Reporting to the FMCSA Clearinghouse?

The FMCSA Clearinghouse is an online database of commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders managed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Its purpose is to help ensure that CDL drivers who have tested positive for drug or alcohol use, refused to take a required test, or tested positive for controlled substances can’t continue to operate commercial motor vehicles. However, not everyone is required to report to the Clearinghouse. In this blog post, we will discuss who reports to the FMCSA Clearinghouse.


Under the FMCSA Clearinghouse regulation, employers are required to report refusals, positive alcohols and perform pre-employment queries on new hires as well as annual queries on each. Employers must register with the Clearinghouse and conduct a pre-employment inquiry for every CDL driver they hire. The pre-employment and annual queries must include a check from the Clearinghouse to determine if the driver has any drug or alcohol violations on their record.  An employer may choose to appoint a CTPA like Workplace Screening Intelligence to report and perform pre-employment and annual querries.

Owner Operators

Owner-operators who are required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and operate in a safety-sensitive role are also required to enroll in the FMCSA Clearinghouse. As a self-employed CDL driver, owner-operators must appoint a CTPA to report their drug and alcohol violations to the Clearinghouse.  The owner operator can choose a CTPA to perform annual queries or do it themselves.

Medical Review Officer

The Medical Review Officer (MRO) is a licensed physician who reviews the test results of DOT 5 Panel drug tests. They determine whether there is a legitimate medical explanation for any positive drug test results. The MRO is required to report any verified positive drug test results to the FMCSA Clearinghouse.


Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs) are required to report whether a CDL driver completed the required drug or alcohol treatment program. Employers are prohibited from hiring any CDL driver who doesn’t comply with the SAP’s recommendations or fails to complete their treatment program.  The treatment plan will include a Return to Duty test as well as Follow-up testing.  Please note Return to Duty and Follow-up Testing must be directly observed or will not count towards testing plan.

The FMCSA Clearinghouse is an important tool for ensuring the safety of our roads. Understanding who reports to the Clearinghouse is crucial for employers, owners-operators SAPs and other transportation professionals to ensure that they remain compliant with the regulations. Employers, owner-operators, MROs, and SAPs should be aware of their reporting responsibilities to the Clearinghouse to be compliant with the regulations. The Clearinghouse DOT is an efficient way for transportation professionals to stay informed about an employee’s drug or alcohol violations. By ensuring that everyone is complying with the regulation, we can all contribute to a safer transportation industry.  If you need assistance with your Clearinghouse FMCSA Program, Workplace Screening Intelligence are experts with the FMCSA Clearinghouse.  We offer affordable memberships to help alleviate the stress of understanding the compliance, reporting and querying of FMCSA Mandated Employees.  For mor information go to