Preparing for the CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse
The CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will be operational on January 6, 2020. The clearinghouse will be a database of positive drug and alcohol test results for Commercial Driver License (CDL) holders that employers will be required to check prior to putting a new employee to work. Employers will also be required to annually query the Clearinghouse for each driver they currently employ. Designed to improve highway and public safety, the Clearinghouse will allow employers and FMCSA to identify drivers with a prohibited DOT drug and alcohol program violation and ensure said drivers take the required steps to return to work. Additionally, employers will be able to query the database to identify drivers who may have committed a drug or alcohol program violation while working for one employer, but who fail to subsequently inform another employer.
Effective January 6, 2020, FMCSA will require that the Commercial Driver License number and state of issuance be used when reporting positive drug and alcohol test results to the clearinghouse.
CDL Clearinghouse Required Actions
Therefore, as of January 6, 2020, when completing the Federal CCF or the Alcohol Test Form for a CDL holder covered by FMCSA:
- Collectors and BATs will no longer use the employee’s social security number or other identification number when completing the forms, but will instead use the employee’s CDL number and state of issuance.
- Employers are to provide the collector and/or BAT with the employee’s CDL number and state of issuance.
- If the employer does not provide the employee’s CDL number and state of issuance, the collector and/or BAT should ask the driver for this information.
- If the CDL number and state of issuance is not included on the form, the collector will still send the specimen to the lab for testing.
- If the laboratory receives a specimen without the CDL number and state of issuance, the lab will process the specimen without delay and send confirmed positive results to the MRO.
- If the MRO receives a confirmed drug test result without the CDL number and state of issuance, the MRO should contact the employee or the employer to get that information.
- The MRO is responsible for reporting positive drug test results to the clearinghouse database, and the CDL number and state of issuance is necessary in order to report the results.
The BAT reports positive alcohol test results to the employer, who is then responsible for reporting positive alcohol test results to the clearinghouse.
Updated content 9/25/2019
Very recently the FMCSA proposed to extend the January 6, 2020 compliance date to January 6, 2023 for the State query requirement only. Under the proposed January 2023 extension, States are not required to query the Clearinghouse to request information before completing certain commercial driver’s license (CDL) transactions. States may still voluntarily request Clearinghouse information beginning on January 6, 2020. The January 2020 compliance date for all other reporting requirements remains in place.
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