Is FMCSA Clearinghouse Mandatory?

Employers and transportation companies hiring FMCSA CDL drivers for safety-sensitive positions must maintain a drug and alcohol-free workplace. Compliance with this regulation requires conducting a DOT drug test – 5-panel drug test before employing the driver. The implementation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Clearinghouse has brought significant changes and obligations to these requirements.

Many people are still asking, “Is FMCSA Clearinghouse mandatory?”. This blog post will provide you with everything you need to know about the Clearinghouse and its requirements to help you maintain DOT compliance.

What is FMCSA Clearinghouse?

The FMCSA Clearinghouse is a secure online database that allows transportation companies, employers, medical review officers (MROs), and substance abuse professionals to access information about CDL drivers’ drug and alcohol violations. Employers are required to report actual knowledge of driver drug and alcohol violations to the Clearinghouse. MRO report positive drugs. Employers, or their appointed CTPA, report non-medical refusals and positive alcohols The FMCSA Clearinghouse went into effect on January 6, 2020.

What is the purpose of the FMCSA Clearinghouse?

The FMCSA Clearinghouse is designed to ensure a drug and alcohol-free work environment by providing employers and transportation companies with real-time information about driver drug and alcohol violations. Employers must query the Clearinghouse before hiring CDL drivers for safety-sensitive positions and annually thereafter. The Clearinghouse also streamlines the process of tracking driver compliance with DOT drug and alcohol policies.

Is FMCSA Clearinghouse mandatory?

Yes, FMCSA Clearinghouse is mandatory for employers and transportation companies to ensure FMCSA compliance. All CDL new drivers and those with infractions must be registered in the FMCSA Clearinghouse, and all employers must submit a request to access the Clearinghouse. If a driver isn’t registered, then information can take as long as 14 days or more delivered via the US Mail.

Are all DOT modes required to report to the Clearinghouse. No, the FAA, FTA, FRA and PHMSA do not report to the Clearinghouse. Only Only FMCSA information is reported to the clearinghouse

What is the 5-panel drug test?

A 5 panel drug test is a urine-based test that screens for five classes of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and phencyclidine (PCP). The DOT requires a 5 panel drug test for CDL drivers during drug testing. However, certain state laws may require testing for additional drugs or employers may choose to test for additional drugs on a non dot .

What is a DOT drug test?

A DOT drug test is a federally mandated drug test that all CDL drivers must pass before being hired, and throughout their tenure. DOT drug tests follow strict guidelines set by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), ensuring uniformity and accuracy. A DOT drug test screens for common drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and PCP.

The FMCSA Clearinghouse is mandatory and ensures employers and FMCSA transportation companies stay DOT compliant. The implementation of the FMCSA Clearinghouse brings about significant changes to the DOT drug and alcohol testing program. As a result, it has become essential for all employers to have clear guidelines, policies, and protocols in place. By doing so, they will be able to avoid liabilities and penalties arising from violations of DOT regulations. Finally, transportation companies need to stay up-to-date with FMCSA regulations and any changes that may arise. If you need assistance with your FMCSA Clearinghouse or Drug Free Workplace, contact our knowledgeable support staff today at 844-573-8378 or