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[July 2019] Are You Ready? FMCSA Clearinghouse Rules Take Effect On January 6 2020

[Feb 2017] How the DOT Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will Affect My Company Today

DOT Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse FAQs

What data is in the FMCSA Clearinghouse?

Content includes contribution from all service agents of the drug and alcohol testing process (starting Jan 6, 2020 and onward): A verified positive, adulterated, or substituted controlled substance test; Refusal to test (includes failure to appear); A verified positive EBT above .04; Actual knowledge of illicit alcohol or drug use; Negative return-to-duty; Completion of follow-up


Who needs to register for the DOT D&A Clearinghouse? 

Realities of Registration: All carriers need to register on the Clearinghouse; Carriers who use a Third-Party Administrator need to identify the TPA on the Clearinghouse; All Owner/Operators must identify the TPA responsible for managing their Clearinghouse compliance


Should drivers register for the Clearinghouse before Jan 6, 2020? 

Why Drivers Should Consider Registering: Drivers can choose to be notified by email (versus just mail) any time info about the driver is added, revised, or removed. If getting hired, drivers will have to register anyway to give permission to employers to view all records available on the Clearinghouse. To view their own driver record and petition to request corrections to their Clearinghouse record If renewing or getting a new CDL, drivers must register to give permission to State Drivers License Agencies. If a driver commits a violation of the regulations, the driver must designate a SAP before that SAP can enter info about that driver’s RTD activities


Am I going to be required to maintain a list of “qualified” employees within the clearing house ?
No, you will only use the Clearinghouse to look up information. There isn’t word on whether the list of people you query would be saved somewhere, but you only need to use the Clearinghouse to query information and report required results


When a driver registers to the clearing house, how is he going to be notified of a query request? Through an app notification? Email? Snail Mail? Text?
Definitely email. That seems clear, it is unknown if drivers will have the option to download an app. Those drivers that do register with the Clearinghouse, but do not provide an email will be sent a letter. This will be problematic for you as a carrier though, as the time it will take for them to receive the letter, send it back to the FMCSA, will certainly turn a process that should take moments into several days.


To clarify, a limited query can be run for pre-employment AND the annual, if there is a positive return then There is the notification sent to the driver and then the 24 hours for notification and detailed query to be in hand before the driver is OOS, correct?
No. The detailed query must be performed before adding a driver. The limited query may be used for the annual query because the rule states that all drivers must be queried annually, and the limited query just reveals new information. If you were perform a limited query, and then receive a notification from the Clearinghouse that new records exist, you must then perform a detailed query, which will trigger a request from the driver. The 24 hour clock starts when you receive the notification not when you request a detailed query. If you receive the notification, then request a detailed query 12 hours later, then the driver would have 12 hours to respond, and if permission is not received in that time the driver must be removed from safety sensitive functions.


Am I required to have a limited query on file on January 6?
Starting on Jan 6 you will be required to comply with this rule. Meaning starting on Jan 6 all new drivers need to have a detailed query before they can do a pre, meaning they must register with the Clearinghouse. You should also then figure out how you want to perform annual queries, because after a year (Jan 6, 2021) any drivers that were not queried in that past 12 months must be queried.

Testing info your TPA should be sharing with you.


DOT Clearinghouse: What are changes I can start now to be compliant by 2020?

The final rule for the clearinghouse has already passed and with full implementation is set for January 2020. That is to say, the law has been written and finalized, but there will be a three-year waiting period while the database is created and give businesses time to comply with the rules.

Employers need to be sure CDL information is in driver file and easily accessible, make changes to hiring information that includes consent from drivers to do an initial detailed query, and include the details for which an employer will report results to the Clearinghouse. Also, employers need to train DERs and safety officers on the required documentation for reporting “actual knowledge” of drugs or alcohol use while operating a CMV. 

Drivers need to be prepared to use CDL Number when testing and to be ready to give employers consent whenever needed to run a full query. Refusing to give consent will result in not being able to perform safety sensitive functions with that employer.


DOT Adding Synthetic Opioids to Testing Panel

The DOT proposed to add four commonly abused opioids: Hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, and oxymorphone to the driver drug testing panel in urine tests. The drugs are generally taken as pain pills. 

HHS assumes that adding these four common opioids will have 1% of the tests come back positive. The biggest impact this proposed rule could have on DOT regulated companies is that this could increase the percentage of positive tests during random testing back to 50%. 


Opioid And Fentanyl Epidemic

According to the CDC, in 2014, more than 28,000 people died of opioid overdoses, 129 people every day as a result of drug poisoning, and 61% are pharmaceutical opioid or heroin related. This epidemic has been worsened by the reemergence of fentanyl (40-50 times stronger than heroin) and carries a high risk of overdose.

Can companies screen for fentanyl and the other drugs with a urine drug test? Yes, a urine sample can be used to look for fentanyl during a drug test. 


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Add our Collection Sites to your Network

CleanFleet Clinics

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