Motor Carriers Should Register for the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse Now!

Registration for FMCSA’s Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse, which starts January 6, 2020, is open. The Clearinghouse is a record of those CDL drivers who have violated the federal drug and alcohol testing program. Once the Clearinghouse launches, carriers will need to do an annual query of all of your drivers, similar to pulling a motor vehicle record, to see if they have any drug or alcohol violations.  That query must be done within one year after launching (by January 5, 2021).  Carriers will also need to work with their Third-Party Administrators to report positive tests to the Clearinghouse. 

To access the Clearinghouse, users must register online.  Those users include:

  • Employers of CDL drivers (this includes owner-operators).
  • Third-Party Administrators. 
  • Medical Review Officers.
  • Substance Abuse Professionals.

CDL drivers do not need to register, unless a motor carrier requests to run a full query of the driver (such as during a pre-employment check).  If a carrier wants to run a full query, drivers will need to be registered to give consent before the query is completed. Before you register in the Clearinghouse, you should go into your FMCSA portal account and assign user roles for your staff.  There are two roles available – DACH Motor Carrier User and DACH Motor Carrier Administrator.  If you take this step in your portal account, it will make it much easier for you to register in the Clearinghouse, assign a TPA, purchase query bundles, etc.  So the process is:

  1. Go to your FMCSA portal account and assign roles for your office staff who will be using the Clearinghouse.  One must be the administrator and all others are users.
  2. Register in the D&A Clearinghouse.
  3. Have the administrator you identified in your portal account log into the Clearinghouse and they will see the option to purchase queries, designate a TPA, etc.

There is no cost for registration, but carriers will have to pay $1.25 for each query performed.  More information is available at online, or contact ISRI’s Transportation Safety Director, Commodor Hall.

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