Common Issues Registering to the FMCSA CDL Clearinghouse and How To Fix Them
There are over 350,000 owner-operators, 500,000 trucking companies, and many of the 3.5 million truck drivers in the United States trying to register to the new CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse before January 6th, 2020.
As with any new government websites, this registration process is not very easy and a lot of issues can come up.
Thankfully, we at CleanFleet are in the midst of helping thousands of companies register and we have come across the most common issues in registering to the Clearinghouse and we want to spread the word on how to fix them.
Problem: Companies that have set-up their FMCSA Portal login account and do not remember their user-ID, security questions, or email address associated with the account.
The first step of the CDL Clearinghouse registration process is to log into your FMCSA Portal account in order to give permission to the Clearinghouse website to access the portal account data.
If you don’t know your login credentials, selecting “forgot your User ID?” link wants you to submit the email associated with the account. If you know your User ID but not your password, you need to also remember your security questions.
Don’t remember anything? You will then have to call the FMCSA and prove who you are before giving you the login credential to the portal account.
Problem: Haven't set-up an FMCSA portal account yet and forgot your DOT Pin # (required to create the account)…
When creating a new FMCSA portal account, you are required to know your DOT Pin #. What if you forgot it? You can request the DOT Pin # be emailed to you by filling out this form. You will need to know your Tax ID (EIN) or social security number (SSN). You should receive an email or phone call, depending on what information is associated with your motor carrier information.
However, with the average age of a truck driver being 55 years old, many owner-operators and smaller companies set-up their companies decades ago and haven’t updated their information to include a current phone number or email address.
If you are a carrier before 2010, and there is old or no email or phone number after filling out the above form, the government will have to mail you your DOT pin #, which can take 7-10 business days, plus any time it takes for you to get to that mail box.
A quicker way to get your DOT Pin #, in this scenario, is to update your company information by filling out the MCS-150 form (this is basically a bi-annual update that is required every two years) and include a current phone number and email address. The estimated time to complete the form is approximately 20 minutes. This is free to do online, but if you want CleanFleet to hold your hand through this process, we can fill out the form for you for $29.00. Call us at 503.479.6082 and tell us you need help with your MCS-150 and Clearinghouse registration.
This will take about 2-3 days for information to be updated online. Now, you can request the DOT Pin # be to be emailed to you by filling out this form, then create the FMCSA portal account, and then finish the Clearinghouse registration. Easy, right? (sarcasm)
Problem: Adding Permissions to the FMCSA Portal to allow Clearinghouse to pull Portal data
This first step is being overlooked in order to give the Clearinghouse permission to pull your portal data. You will need to login to the FMCSA portal account (if you just created an account, you will need to log-out and log back in), hover over “Account Management” and click the drop-down “My Profile”.
Under the new tab “Portal Roles/USDOT#”, you need to put in your DOT #, select “DACH Motor Carrier Admin” and click “add role”, and add a “reason for request” where you can type in “Clearinghouse” or just “CH”. Then click “update profile”.
Now, you can go through the Clearinghouse registration process by creating a login.gov account.
Problem: Immediately after creating your Clearinghouse account, owner-operators or company owners that also drive, are seeing an error when buying queries.
So, you finished creating your Clearinghouse account, good job! Now, you will want to buy your query plans in the Clearinghouse dashboard. For owner-operators or company owners that are also drivers, you could see an error pop up when you click to buy query plans if you just created your account.
If you hover over “My Dashboard” and see “Queries” and click “Buy”, an error can pop up. To get around this, and the pop-up, just look for the dark blue that says “Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse”, click there. This sort of refreshes your dashboard and you should now see an option to “Change Your Role”. You need to change your role from “Driver” to “Employer”.
Now, you can hover over “My Dashboard”, and click “Buy” where it says queries.
Step By Step Guide On Registering To The FMCSA CDL Clearinghouse
We put together a video walking through the Clearinghouse registration process. This video walks through:
- Setting up an FMCSA Portal Account
- Adding permissions in the FMCSA Portal Account to allow Clearinghouse to access the FMCSA Portal Account
- Then Registering to the Clearinghouse via the Clearinghouse Registration website
- **If a CleanFleet Consortium/TPA member, please select CleanFleet as your TPA and select the three boxes to allow us to use the Clearinghouse fully on your behalf**
Stay Educated With Our Free Trucking Conference (Live-Streamed Online)
The best thing companies and drivers can do is to educate yourselves on all these regulatory changes, understand what the impacts are, and be aware of what the potential issues that can arise in the next year.
Stay up-to-date on trucking industry regulatory changes is our annual conference. Glostone Trucking Solutions and CleanFleet have partnered up to create a full-day Trucking Safety and Compliance Conference that is FREE to all who register and attend in-person or watch our live-stream broadcast nationwide.
The is our 4th annual and first full-day conference that will be held at the Monarch Hotel in Portland, OR and broadcast live online January 31st, 2020 from 9am – 5pm PST.
This year’s main topics will include:
- Preparing For The New FMCSA CDL Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse
- Preparing For Your Day In Court - Preparing For A Lawsuit
- Preparing For ELD’s In A Full Compliance World
- Preparing For The Hours of Service Rule Changes
- Preparing For California's Contractor Law and It’s Trucking Implications
- Preparing For California Air Resource Board (CARB) Updates
- Preparing For FMCSA Updates
- Preparing For Oregon DOT Updates
Register today: https://www.glostone.com/conference2020/