The Clearinghouse is a secure online database that gives employers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLAs), and State law enforcement personnel real-time information about commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders’ drug and alcohol program violations.
The Clearinghouse contains records of violations of drug and alcohol prohibitions in 49 CFR Part 382, Subpart B, including positive drug or alcohol test results and test refusals. When a driver completes the return-to-duty (RTD) process and follow-up testing plan, this information is also recorded in the Clearinghouse.
Yes. The Clearinghouse is a Federal system of records subject to the Privacy Act. For example, the Agency will verify the driver’s consent for the release of certain information prior to allowing an employer to access the driver’s Clearinghouse record. In addition, drivers may access their own Clearinghouse record. Further, Drivers have the right to request inaccurate information in their Clearinghouse record be corrected. In accordance with the Department of Transportation’s Privacy Act procedures in 49 CFR part 10, subpart E, drivers may submit a written request to the Chief, Drug and Alcohol Programs Division, detailing the correction and the reasons the record should be so corrected. For full instructions on how to submit a request, see the Requests for Record Correction Under the Privacy Act job aid.
An employer or service agent who knowingly submits false information to the Clearinghouse may be subject to criminal and/or civil penalties.
Employers and consortia/third-party administrators (C/TPAs) are required to provide specific documentation to support the reporting of actual knowledge or a refusal to test (§§ 382.705(b)(3) and (4)). The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will remove information from the driver’s Clearinghouse record that is determined to be false.
Are employers required to query the Clearinghouse or report drug and alcohol program violations for drivers who do not hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or commercial learner’s permit (CLP)?
No. Only employers who employ drivers subject to the licensing requirements in 49 CFR Part 383 and the drug and alcohol testing requirements in 49 CFR Part 382 are required to query or report information in the Clearinghouse. However, employers of drivers not holding a CDL or CLP must still comply with the driver investigation requirements of § 391.23(e), which includes drug and alcohol violation history.
Can an employer or medical review officer (MRO) enter a drug and alcohol program violation in a CDL driver’s Clearinghouse record if the driver is not registered for the Clearinghouse?
Yes. When a violation is entered, the Clearinghouse associates it with a driver’s commercial driver’s license (CDL) information. This will be recorded even if the driver has not registered for the Clearinghouse. When an employer queries a driver’s information in the Clearinghouse (with the appropriate consent), they will enter the driver’s CDL information to verify if any violations are associated with that driver’s CDL.
A driver is required to enter their CDL information during their Clearinghouse registration. This allows them to view any violation or return-to-duty (RTD) information associated with their CDL.
May employers report the results of drug or alcohol tests not required by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to the Clearinghouse?
No. Only results of DOT drug or alcohol tests or refusals may be reported to the Clearinghouse. While employers may conduct drug and alcohol testing that is outside the scope of the DOT testing requirements, positive test results or refusals for non-DOT testing may not be reported to the Clearinghouse.
If a driver has a drug and alcohol program violation in one State, then applies for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in another State, will the Clearinghouse be able to connect that driver’s drug and alcohol violation history to the new CDL?
Yes. The Clearinghouse will identify drivers who move frequently and obtain CDLs in different States and link those CDLs, in order to maintain complete and accurate information on such drivers.
Yes. Once a driver has registered in the Clearinghouse, he or she will be able to access his or her Clearinghouse record electronically, at no cost. This record would include any drug and alcohol program violation information available in the Clearinghouse, along with the status of their return-to-duty (RTD) process, if applicable.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) takes the protection of personal information very seriously. The Clearinghouse will meet all relevant Federal security standards and FMCSA will verify the effectiveness of the security protections on a regular basis.
- Clearinghouse information is not available to the public; only authorized users are able to register and access the Clearinghouse for designated purposes.
- The Clearinghouse requires authentication, via a login.gov username and password, to access records. Login.gov, a shared service which offers secure online access to participating government systems, also requires the completion of a user verification process to ensure the proper person is using those credentials.
- Drivers registered in the Clearinghouse can access their Clearinghouse records at any time, and at no cost to them. Drivers may only access their own information, not information about other drivers.
- FMCSA will only share detailed drug and alcohol violation information with a prospective or current employer, and/or their designated consortium/third-party administrator (C/TPA), when an employer or designated C/TPA has requested and received specific consent from the driver. Drivers will be able to see the information that would be released to an employer before consenting to the release.
- Driver information will only be used by FMCSA and other enforcement agencies as required to enforce drug and alcohol testing regulations.
Yes. There are two processes for correcting or removing information, depending on the nature of the requested correction or removal. Under 49 CFR 382.717, drivers may (i) request that FMCSA correct administrative errors (e.g., errors in data entry or the removal of a duplicate report from a driver’s Clearinghouse record); (ii) request that FMCSA add documentary evidence of a non-conviction to an employer's report of actual knowledge that the driver received a traffic citation for DUI while driving a commercial motor vehicle if the citation did not result in a conviction; and (iii) request that FMCSA remove from the Clearinghouse a report that a driver failed to appear for a test or that the employer has actual knowledge that the driver has used alcohol or controlled substances if the violation report fails to comply with the reporting requirements in § 382.705(b)(3) and (5). Drivers may not challenge the accuracy or validity of test results, test refusals, or other violations under § 382.717 but may submit a request for correction under the Privacy Act, as described below. See the Submitting a Petition for Data Review job aid to learn how to submit a request for correction under § 382.717.
Drivers wishing to request correction of a test refusal, test result, or other violation information in their Clearinghouse record may do so in accordance with the Privacy Act procedures set forth in 49 CFR Part 10, Subpart E and F. See Requests for Record Correction Under the Privacy Act job aid to learn how to submit a Privacy Act request for correction.
Yes. The final rule provides a petition process for drivers to request corrections to their Clearinghouse record (§ 382.717). Drivers may challenge only the accuracy of information reported, not the accuracy or validity of test results or refusals.
Do employers have access to violation information regarding current employees, including violations recorded by a different employer?
Employers may conduct a limited query, which requires consent outside of the Clearinghouse. If the limited query returns that records were found in the Clearinghouse for the queried driver, the employer must receive electronic consent for a full query from the driver in the Clearinghouse before detailed information may be released to the querying employer. The employer may also conduct a full query at any time, provided the employer has obtained the required electronic consent for the release of detailed violation information for the queried driver.
As of March 8, 2023, an employer will be notified via email if a driver they have queried has new information (such as an updated return-to-duty status, a removed violation, or a new violation) recorded in their Clearinghouse record within 12 months of a pre-employment or annual query. The Query History will also be updated to reflect that new information is available. This change is permitted as a “routine use” of the driver’s information under the Privacy Act and is set forth in FMCSA’s System of Records Notice for the Clearinghouse, accessible at 2019-22915.pdf (govinfo.gov).
Note: Previously, email notifications about new driver information were sent to employers within 30 days of a conducting pre-employment queries only. This has been expanded as described above.
How long will CDL driver violation records be available for release to employers from the Clearinghouse?
Driver violation records will be available in the Clearinghouse for five years from the date of the violation determination, or until the violation is resolved through the successful completion of the return-to-duty (RTD) process and follow-up testing plan, whichever is later.
What are a substance abuse professional’s (SAP’s) responsibilities for reporting information to the Clearinghouse?
Per § 382.705(d), the SAP must report the following:
- Date of initial SAP assessment. This must be reported by the close of the business day following the assessment.
- Date the SAP determined the driver demonstrated successful compliance with education and treatment requirements and is eligible for return-to-duty (RTD) testing. This must be reported by the close of the business day following the determination.
Is a social security number (SSN) or employee identification number (EIN) required to enter a driver’s violation in the Clearinghouse?
No. The final rule requires the driver’s commercial driver’s license (CDL) number and issuing State must be used when reporting a drug and alcohol program violation in the Clearinghouse.
Should violations that occurred before the Clearinghouse Implementation Date be reported to the Clearinghouse?
No. The Clearinghouse contains only violations that occurred on or after January 6, 2020. If a driver’s violation occurred prior to January 6, 2020, and was in the return-to-duty (RTD) process when the Clearinghouse was implemented, the violation and any related RTD activity will not be entered into the Clearinghouse.
Now that three years have passed since the Clearinghouse was implemented, how will prospective employers comply with the investigation and inquiry requirements of 49 CFR 391.23(e)?
As of January 6, 2023, when three years of violation data is stored in the Clearinghouse, prospective employers must conduct a pre-employment query of the Clearinghouse, as set forth in § 382.701(a), to comply with the inquiry requirement in §§ 382.413(b) and 391.23(e)(4), as it pertains to previous FMCSA-regulated employers. Inquiries not conducted under § 382.701(a) will not satisfy these inquiry requirements.
However, if a prospective employee was subject to drug and alcohol testing by a Department of Transportation (DOT) mode other than the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), (Federal Railroad Administration, Federal Transit Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, etc.), prospective employers must continue to request drug and alcohol violation information from those DOT-regulated employers in accordance with § 391.23(e)(4)(ii), since violation information for other DOT modes is not reported to the Clearinghouse.
What are a medical review officer’s (MRO’s) responsibilities for reporting information to the Clearinghouse?
Within two business days of making a determination or verification of a Department of Transportation (DOT)-approved drug test, an MRO must report:
- Verified positive, adulterated, or substituted controlled substances test results; or
- Refusal-to-test determination.
The MRO must report any changes of a verified drug test within one business day of making any changes to the reported results.
Registration is required to complete these actions—visit https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov/Register to register.
What is considered acceptable documentary evidence of a non-conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) in a commercial motor vehicle (CMV)?
As set forth in 49 CFR 382.717(a)(2)(i), a driver who has received a traffic citation for driving a CMV while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances that did not result in a conviction may petition that FMCSA add documentary evidence of a non-conviction to their Clearinghouse record. This documentation may, for example, include a certificate of disposition from the court, a letter from a prosecutor stating that the charge has been dropped, or a screenshot from a court online docket system that displays the disposition. A statement from the driver, even if provided in the form of an affidavit, will not be considered unless accompanied by documentary evidence as described above.
How must a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)-regulated employer respond to requests for information from an employer that is regulated by a different Department of Transportation (DOT) mode?
Per 49 CFR 40.25(h), all DOT-regulated employers are required to comply with requests for information under § 40.25(b). Therefore, when an FMCSA-regulated employer receives an inquiry from an employer regulated by another DOT modal agency, such as the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Federal Transit Administration (FTA), or Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the FMCSA-regulated employer must promptly release the most recent result of a Clearinghouse query they conducted on the driver. This information would be available in the FMCSA-regulated employer’s Query History page.
FMCSA-regulated employers should not refer employers regulated by other DOT modes to the Clearinghouse to obtain this information. Only FMCSA-regulated employers are authorized to query the Clearinghouse.
The Clearinghouse will notify the driver using the method indicated during the driver’s Clearinghouse registration—either mail or email—any time information about the driver is added, revised, or removed. If the driver has not yet registered for the Clearinghouse, these notifications will be sent by mail using the address associated with the driver’s commercial driver’s license (CDL).
Employers who have previously conducted a query on a driver will be notified by email when there is new information in a driver’s Clearinghouse record if:
- The query was initiated on or after the September 14, 2022 System of Records Notice; and
- The new information was recorded after March 8, 2023.
All users registered under the employer, including Assistants, will receive the notification email. If a consortium third-party administrator (C/TPA) initiated the query on behalf of the employer, the C/TPA’s Clearinghouse users will also receive the notification email. These users will also see a notice of new information in the Query History.
No, follow-up testing plans are not included in a driver’s Clearinghouse record. When a prospective employee has not completed a follow-up testing plan prescribed by the substance abuse professional (SAP), the subsequent new employer must obtain the follow-up testing plan from the previous employer, as required in § 382.413, and report the date the follow-up testing plan was completed.
Will any information from the Clearinghouse appear in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Driver Register?
No. Information from the Clearinghouse will not be shared with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Driver Register.
Should an employer report to the Clearinghouse the results of a test conducted under the authority of another U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) agency?
No. Only Part 382 drug and alcohol program violations may be reported to the Clearinghouse.
The Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form (CCF) specifies the DOT agency requesting the test, and employers may only report to the Clearinghouse a positive result when FMCSA is agency designated on the CCF.
If an employer reports a violation to the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse) based on the employer’s actual knowledge that a CDL driver was issued a traffic citation for driving under the influence (DUI) in a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), must the driver complete the return-to-duty (RTD) process before resuming safety-sensitive functions?
It depends on whether the driver is convicted of DUI in a CMV. Current regulations provide that, if an employer has reported an actual knowledge violation based on the issuance of a citation for DUI in a CMV, the driver is prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions, including driving a CMV, until completing RTD requirements in accordance with 49 CFR part 40, subpart O (subpart O). (See §§ 382.503(a) and 382.605). Employers are prohibited from permitting a driver who has violated subpart B to perform safety-sensitive functions until the driver has complied with the RTD requirements in subpart O. (See §§ 383.503(a) and 382.217(e)).
However, on March 8, 2023, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a Notice of Enforcement Policy (NEP). The NEP states that FMCSA will not enforce the RTD requirements of §§ 382.503(a), 382.605, and 382.217(e) when drivers violate subpart B, based on their employer’s actual knowledge of the issuance of a citation for DUI in a CMV and the citation results in non-conviction.
The NEP also states that drivers who are convicted of DUI in a CMV must comply with the RTD requirements in accordance with subpart O.
What constitutes “non-conviction” for the purposes of the NEP? As used in the NEP, the term “non-conviction” means that the charge of DUI in a CMV is dismissed without the imposition of fines, court costs, or other punitive actions, or there is an unvacated adjudicated finding of not guilty. Terms that States may use to indicate a dismissal include Nolle Prosequi (Nolle Pros’d or Nolle Prossed), withdrawn, or discontinued. The term “non-conviction” does not include pleading guilty to a lesser charge (e.g., reckless driving).
May a CDL driver who received a traffic citation for DUI in a CMV resume performing safety-sensitive functions before non-conviction is established? No. Drivers who wish to resume safety-sensitive functions before non-conviction has been established (i.e., before the citation has been dismissed or the driver is adjudicated not guilty) must comply with the RTD requirements in subpart O. Prior to non-conviction, an employer may not permit the driver to perform safety-sensitive functions until complying with RTD requirements.
How will FMCSA know that a driver’s citation for DUI in a CMV resulted in non-conviction? To inform FMCSA of the non-conviction, drivers must submit acceptable documentary evidence of non-conviction following the procedures set forth in § 382.717(c).
If the citation for DUI in a CMV results in non-conviction, when may the driver resume safety-sensitive functions? Drivers may resume performing safety-sensitive functions when FMCSA accepts the documentary evidence and changes the driver’s operating status in the Clearinghouse from “Prohibited” to “Not Prohibited.” FMCSA will notify the driver that this information has been added to their record, as required by § 382.707(a), and the driver may then log in to their Clearinghouse account to verify the status change.
Note: If the driver is required to complete the return-to-duty process due to multiple drug and alcohol program violations, including the citation for DUI in a CMV, the driver will be required to complete the return-to-duty process to resolve the other violations before resuming safety-sensitive functions.
If a driver’s citation for DUI in a CMV results in non-conviction and FMCSA accepts documentary evidence of non-conviction and changes the driver’s operating status from “Prohibited” to “Not Prohibited,” must the employer comply with the Clearinghouse reporting requirements in 49 CFR 382.705(b)(1)(ii) and (v)? No. Under the NEP, FMCSA will not enforce the employer reporting requirements for RTD and follow-up testing in §§ 382.705(b)(1)(ii) and (v) when a driver’s citation for DUI in a CMV results in non-conviction and FMCSA changes the driver’s operating status from “Prohibited” to “Not Prohibited” based acceptable documentary evidence of non-conviction submitted by the driver.
Why is FMCSA changing its enforcement policy regarding actual knowledge violations based on the issuance of a citation for DUI in a CMV? The change will increase fairness to drivers while continuing to ensure CMV safety. Issuance of a citation for DUI in a CMV is a serious action, which raises legitimate safety concerns that justify a driver’s immediate removal from safety-sensitive functions. The driver nevertheless should not be required to complete RTD requirements, including directly observed follow-up testing, if the citation results in non-conviction.
What information is a medical review officer (MRO) required to provide when reporting a determination or verification?
The following information must be provided:
- Reason for the test;
- Federal Drug Testing Chain of Custody Form (CCF) specimen ID number;
- Driver’s name, date of birth, and commercial driver’s license (CDL) number and State of issuance;
- Employer’s name, address, and USDOT Number, if applicable;
- Date of the test and date of the verified result;
- Test result;
- In the case of an adulterated specimen, the adulterant/reason must also be provided.
Per § 382.705, the following individuals must report the following information:
- Employers, or consortia/third-party administrators (C/TPAs) acting on behalf of an employer, enter drug and alcohol program violation information into the Clearinghouse.
- Medical review officers (MROs) enter drug violation information. The driver does not need to be registered in the Clearinghouse for a violation to be added to their Clearinghouse record.
- Substance abuse professionals (SAPs) enter the date of initial SAP assessment and date the driver is eligible for RTD testing.
- Employers enter the negative RTD test result(s) and the date the driver’s follow-up testing plan has been successfully completed.
What information is an employer required to report to the Clearinghouse when reporting actual knowledge that a CDL driver used alcohol or controlled substance, as defined in § 382.107?
Per § 382.705(b)(5), when reporting actual knowledge, employers must report the following:
- Driver's name, date of birth, commercial driver’s license (CDL) number and State of issuance;
- Employer name, address, and USDOT number, if applicable;
- Date the employer obtained actual knowledge of the violation;
- Witnesses to the violation, if any, including contact information;
- Description of the violation;
- Evidence supporting each fact alleged in the description of the violation, which may include, but is not limited to, affidavits, photographs, video or audio recordings, employee statements (other than admissions pursuant to § 382.121), correspondence, or other documentation; and
- A certificate of service or other evidence showing that the employer provided the employee with all information reported.
When an employer receives a notification that there is a change to information in a driver’s Clearinghouse record, the employer should complete a full follow-on query within 24 hours to determine if the new information prohibits the driver from performing safety-sensitive functions, such as operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).
In order for the employer to conduct the follow-on query, the driver must provide specific consent electronically in the Clearinghouse. In accordance with 49 CFR 382.703(c), if the driver refuses to grant specific consent, the employer must remove the driver from safety-sensitive functions until a full query is conducted and the results obtained. Once the full query is conducted, the driver may resume safety-sensitive functions only if the query returns a “Not Prohibited” status.
If a medical review officer (MRO) changes a verified drug test result per 49 CFR Part 40, how long does the MRO have to submit the change to the Clearinghouse?
If an MRO changes a verified drug test, the MRO must submit that change to the Clearinghouse within one business day of making the change in the reported results.
- View their own driver record electronically.
- Provide electronic consent to release detailed drug and alcohol program violation information to a current or prospective employer.
- Identify a substance abuse professional (SAP) so the SAP may enter specific information regarding the driver’s return-to-duty (RTD) activities.
To complete the actions outlined above, drivers must be registered in the Clearinghouse. Registered drivers will have their Clearinghouse accounts and contact preferences set up, allowing them to quickly respond to query requests from employers. Registration is available at https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov/Register .
How does the Clearinghouse impact employers of commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders?
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 holding CDLs and CLPs. The employer must use the Clearinghouse to:
- Conduct a full query of the Clearinghouse as part of each pre-employment driver investigation process.
- Conduct limited queries at least annually for every driver they employ.
- Request electronic consent from the driver for a full query, including pre-employment queries.
- Report drug and alcohol program violations.
- Record the negative return-to-duty (RTD) test results and the date of successful completion of a follow-up testing plan for any driver they employ with unresolved drug and alcohol program violations.