Once you have successfully submitted your bulk upload file, the number of queries in your file will be deducted from your query balance. Within a few minutes, the queries contained in your file will begin appearing in your Query History page. They will be labeled “Query Submitted: Via Bulk Upload.”
You can track these queries by their query status. The possible query statuses include the following:
|Awaiting Processing||The query process will be initiated during the next nightly batch.|
|Processing||The query is being processed.|
|Specific consent required||You must manually send a consent request for a full query to the driver. This occurs when a bulk upload file lists query type 1 (limited query) and the limited query determines there is information in the driver's record.|
|Pending driver consent||A consent request for the full query has automatically been sent to the driver. This occurs when the bulk upload file lists query type 2 (full query), 3 (pre-employment query), or 4 (limited query with automatic consent request) and the limited query determines there is information in the driver's record.|
|Completed||The query has been completed and the results are available. This may be because a limited query returned a result of "Driver Not Prohibited," or because the full query was completed (with the driver's consent).|
|Driver Not Found||The CDL information in the file could not be verified. The employers query plan is credited.|
Users who are registered as Clearinghouse Administrators may invite additional users to serve in an Assistant role, enabling them to use the Clearinghouse on their company’s behalf.
Employers that require a USDOT Number manage these Clearinghouse Administrator and Assistant roles via the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Portal. (Are you a motor carrier without a Portal account? If so, you can register for one now. Make sure all users at your company create their own Portal account with the proper Clearinghouse user role.) Other Clearinghouse Administrators may invite and manage assistants once they are registered in the Clearinghouse.
Under 49 CFR § 382.103(d)(1), the requirements of 49 CFR Part 382 do not apply to employers and their drivers “required to comply with the alcohol and/or controlled substances testing requirements of part 655 (Federal Transit Administration (FTA) alcohol and controlled substances testing regulations).” Does this mean that FTA-regulated employers and drivers are exempt from the Clearinghouse requirements?
It depends. Drivers who perform only FTA-regulated safety-sensitive functions are exempt from Part 382, including the Clearinghouse requirements, as are their employers. These drivers and employers are subject only to the alcohol and/or controlled substances testing requirements of Part 655. On the other hand, FTA-regulated entities that employ drivers who also perform FMCSA-regulated safety-sensitive functions must comply with the relevant alcohol and/or controlled substances testing requirements of Part 382. The following examples illustrate how employers subject to Part 655 also could be subject to Part 382.
Example #1: A driver operates a bus under the authority of the FTA during the week, but sometimes operates a charter bus, for the same employer, on the weekend. The charter operation is regulated by FMCSA, not FTA. If the driver is involved in a crash during the charter operation and is subject to post-accident testing, that testing is conducted under the authority of FMCSA (§382.303) and the results must be reported to the Clearinghouse. The same would be true for any testing conducted under the authority of FMCSA (e.g., random testing for drivers in an FMCSA random pool (§382.305)). This result is the same for any employer regulated by more than one Department of Transportation (DOT) mode; the modal authority under which the testing is conducted determines which modal regulations apply.
Example #2: A driver regularly operates a bus under the authority of the FTA, but sometimes operates a truck, for which a commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required, for the same employer. In situations like this, the dual FTA/FMCSA regulated employer must conduct a pre-employment query for any driver expected to perform any FMCSA-regulated safety-sensitive functions in the course of their employment, and conduct an annual query for all drivers who have performed any FMCSA-regulated function within the last year.
Yes, a sample limited consent form is available. FMCSA does not require that motor carrier employers subject to the Agency’s drug and alcohol use and testing regulations in 49 CFR Part 382 use this sample format to obtain an employee’s consent to conduct a limited query of the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. Employers may, however, use or adapt the content as they see fit.
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 subject to certain provisions of the Privacy Act. For example, the Agency will verify the driver’s consent for the release of information prior to allowing an employer to access the driver’s Clearinghouse record. Drivers have the right to request inaccurate information in their Clearinghouse record be corrected or removed. In addition, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will notify employers if previously-released Clearinghouse information has been subsequently corrected or removed.
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.
Commercial driver staffing agencies may employ CMV drivers who hold CDLs and are subject to FMCSA’s drug and alcohol testing requirements in Part 382. The staffing agency supplies these drivers to motor carriers, generally on a short-term basis, to operate CMVs requiring a CDL. Are driver staffing agencies required to register in the Clearinghouse?
Whether, and how, a driver staffing agency would register in the Clearinghouse depends on whether the agency functions as an employer, a consortium/third-party administrator (C/TPA), or as both, depending on the services rendered.
The staffing agency should register in the Clearinghouse as an employer if: (1) the staffing agency maintains its own DOT drug and alcohol testing program; and (2) is responsible for ensuring compliance with FMCSA’s drug and alcohol testing requirements for the drivers it employs who are subject to those requirements.
The staffing agency may register in the Clearinghouse as a C/TPA if the motor carrier is responsible for drug and alcohol program compliance, including fulfilling the employer’s querying and reporting requirements, but designates the staffing agency to perform these functions on the carrier’s behalf, as permitted by § 382.711(b).
If the staffing agency will perform both functions, it should create two separate Clearinghouse accounts; one as an employer and one as a C/TPA, using a different email address for each account.
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.
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.
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.
On October 7, 2021, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a final rule establishing requirements for SDLA’s access to and use of driver-specific drug and alcohol program violation information contained in the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (86 FR 55718).
This final rule requires that:
- SDLAs must not issue, renew, upgrade, or transfer a commercial driver's license (CDL), or commercial learner's permit (CLP), as applicable, for any individual prohibited under FMCSA's regulations from performing safety-sensitive functions, including driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), due to one or more drug and alcohol program violations.
- SDLAs must, upon receipt of notification that a driver is prohibited from operating a CMV due to a drug and alcohol program violation, initiate the downgrade process to remove the CLP or CDL privilege from the driver's license within 60 days.
- Drivers completing the return-to-duty process before the downgrade process is completed would no longer be prohibited from operating a CMV and thus would no longer be subject to a downgrade.
SDLAs have until November 18, 2024 (compliance date) to comply with these requirements. In addition, FMCSA extends the compliance date for the requirement that SDLAs query the Clearinghouse prior to issuing, renewing, upgrading, or transferring a CDL from January 6, 2023 to November 18, 2024. SDLAs currently have the option to voluntarily query the Clearinghouse and may do so up until the compliance date.
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.
A limited query allows an employer to determine if an individual driver’s Clearinghouse record has any information about resolved or unresolved drug and alcohol program violations, but does not release any specific violation information contained in the driver’s Clearinghouse record. Limited queries require only a general driver consent, which is obtained outside the Clearinghouse; this general consent is not required on an annual basis, it may be effective for more than one year. However, the limited consent request must specify the timeframe the driver is providing consent for.
A full query allows the employer to see detailed information about any drug and alcohol program violations in a driver’s Clearinghouse record. An employer must obtain the driver’s electronic consent in the Clearinghouse prior to the release of detailed violation information during the full query.
An individual with an employer or consortium/third-party administrator (C/TPA) who can manage users on behalf of their company. Credentialed medical review officers (MROs) and substance abuse professionals (SAPs) are also considered Clearinghouse Administrators and can invite Clearinghouse Assistants.
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.
Employers who have actual knowledge that a driver has used alcohol or controlled substances in violation of Subpart B of Part 382 must report such violations to the Clearinghouse, in accordance with § 382.705(b)(4). Service agents, such as a consortium/third-party administrator (C/TPA), acting on the employer’s behalf may also report actual knowledge violations, as long as they comply with the reporting requirements in § 382.705(b)(4). Actual knowledge, as defined in § 382.107, is based on the employer’s direct observation of the employee, information provided by the driver’s previous employer(s), a traffic citation for driving a CMV while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances, or an employee’s admission of alcohol or controlled substances use, except as provided in § 382.121.
No. The only negative test result reported to the Clearinghouse is a negative return-to-duty (RTD) result, which is reported by the employer or consortium/third-party administrator (C/TPA) in accordance with §§ 382.705(b)(1)(ii) or (b)(6). If the employer receives a negative-dilute RTD result from the MRO, the employer or C/TPA would report it to the Clearinghouse as a negative RTD result.
Authorized users include:
- CDL drivers
- Employers – this includes motor carriers and other employers of drivers operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) that require a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or commercial learner’s permit (CLP)
- Consortia/third-party administrators (C/TPAs)
- Medical review officers (MROs)
- Substance abuse professionals (SAPs)
- Enforcement personnel
No, the final rule does not change any existing requirements in the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)-wide procedures for transportation workplace drug and alcohol testing.
Query plans may be purchased only on the FMCSA Clearinghouse website by registered employers. A consortium/third-party administrator (C/TPA) may not purchase a plan on behalf of an employer. Download the How to Purchase a Query Plan instructional job aid
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.
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.
Yes. Employers, consortia/third-party administrators (C/TPAs), medical review officers (MROs), and substance abuse professionals (SAPs) need to register their company. The individual users are managed by a representative for each company who serves as a Clearinghouse administrator to manage the company’s account.
SAPs must use the Clearinghouse to report specific information about a CDL driver’s return-to-duty (RTD) activities. This information includes the date of completion of the initial SAP assessment, and the date the SAP determines that the driver is eligible for RTD testing, per § 382.705(d).
Employers will be notified if there is a change to a driver’s Clearinghouse record within 30 days of a pre-employment query being conducted. The employer will be required to obtain the driver’s electronic consent in the Clearinghouse before they can access the updated information.
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.
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.
Yes, there is no requirement that the employer personally perform the registration. As part of the Clearinghouse registration process, each authorized user must obtain their own unique login.gov credentials and a user verification process must be completed to ensure that only the authorized user is accessing the Clearinghouse by using those credentials. Regardless of who performs the registration function, the employer is ultimately responsible for compliance with Clearinghouse requirements.
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.
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.
Yes, a prospective employer or their designated consortium/third-party administrator (C/TPA) will be required to conduct both electronic queries in the Clearinghouse and manual inquiries with previous employers to meet the three-year timeframe for pre-employment driver investigations as required per § 391.23(e). On January 6, 2023, once three years of violation data is stored in the Clearinghouse, prospective employers will no longer have to conduct manual inquiries with a CDL driver’s previous employers; the prospective employer’s query of the Clearinghouse will satisfy that requirement. 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), (FRA, FTA, FAA, etc.), prospective employers will still have to request drug and alcohol violation information from those DOT-regulated employers, since that information will not be reported to the Clearinghouse.
No. An employer is not required to conduct a pre-employment query of the Clearinghouse before administering a road test to a prospective driver subject to 49 CFR part 382. Under § 382.701(a), employers are required to query the Clearinghouse when hiring a driver to perform safety sensitive functions. The road test occurs before the driver is hired; therefore, employers may conduct a pre-employment query at the time they road test a prospective driver but are not required to do so.
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.
Employers, drivers, medical review officers (MROs), substance abuse professionals (SAPs), and consortia/third-party administrators (C/TPAs) must register in the Clearinghouse to access the Clearinghouse.
Instructional job aids are available for:
- Employers with Portal accounts
- Employers without Portal accounts
- CDL drivers
- Consortia/third-party administrators
- Medical review officers
- Substance abuse professionals
Employers, C/TPAs, MROs, and SAPs can also invite users to complete required actions in the Clearinghouse on their behalf. These users would register as Clearinghouse Assistants.
The Clearinghouse is a centralized database that employers use to report drug and alcohol program violations and to conduct queries, which check that current or prospective employees are not prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions, such as operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), due to an unresolved drug and alcohol program violation—that is, a violation for which the driver has not completed the return-to-duty (RTD) process. Queries must be conducted as part of a pre-employment driver investigation, and at least annually for current employees.
In addition, employers may designate a C/TPA who can report violations and/or conduct queries on their behalf. An owner-operator—an employer that employs himself or herself as a CDL driver, typically a single-driver operation—must designate the C/TPA in the Clearinghouse.
To complete the actions outlined above, employers and C/TPAs are required to register in the Clearinghouse.
If your employer has a USDOT Number, visit https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov/register and
All other users must contact your Clearinghouse Administrator to request an invitation to register for the Clearinghouse. Once you receive this invitation email, follow the link in the email to begin your registration in the Clearinghouse. Download the instructional job aid.
Yes. Employers who employ CDL holders to operate non-CDL vehicles (i.e., a commercial motor vehicle as defined in 49 CFR 390.5) may, but are not required to, conduct a pre-employment query in accordance with § 382.701(a) or an annual query in accordance with § 382.701(b). Doing so will allow the employer to determine whether the CDL holder had drug and alcohol program violations reported to the Clearinghouse when the driver was operating a commercial motor vehicle, as defined in § 382.107, while subject to the CDL requirements in 49 CFR part 383.
Employers who query the Clearinghouse for CDL holders operating non-CDL vehicles must comply with the applicable employee consent requirements set forth in § 382.703. If a query of the Clearinghouse reveals the CDL holder is prohibited from operating either a CMV or non-CDL CMV under § 382.501(c), the employer must not permit the driver to operate either type of CMV until completing the return-to-duty requirements set forth in 49 CFR part 40, subpart O, as required by § 382.503(a).
At this time, there are no integration specifications available. Due to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) security requirements and the sensitive nature of driver violation information, employers and consortia/third-party administrators (C/TPAs) must access the Clearinghouse directly. In addition, the Clearinghouse final rule requires FMCSA to record specific consent for the release of the driver’s detailed violation information within the Clearinghouse.
Yes, if the MRO meets the requirements under § 40.121.
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.
Employers must update any changes to its service agents within 10 days of the change.
Yes, all Mexican or Canadian employers, employees, or service agents operating in the United States that are subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) drug and alcohol testing requirements must comply with the Clearinghouse final rule.
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).
Yes. The Clearinghouse is subject to certain provisions of the FCRA. However, the Agency does not fall within FCRA’s definition of “consumer reporting agency.” Therefore, provisions of the FCRA that impose obligations on “consumer reporting agencies” do not apply to the Agency’s administration of the Clearinghouse regulations. If an employer or consortium/third-party administrator (C/TPA) is subject to the FCRA, they should comply with their individual requirements.
Employers should consult with their own experts for more information on how to comply with FCRA.
Yes. An employer is required to conduct pre-employment and annual queries for all drivers subject to drug and alcohol testing under 49 CFR Part 382.
While the employee may perform more than 50 percent of their functions for a mode other than FMCSA, possibly placing the employee in that agency’s random pool, the Clearinghouse query requirements apply so long as the employee performs any FMCSA-regulated functions.
Yes. Each Clearinghouse Administrator you will be an Assistant for will need to send you an invitation. The invitation should be sent to the email address you use for your login.gov account. (Note: FMCSA Portal users do not need to send or receive invitations, as these relationships are controlled in the Portal.).
Yes. Employers may designate a C/TPA or C/TPAs to conduct queries and/or report violations on their behalf. The C/TPA must be registered in the Clearinghouse before an employer can select the C/TPA, and C/TPAs must be designated by the employer before reporting drug and alcohol program violations or querying the Clearinghouse on their behalf.An owner-operator (an employer that employs himself or herself as a commercial driver’s license (CDL) driver, typically a single-driver operation) must designate their C/TPA(s) as part of their Clearinghouse registration process.
The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse statute allows the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to collect Clearinghouse fees when querying from all employers, including Federal, State, or local government entities that employ commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operators.
Yes. If a SAP made an error while entering a driver’s RTD information, the SAP, or the SAP’s Clearinghouse Assistants, can make changes to this information. Entries may be removed one at a time by deleting the most recent entry. See pages 5-6 of the How to Report RTD Information: SAPs job aid for instructions.
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.
All CDL drivers who operate CMVs on public roads and their employers and service agents. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Interstate and intrastate motor carriers, including passenger carriers
- School bus drivers
- Construction equipment operators
- Limousine drivers
- Municipal vehicle drivers (e.g., waste management vehicles)
- Federal and other organizations that employ drivers subject to FMCSA drug and alcohol testing regulations (e.g., Department of Defense, municipalities, school districts)
Yes. Before you can link your Portal account, you will need to ensure you have the proper Clearinghouse Portal user role (for more information download the Clearinghouse Portal user role job aid). Once you have the Clearinghouse Portal user role, go to My Dashboard > My Profile and select ”Add USDOT #.” Follow the system instructions to link your Portal account.
No. Information from the Clearinghouse will not be shared with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Driver Register.
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.
Yes. Anyone who employs a commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder must query the Clearinghouse (§ 382.701). This requirement includes owner-operators—that is, any employer that employs himself or herself as a CDL driver, typically a single-driver operation. Owner-operators must comply with all Clearinghouse requirements imposed on both employers and employees. An owner-operator’s designated consortium/third-party administrator (C/TPA) may conduct queries on their behalf. However, the C/TPA is responsible for reporting drug and alcohol program violations to the Clearinghouse for the owner-operator.
Section 382.703(a) states “No employer may query the Clearinghouse to determine whether a record exists for any particular driver without first obtaining that driver’s written or electronic consent.” The type of consent required depends on the type of query.
For a limited query, a general consent is required. This is obtained outside the Clearinghouse. Employers may obtain a multi-year general consent from the driver for limited queries. A sample limited consent form from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is available.
For a full query, the driver must provide specific consent to the employer prior to each full query. This consent must be provided electronically within the Clearinghouse.
If the Clearinghouse experiences a technical issue that prevents users from conducting queries, FMCSA will post a notification on the home page informing employers that they may hire a driver using only the procedures set forth in 49 CFR 391.23(e). If no such notification is on the home page, the requirement to conduct pre-employment queries, in addition to the manual inquiries established in § 391.23(e), prior to engaging a driver in safety-sensitive functions is in effect.
If a driver is hired without a pre-employment query due to the scenario outlined above, once the technical issues have been resolved, the employer must access the Clearinghouse to conduct the pre-employment query as required by § 382.701(1). The employer may have the driver perform a safety-sensitive function, such as operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), while waiting for the result of this pre-employment query. If the query result is that the driver is prohibited, the driver must be immediately removed from safety-sensitive functions.
Employers are required to report a drug and alcohol program violation by the close of the third business day following the date on which the employer obtained the information.
An owner-operator (an employer who employs himself or herself as a CDL driver, typically a single-driver operation) is subject to the requirements pertaining to employers as well as those pertaining to drivers. Under the Clearinghouse final rule, an employer who employs himself or herself as a CDL driver must designate a consortium/third-party administrator (C/TPA) to comply with the employer’s Clearinghouse reporting requirements (§ 382.705(b)(6)).
As of January 6, 2020, employers are required to conduct both electronic queries in the Clearinghouse and traditional manual inquiries with previous employers to meet the three-year timeframe required by § 391.23. This will be required until January 6, 2023, at which point a query of the Clearinghouse will satisfy this requirement.
The Clearinghouse retains a record of every query an employer conducts. This includes any queries conducted by a designated consortium/third-party administrator (C/TPA) on their behalf. Employers may choose to maintain separate copies in addition to these Clearinghouse records.
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.
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.
Only Canadian and Mexican employers operating in the United States that are subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) drug and alcohol testing requirements must report drug and alcohol program violations to the Clearinghouse.
Unlike individual queries, which are processed as soon as they are entered (in the case of limited queries) or as soon as a driver provides his or her electronic consent (in the case of full queries), bulk queries are processed in batches. These batches are processed each night, between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. ET., in order to avoid overloading the system during peak user hours.
Each night, the system will rotate through the submitted files, processing a batch of queries from each file in turn. Therefore, all bulk files are processed at approximately the same rate, regardless of the number of queries they contain.
Employees must be queried at least once within a 365-day period based on their hire date, or another 12-month period determined by the employer, as long as the requirements of § 382.701(b) are met.
Per § 382.705(b), employers must report the following information to the Clearinghouse:
- An alcohol confirmation test result with an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater;
- A CDL driver’s refusal to submit to a Department of Transportation (DOT) test for drug or alcohol use;
- Actual knowledge, as defined in § 382.107;
- The negative RTD test results;
- The date the driver successfully completed all follow-up tests as ordered by the substance abuse professional (SAP).
The October 2021 final rule (86 FR 55718) amends 49 CFR part 392 by prohibiting CLP or CDL holders from operating a commercial motor vehicle, as defined in 49 CFR 390.5T, if they are subject to the CMV driving prohibition in 49 CFR 382.501(a). No later than November 18, 2024, States receiving Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) grant funds must adopt and enforce a CMV driving prohibition, comparable to 49 CFR 392.15, for CLP and CDL holders who are barred from operating a CMV due to a drug and alcohol program violation.
The current paper versions of the CCF and ATF specifically permit the use of either the driver’s social security number (SSN) or an employee identification number (EIN). However, under § 382.705, the driver’s commercial driver’s license (CDL) number and the state of issuance must be used in place of the SSN or EIN when completing the Federal CCF or ATF.
If a CDL driver’s employer is aware that the driver received a traffic citation for driving a CMV while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances, the employer must report this to the Clearinghouse as actual knowledge of prohibited use of drugs or alcohol. If the citation does not result in a conviction, may the driver petition to have this violation removed from their Clearinghouse record?
Effective November 8, 2021 an actual knowledge violation, based on the issuance of citation for DUI in a CMV, will not be removed from the Clearinghouse when the citation does not result in a conviction.
In the final rule published on October 7, 2021 (86 FR 55718), FMCSA clarified that a driver subject to FMCSA’s drug and alcohol use and testing requirements, who has been issued a traffic citation (or other charging document) for DUI in a CMV, has violated 49 CFR part 382, subpart B. Accordingly, the 2021 final rule amends the regulation to state that a report of actual knowledge of prohibited use of drugs or alcohol, based on the issuance of DUI in a CMV, will remain in the Clearinghouse for 5 years, or until the driver has completed the return-to-duty process, whichever is later, regardless of whether the driver is ultimately convicted of the DUI offense. Drivers who are not convicted of the offense may petition to submit documentary evidence of non-conviction to their Clearinghouse record.
A history of an employer’s full and limited queries, including those conducted by a designated C/TPA, is maintained in the Clearinghouse. This includes records of the driver’s response to consent requests for any full queries conducted or initiated.
Employers must retain records of drivers’ limited consent for 3 years. This does not have to be retained in the driver qualification file, but the employer must be able to provide evidence upon request.
Because your Clearinghouse account is associated with the email address you used to create your login.gov account, you will need to update your email address with login.gov.
To change the email address associated with your login.gov account, go to https://secure.login.gov/ and sign in to your login.gov account. Click on “Add email” and go through the process of adding your new email address. Then, click on “Delete” next to the email address you are replacing and go through the process of deleting it. For more information, visit the login.gov website.
For more information on creating or managing your login.gov account, visit https://login.gov/contact.
An employer must conduct a pre-employment query for a prospective employee in the Clearinghouse prior to hiring the employee for a position requiring him or her to perform safety-sensitive functions, such as operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). The employer must also query the Clearinghouse annually for all currently employed CDL drivers.
Yes, the Clearinghouse supports a feature allowing employers to submit a bulk query by uploading a file containing multiple drivers to be queried; these queries will be conducted in batches. The Clearinghouse allows for the bulk uploading of driver queries by preparing and uploading a file into the Clearinghouse for processing. This file must be either a tab-delimited file, XLS file, or XLSX file, and must use the format outlined in the Bulk Queries File Setup instructions. Download the instructions and example files.
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.
The employer may still report the drug and alcohol program violation even if the required timeframe has passed. However, the Clearinghouse captures the date the violation was reported. This information may be reviewed during an investigation of the employer’s operations and compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
Drivers are not required to register for the Clearinghouse. However, a driver will need to be registered to provide electronic consent in the Clearinghouse if a prospective or current employer needs to conduct a full query of the driver’s Clearinghouse record—this includes all pre-employment queries.
A driver must also be registered to electronically view the information in his or her own Clearinghouse record.
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.
- 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 .
Download and complete the Bulk Upload Template File. (C/TPAs: If you work with multiple employers, you will need to upload a separate file for each employer.) Once you have completed the bulk upload file, log in to the Clearinghouse. Under My Dashboard, go to Queries and select “submit a bulk upload.”
Yes, if the SAP meets the requirements under § 40.281.
No. The Clearinghouse final rule did not change the underlying requirements in 49 CFR Part 382, which apply to employers of individuals subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) drug and alcohol use testing requirements. As stated in § 382.103, those testing requirements apply to CDL holders who operate a CMV in commerce “in any State.” As defined in § 383.5, State means “a State of the United States and the District of Columbia.”
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.
Employers and C/TPAs can assign Assistants to conduct queries and report drug and alcohol program violation information on their behalf. MROs and SAPs can assign Assistants to enter information in the Clearinghouse on their behalf.