January 6, 2020 is when employers & service agents will be required to report driver violations of FMCSA drug & alcohol testing regulations; employers must run full queries in the Clearinghouse every time they hire a CDL driver to perform safety-sensitive functions; and employers must run a queries on all current drivers performing safety-sensitive drivers once a year; and continue manual inquiries with previous employers to meet the previous three years of employment history.
Employers are also responsible for reporting the following information to the Clearinghouse (within three business days of each instance):
*** January 13th, 2020 Update, 8:00am PST : The Clearinghouse website is functional over the weekend. We were able to register companies and drivers, link CDLs, link portal accounts during registration, handle driver consent, purchase queries, etc. We are hoping the large traffic coming during the work week does not crash the site. For fleets that are hiring in January, until website is stable, FMCSA recommends that for carriers do the normal DQ process of contacting "Inquiries of Past Employers" ... the procedures set forth in 49 CFR 391.23(e). If you have never done this DQ File process, CleanFleet can help. Once FMCSA has determined and announced that users are able to access the Clearinghouse, pre-employment queries must also be conducted as required by section 382.701(a).***
This is a free training video on the FMCSA Clearinghouse.
Motor Carriers will need access to their FMCSA Portal account or create one (must know their DOT# and Pin#) as the very first step in registering to the CDL Clearinghouse. The FMCSA has temporarily stopped requiring companies to link their FMCSA Portal Accounts to the Clearinghouse during the registration process. They want everyone to just get registered (even with the website crashing or timing out), so employers hiring drivers right now can stay in Clearinghouse compliance. FMCSA is recommending carriers attempting to hire today to do a manual Driver Qualification File process query (the traditional way of hiring a driver and inquiring past employment) of a driver’s history of drug test results and that would temporarily suffice. ***
We are helping companies register to the CDL Clearinghouse when companies join our consortium drug testing membership and includes an MCS150 update and helping you obtain FMCSA Portal credentials, if necessary . Usually this is $75.00, but in January, we will help with registration 50% Off! Call Us Today - 503.479.6082
1. Set up an FMCSA Portal 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 have never created an FMCSA Portal account, you will need to know your DOT# and Pin#, and can register for a portal account. What if you forgot your DOT Pin #? You can request the DOT Pin # to 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. If 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 CleanFleet at 503.479.6082 and tell them 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.
2. Login To FMCSA Portal Account & Give Permissions Now you can 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. When logged 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”.
3. Register to the Clearinghouse via the Clearinghouse Registration website (https://secure.login.gov/)
This process goes much quicker. You can download the PDF Clearinghouse Registration Guide to follow the registration process onward. However, there are some common issues that many companies are having.
Linking the FMCSA Portal Account should be working now. If not, here are some steps to get past the FMCSA Portal section:
Two-step Verification: While registering to the Clearinghouse, there is a two-step verification process that you must create. This includes receive a text message for a code and then a second option (another text message on a different phone, an app like Google Authenticator for security code, etc). We recommend the “text” & “app” methods to finish the two-step verification. Otherwise, use the "Backup Codes - I don't have any of the above" method.
Selecting Consortium/TPA: While registering to the Clearinghouse, motor carriers that use a Consortium/TPA to manage their drug testing program will need to select their Consortium/TPA company and select the three boxes to allow them to use the Clearinghouse fully on your behalf. This is required for Owner-Operators.
4. Purchasing Query Bundles
Lastly, you can now purchase the Query Bundles within the Clearinghouse. The FMCSA assesses a small fee of $1.25 for each query “token”, limited or detailed. Employers must purchase queries “tokens” through the Clearinghouse. Purchasing queries is not a responsibility that employers can delegate to TPAs.
Query “token” bundles are available to purchase to allow employers to buy queries in bulk. Purchased “token” queries do not expire and can be carried over from year to year.
If you were to sign back into the Clearinghouse website: hover over “My Dashboard” and where you see “Queries” and click “Buy”.
However, you might be in a “Driver Role” and not the “Employer Role” in the Clearinghouse. You should see an option to “Change Your Role”. You need to change your role from “Driver” to “Employer” and then hover over “My Dashboard” and where you see “Queries” and click “Buy”.
For Owner-Operators, we recommend purchasing 5 queries (to last 5 years). For fleets, especially if you plan on hiring new drivers after Jan 5th, 2020, we recommend purchasing queries for all drivers and any additional new hires expected for that year. These queries would last for the first year and you can purchase more anytime.
Now you are done, good job!
CleanFleet offers help with queries, consortium membership, driver qualification file management, and driver/company training all al la carte. However, we offer several bundle packages that provide special savings and extra services.
We at CleanFleet can help you with all your Clearinghouse needs with packages that may include: