News Alert

FMCSA RELEASES Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse PRicing

August 20, 2019

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse is a new online database that will give 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 will contain 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 will also be recorded in the Clearinghouse.

The FMCSA recently released the new "Query Plan Options" that detail the bundled payment plans that will be available for searching the Clearinghouse. Purchasing a query plan enables employers and their designated consortia/third-party administrators (C/TPAs) to conduct queries on prospective and current drivers in the Clearinghouse. The price per query is currently set at $1.25, regardless of the Query Bundle Plan purchased from the FMCSA.

There will be a "limited query" and a "full query" available. Limited queries check for the presence of information in the queried driver’s Clearinghouse record. Driver consent is obtained outside the Clearinghouse. Full queries will disclose to employers and C/TPAs detailed information about any resolved or unresolved violations in a driver’s Clearinghouse record. The driver’s specific electronic consent in the Clearinghouse is required. If a limited query returns a result that there is information recorded in the Clearinghouse about the queried driver, and the employer follows up with a full query to access the detailed violation information, the employer will only be charged once for both queries.

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 database. Clearinghouse registration is scheduled to begin in October 2019.

Beginning January 6th, 2020, employers must report certain drug and alcohol program violations and can conduct electronic queries in the Clearinghouse. Manual inquiries with previous employers are still required to cover the preceding three years.

After three years on January 6th, 2023, employers must query only the Clearinghouse to satisfy the employer requirement to identify prospective drivers who have committed drug and alcohol program violations. The final rule also requires that employers query the Clearinghouse at least annually for every CDL driver currently employed.

More information regarding the FMCSA's Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse can be found here.