Update: FMCSA Posts Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse Rule

December 5, 2016
CDL drug testing

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) officially posted the final rule that establishes a national drug and alcohol clearinghouse for commercial truck and bus drivers on Monday. The clearinghouse database will serve as a central repository containing records of violations of FMCSA’s drug and alcohol testing program by commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders.

When the clearinghouse is established, employers will be required to query the system for information concerning current or prospective employees who have unresolved violations of the federal drug and alcohol testing regulations that prohibit them from operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). It also requires employers and medical review officers to report drug and alcohol testing program violations.

Click here for Drivers License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse FAQs

FMCSA's final rule requires employers, medical review officers, third-party administrators, and substance abuse professionals to report information about drivers who:

  • Drivers who test positive for drugs or alcohol (test results greater than 0.04 blood alcohol content)
  • Drivers who refuse drug and alcohol testing
  • Drivers who have undergone the return-to-duty drug and alcohol rehabilitation process.

Owner-operators must also report to the FMCSA clearinghouse with information on any of its drivers, including themselves, for the database.

Employers will also be required to annually search the clearinghouse for current employees, and during the pre-employment process for prospective employees, to determine whether a driver violated drug or alcohol testing requirements with a different employer that would prohibit them from operating a commercial vehicle.

The compliance date is January 6, 2020. The FMCSA plans to contract with a third party to operate and maintain the database.

Full text of the final rule is available here: