DOT-Regulated Employers Must Use Clearinghouse in 2020

November 01, 2019
Inside HR
Drugs & Alcohol
HR Compliance
Read time: 2 mins

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has developed a drug and alcohol Clearinghouse that will become operational on January 6, 2020. Specifically, information maintained in the Clearinghouse will ensure that DOT-regulated drivers who commit a drug or alcohol violation while working for another employer, or who attempt to find work with another employer, do not perform safety-sensitive functions until completing the return-to-duty process.

FMCSA-regulated employers must get ready to comply with new rules to report information on violations of the FMCSA’s drug and alcohol testing regulations by current and prospective employees.

According to the final rule, the purpose of the Clearinghouse is to maintain records of all drug and alcohol program violations in a central repository and require that employers query the system to determine whether current and prospective employees have incurred a drug or alcohol violation that would prohibit them from performing safety-sensitive functions covered by the FMCSA and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) drug and alcohol testing regulations. This will provide the FMCSA and employers the necessary tools to identify drivers who are prohibited from operating a CMV and ensure that such drivers receive the required evaluation and treatment before resuming safety-sensitive functions.

Employers and medical review officers (MROs), or their designated representatives, are required to report information about positive drug test results, alcohol test results greater than 0.04 blood alcohol content, refusals to test, and other non-test violations of FMCSA’s drug and alcohol regulations. In addition, Substance abuse professionals (SAPs) are required to report information about drivers undergoing the return-to-duty drug and alcohol rehabilitation process. Employers must search the Clearinghouse for information during the pre-employment process for prospective employees and at least once a year for current employees to determine whether anyone has incurred a drug or alcohol violation with a different employer that would prohibit him or her from performing safety-sensitive functions.

The Clearinghouse will be administered and maintained in strict compliance with applicable federal security standards. The agency will comply with the consent requirements of the Privacy Act prior to releasing any driver’s Clearinghouse record to an employer.

More information, including FAQs, sample limited content forms, and additional resources for employers can be found here

Source:; Michael Hyatt, Director, HR Government Affairs, MRA – The Management Association