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.
Can a consortium/third-party administrator (C/TPA) register an employer in the Clearinghouse on behalf of that employer?
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.
How are employers and consortia/third-party administrators (C/TPAs) required to use the Clearinghouse?
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.
What must employers do when an authorized service agent is no longer conducting business for the employer’s company?
Employers must update any changes to its service agents within 10 days of the change.
Are Canadian and Mexican CDL drivers conducting operations in the United States subject to the Clearinghouse requirements?
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.
May an employer authorize a consortium/third-party administrator (C/TPA) to conduct queries in the Clearinghouse on their behalf?
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.
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.
- Failure to comply with the FMCSA IT Rules of Behavior.
- Failure to comply with the Clearinghouse requirements in 49 CFR Part 382.
- Failure to comply with an FMCSA request for copies of documents related to the Clearinghouse (e.g., copies of consent forms).
- Failure to comply with any of the prescribed rights and restrictions on access to the Clearinghouse, including but not limited to, submission of inaccurate or false information and misuse or misappropriation of access rights or protected information from the Clearinghouse and failure to maintain the requisite qualifications, certifications and/or training requirements as set forth in 49 CFR Part 40.
- For Service Agents, failure to perform the duties prescribed under 49 CFR Parts 40 and 382, or being subject to a Public Interest Exclusion under 49 CFR Part 40, Subpart R.
- Being under government-wide suspension or debarment under 2 CFR part 180.
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)).