The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced a significant change to the Clearinghouse query notifications, effective March 8, 2023. The Clearinghouse is a secure online database that tracks commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders’ drug and alcohol program violations in real-time, which allows employers to make informed decisions when hiring or retaining CDL drivers.

Previously, employers would receive a notification from the Clearinghouse if there was a change to a driver’s Clearinghouse record within 30 days of conducting a pre-employment query. However, the FMCSA has now expanded employer notifications to include changes in a driver’s Clearinghouse record up to 12 months following a driver query. This change is intended to close the safety gap that can occur when a driver attempts to go to another trucking company while still employed with another and receives a positive drug test.

Under the new system, an employer will receive a timely email notification when a driver they have queried has new information recorded in their Clearinghouse record within 12 months of a pre-employment or annual query. The email notification will alert the employer to any updates made to the driver’s Clearinghouse record, such as a positive drug or alcohol test result, a refusal to take a drug or alcohol test, or completion of the required substance abuse program. This change is a significant step forward in ensuring the safety of our nation’s highways.

By notifying employers of any changes to a driver’s Clearinghouse record within 12 months of a query, employers can take appropriate action to ensure the safety of their drivers and the general public. It also ensures that drivers with a history of drug or alcohol violations cannot slip through the cracks and potentially cause harm on the road.

This FMCSA’s announcement of an important change to the Clearinghouse query notifications is a positive step towards improving safety on our nation’s highways. Employers should be aware of this change and take appropriate action when they receive a notification of any updates to a driver’s Clearinghouse record. 

By working together, we can ensure that our roads remain safe for all. If you have any questions, contact us today!