Employee Screening and FMCSA Clearinghouse

Employee Screening and FMCSA Clearinghouse : A Comprehensive Guide for Employers and HR Professionals


Employment screening is an essential part of hiring, ensuring that potential employees meet the necessary qualifications and are suitable for the company culture. This process is especially critical for industries like trucking, where safety and compliance are paramount. Understanding the various components of employment screening, from drug testing to physical exams, can help employers make informed decisions.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the best practices for employment screening, including the differences between DOT Physical and Non DOT physical, the importance of regulated drug test and nonregulated drug test, and how to leverage technology for efficient screening processes. Our aim is to provide employers, HR professionals, and trucking companies with the knowledge they need to implement effective employment screening protocols.

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John L gave us a 5 star google rating and said, From the beginning, Brenda has been a wealth of knowledge and has been very patient explaining aspects of the DOT random drug testing program. I called multiple times to clarify our responsibility and what WSI could do to help and Brenda has been cheerful and eager to help us get started. Phil the CEO of the company also provided guidance and was knowledgeable and was very pleasant throughout. I’m glad to have found WSI, this is truly a customer first company.

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Need to order a drug screen or other employee screening service today?  Contact our knowledgeable support staff at 844-573-8378 or press on link to order now: https://workplacescreening.com/order-here/

FMCSA Clearinghouse and Employee Screening

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Clearinghouse is a secure online database that provides real-time information about commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders’ drug and alcohol program violations. This resource is crucial for trucking companies to ensure compliance with federal regulations and maintain a safe workforce.

  • What is the FMCSA Clearinghouse?

The FMCSA Clearinghouse is a central repository for drug and alcohol program violations by CDL holders. It helps employers identify drivers who are prohibited from operating a commercial motor vehicle due to drug or alcohol violations.

  • Why is the FMCSA Clearinghouse important?

Compliance with the FMCSA Clearinghouse is mandatory for trucking companies. It helps prevent drivers with a history of drug or alcohol violations from being hired, ensuring the safety of the roadways.

FMCSA Employers must do the following to meet compliance with the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse:

  1. Register in the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.
  2. Write a FMCSA Clearinghouse addendum to your DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing policy.
  3. Educate your supervisors and employees on Rights and Responsibilities of the Clearinghouse FMCSA.
  4. Perform pre-employment queries on each new hire.
  5. Perform annual queries on all drivers.
  6. Report all positive alcohols to the FMCSA Clearinghouse.
  7. Document and report all collection site refusals to  the FMCSA Clearinghouse.
  8. Document and report all known drug and alcohol use to the FMCSA Clearinghouse.
  9. Report all return to duty test to the FMCSA Clearinghouse.
  10. Report Follow-up testing program completion to the FMCSA Clearinghouse.
  11. Medical Review Officer – MRO report all positive drug screens to the FMCSA Clearinghouse.

An employer may choose to appoint a CTPA, like Workplace Screening Intelligence, to perform some or all duties in the FMCSA Clearinghouse.  For more information about WSI’s FMCSA Clearinghouse Program, contact our knowledgeable support staff at 844-573-8378 or support@workplacescreening.com or press on link below for more information about WSI FMCSA Clearinghouse Services: https://workplacescreening.com/fmcsa-chs/ 

Employment Screening

Employment screening involves various checks and tests to verify an applicant’s background, qualifications, and suitability for the role. These can include criminal background checks, employment history verification, and drug testing.

  • Importance of Employment Screening

Thorough screening helps mitigate risks associated with hiring, such as workplace accidents, theft, and liability issues. For trucking companies, this is particularly crucial as they need to ensure their drivers are reliable and compliant with federal regulations.

  • Key Components of Employment Screening
  • Background Checks: Verifying criminal history, previous employment, and education.
  • Drug Testing: Ensuring the candidate is free from substance abuse.
  • Physical Exams: Assessing the candidate’s physical ability to perform job-related tasks.

Employee Drug Testing

Drug testing is a critical component of employment screening, especially in safety-sensitive industries like trucking. It helps ensure that employees are not under the influence of drugs that could impair their ability to perform their duties safely.

Regulated Drug Test and Non Regulated Drug Tests

  • What is a Non DOT Drug Test?

A Non DOT drug test is not mandated by the Department of Transportation but is still used by many employers to ensure a drug-free workplace. These tests can be tailored to the employer’s needs and can include various panels to detect different substances. A NON DOT Drug test is a non regulated drug test.

  • What is a DOT Drug Test?

A DOT drug test is required by the Department of Transportation for safety-sensitive positions, such as truck drivers. These tests follow strict guidelines and are designed to ensure the safety of the public. A DOT Drug Test is a regulated drug test.

Types of Drug Tests

  • 5 Panel Drug Test: This test detects five common drugs: marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and phencyclidine (PCP).
  • 10 Panel Drug Test: This test includes the substances detected by the 5-panel test, plus additional drugs such as barbiturates, benzodiazepines, methadone, propoxyphene, and methaqualone.

What Are Quaaludes?

Quaaludes, also known as methaqualone, were a popular recreational drug in the 1960s and 1970s. Although they are no longer legally available in the United States, they can still be detected in drug tests. Including methaqualone in a drug panel can help identify misuse of this substance.

Random Testing and DOT Consortium

  • Random Testing: Conducting random drug tests helps deter substance abuse among employees. By selecting employees at random, employers can ensure that everyone is subject to testing, creating a drug-free workplace environment.
  • DOT Consortium: A DOT consortium is a third-party administrator that manages drug and alcohol testing programs for multiple employers. Joining a consortium can help small trucking companies comply with DOT regulations without the need for an in-house testing program.
  • What type of Random Drug Testing Consortium does Workplace Screening Offer?

DOT Consortium: FAA Random Testing Consortium, FMCSA Random Testing Consortium, FRA Random Testing Consortium, FTA Random Testing Consortium, PHMSA Random Testing Consortium, US Coast Guard Random Testing Consortium, and FMCSA Owner Operator Random Testing Consortium,

NON-DOT Consortioum: CAPUC Random Testing Consortium, Ohio BWC 5% Random Testing Consortium, Ohio BWC 15% Random Testing Consortium, and NON DOT Random Testing Consortium.

Drug Screening Near Me

Looking for drug screen near me?   We offer over 20,000 electronically enabled collection sites near your workplace or home.  This means you can order a test today and your employee can complete today or at their convenience. 

Need to order a drug screen or other employee screening service today?  Contact our knowledgeable support staff at 844-573-8378 or press on link to order now: https://workplacescreening.com/order-here/

Drug Testing Locations Near Me

Want to find a drug testing location near me?  Press on link and enter city and state or zip code for a list of Drug Testing Locations near me: https://workplacescreening.com/locations/

Benefits of Electronic Ordering and Tracking:

  • Transparency: Know when the employee or applicant shows up at the screening site.
  • Efficiency: Track the specimen as it moves through the lab and Medical Review Officer (MRO) process.
  • Timeliness: Make informed hiring decisions quickly, reducing delays in the onboarding process.

Medical Review Officer (MRO)

A Medical Review Officer MRO is a licensed physician responsible for reviewing and interpreting drug test results. The MRO ensures that the test results are accurate and that any positive results are not due to legitimate medical prescriptions.

  • Role of the Medical Review Officer MRO:
  • Verification: Confirm the accuracy of laboratory results.
  • Evaluation: Determine if there is a legitimate medical explanation for positive test results.
  • Communication: Inform the employer of the final test results and any necessary actions.
  • Safety: The Medical Review Office is responsible for Safety Sensitive Letter and non-contact positive process.

Physical Exams: DOT and Non-DOT Physicals

Physical exams are an integral part of employment screening, particularly for roles that require physical labor or safety-sensitive tasks.

DOT Physical

A DOT physical is a comprehensive medical exam required for commercial drivers. It ensures that the driver is physically fit to operate a commercial vehicle safely.

  • Components of a DOT Physical:
  • Vision Test: Ensures the driver meets the required vision standards.
  • Hearing Test: Checks for adequate hearing ability.
  • Blood Pressure and Pulse Rate: Monitors cardiovascular health.
  • Urinalysis: Screens for underlying medical conditions, not drugs.

DOT Physicals must be repeated every two years.  Those with health conditions will need to repeat their DOT Physical every 90-365 days until health condition is addressed.

Non DOT Physical

A Non-DOT physical is a medical exam that is not regulated by the Department of Transportation. Employers may require these exams to ensure that employees are physically capable of performing their job duties.

  • Components of a Non DOT Physical:
  • General Health Assessment: Evaluates overall physical health.
  • Job-Specific Tests: Assesses the ability to perform specific job-related tasks.
  • Optional Tests: Employers can customize the exam to include additional assessments as needed.

NON DOT Physical can include: Lift Test, Respiratory Questionnaire, Respiratory Fit Test and more.

Not So Frequently Asked Questions (NSFAQs)

What happens if an employee fails a DOT drug test?

If an employee fails a DOT drug test, they must be immediately removed from safety-sensitive duties. They may be required to undergo a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) evaluation and complete a return-to-duty process before resuming their role.

How often should random drug testing be conducted?

The frequency of random drug testing depends on the industry and company policy. For DOT-regulated industries, the minimum annual percentage rate for random drug testing is determined by the DOT. Employers may choose to conduct additional testing if necessary. Most employers choose quarterly or monthly random testing program.  All random drug testing should be unannounced and at differing times of the quarter or month to enable true randomness.

Can an employee refuse a drug test?

Employees can refuse a drug test; however, refusal is often treated as a positive result, leading to potential disciplinary actions, including termination.

What is the difference between a 5 panel drug test  and a 10 panel drug test?

A 5 panel drug test screens for five common drugs (marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and PCP), while a 10 panel drug test includes these five substances plus additional drugs such as barbiturates, benzodiazepines, methadone, propoxyphene, and methaqualone or quaaludes.

How can employers ensure the integrity of the drug testing process?

Employers can ensure the integrity of the drug testing process by partnering with reputable testing providers, using electronic ordering and tracking systems, and working with certified MROs to review test results.

Let Our 30 Years of Experience and Technology Be Your Peace of Mind

With over 30 years of experience in employment screening, we understand the importance of accuracy, efficiency, and compliance. Our advanced technology solutions streamline the screening process, providing employers with real-time updates and ensuring that candidates meet the necessary qualifications.

  • Experience: Decades of expertise in employment screening and drug testing.
  • Technology: Cutting-edge electronic ordering and tracking systems.
  • Compliance: Adherence to DOT and Non-DOT regulations, ensuring a safe and compliant workforce.

Partner with us to simplify your employment screening process and gain peace of mind knowing that your workforce is reliable, qualified, and compliant with industry standards.


Employment screening is a critical aspect of hiring, particularly for industries like trucking where safety and compliance are paramount. By understanding the various components of screening, such as DOT Physical and Non-DOT physical, regulated drug test and non regulated drug test, and the role of the Medical Review Officer, employers can make informed decisions and maintain a safe and efficient workforce.

Leveraging technology for electronic ordering and tracking can further enhance the screening process, providing transparency and timeliness. With over 30 years of experience, we are committed to helping employers navigate the complexities of employment screening and ensure a compliant and qualified workforce.

For more information on our services and to explore how we can assist with your employment screening needs, contact us today. Let our expertise and technology be your peace of mind.

What Our Customers say about Us

Carlie M. gave us a 5 Star Google Review and said, “Brenda is amazing! Always so helpful and knowledgeable. Switching from our old provider to WSI has made my job SO much easier”!!

Need to order a drug screen or other employee screening service today?  Contact our knowledgeable support staff at 844-573-8378 or press on link to order now: https://workplacescreening.com/order-here/