drivercheck.ca/news/2019/7/25/fmcsa-drug-amp-alcohol-clearinghouse

What is the Clearinghouse?

The Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse will be a database containing commercial drivers’ drug and alcohol program violations. It will also contain information about whether a driver has successfully completed the mandatory return‐to‐duty drug and/or alcohol rehabilitation process.

Employers will be required to report drug and alcohol testing program violations to the Clearinghouse. Each time information is added to, modified or removed from the Clearinghouse, the FMCSA will notify the affected driver.

The Clearinghouse falls under Title 49 Part §382 of the US Code of Federal Regulations.

When will employers be able to register their company for the Clearinghouse?

Online registration for the Clearinghouse will open up in the Fall of 2019. Each employer must register with the Clearinghouse before accessing or reporting information in the Clearinghouse.

Employer Clearinghouse registration must include:

·         Name, address, and telephone number.

·         USDOT number, unless you do not have a USDOT Number, however you will be requested to provide other information to verify identity.

·         Name of the person(s) the employer authorizes to report information to or obtain information from the Clearinghouse and any additional information FMCSA needs to validate his or her identity.

·         Identification of the C/TPA or other service agent used to comply with the requirements of this part, if applicable, and authorization for the C/TPA to query or report information to the Clearinghouse. Employers must update any changes to this information within 10 days.

What identification will a driver need to use to identify themselves for the Clearinghouse?

Drivers will be required to provide their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), including their first and last name as it appears on their CDL along with the state/province issuing the license.

Will DriverCheck be offering any consent forms for the Clearinghouse?

DriverCheck has created a consent form that can be used for annual queries regarding the Clearinghouse. This form, once agreed to by the driver, will allow you to perform the annual query every year the driver is employed by you. This form is electronic and can be generated out of DriverCheck’s eManda portal for use on the internet by the driver and can be tracked as well as stored by DriverCheck.

Will there be educational information for my drivers regarding the Clearinghouse?

DriverCheck has created an FAQ document similar in fashion to this document that drivers can read to familiarize themselves with the Clearinghouse and what is expected. We will provide this in the Fall of 2019. 

Will I be able to monitor the activity of independent contractors that I hire and their compliance with the Clearinghouse?

Independent contractors, those drivers that fall under the regulations of the FMCSA but are not directly employed by you, are responsible for their own compliance with the Clearinghouse and DOT regulations. As a requirement of your contract you could make it a requirement that the independent contractor provide you proof that they are in compliance with the DOT regulations.

However, DriverCheck is unable to monitor the compliance of your independent contractors for you as the contractor is free to use any TPA or MRO they wish and so DriverCheck may or may not have their information. Also, out of respect for the contractor’s privacy, we wouldn’t be able to supply this information to you without their written consent.

Following notification of a flag during a limited query, will a driver have to provide electronic consent directly through the Clearinghouse web portal?

According to the FMCSA’s Clearinghouse website it states the following.

i.                     Drivers will need to log into the Clearinghouse in order to electronically consent to requests from prospective and current employers needing to access full details about any drug and alcohol program violations in a driver’s history, as part of employment-related background checks. This is the only valid method for responding to this type of employer consent request, and failure to provide timely consent may result in a driver being prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions for that employer.

Do I need to update my policies?

As an employer you should be updating your policies to account for the Clearinghouse. The update is highly recommended in order to make it clear to all of your drivers what is expected of them and what is expected of your company regarding compliance with the DOT regulations. DriverCheck has created a Clearinghouse policy addendum that can be added to your existing alcohol and drug policy. If you do not have an alcohol and drug policy we suggest you get one from us. Please contact us if you are interested in updating your policy or obtaining one.

Can the annual query be done at any time during the calendar year?

Yes, the annual query can be done at any time during the calendar year.

If a trucking or bus company had 100 drivers in January but didn’t perform the annual query until November of the same year, when they only had 20 drivers left on their roster, would the company have to perform a query on the 20 remaining drivers or all 100 drivers?

The annual query would only need to be performed on the 20 drivers that remain employed.

If a pre-employment query is performed on a driver, would this driver also need to have an annual query performed on them later in the same year?

No, the annual query would be conducted the following year for a driver that had a pre-employment query completed.

Will there be a checklist for employers to use to help them prepare for the Clearinghouse?

Yes, DriverCheck has prepared an Employer Checklist for the Clearinghouse. We will provide this in the Fall.

 

Contact our team with any questions or inquiries: ClientSupport@DriverCheck.ca or call 1 (800) 463-4310 option 6

For further information specific to the Clearinghouse, please see the FMCSA’s website below: https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov/