FMCSA Updates With More Information About Clearinghouse- 15 Aug
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has recently announced changes to their drug testing and alcohol forms as well as expanded their FAQ section to include more answers to common questions they’ve been receiving. Set to take effect beginning in 2020, many employers have questions about how the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will affect them and their employees.
We’ve included answers to the top 5 most frequently asked questions on their website here as well as information about the form changes. To find more answers and information, you can visit their website here.
Changes To Drug Testing Custody and Control Form and Alcohol Testing Form
The FMCSA has announced that there will be changes to the required data on Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Forms (CCF) and Alcohol Testing Forms (ATF).
Current forms allow the use of either a driver’s social security number (SSN) or employee identification number (EIN) when completing a CCF or ATF. However, effective January 6, 2020, the FMCSA will require that drivers’ commercial driver’s license numbers be used instead of SSN or EIN when FMCSA-covered drivers’ positive drug or alcohol test results are reported to the Clearinghouse.
To see further details about this update, you can check out their announcement here.
What is the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse and what information will it contain?
The Clearinghouse is a secure online database that will give employers, the FMCSA, State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLAs), and state law enforcement personnel real-time information about commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders’ drug and alcohol program violations.
The Clearinghouse will contain records of violations of drug and alcohol prohibitions in 49 CFR Part 382, Subpart B, including positive drug or alcohol test results and test refusals. When a driver completes the return-to-duty (RTD) process and follow-up testing plan, this information will also be recorded in the Clearinghouse.
If a driver has a drug and alcohol program violation in one state, then applies for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in another state, will the Clearinghouse be able to connect that driver’s drug and alcohol violation history to the new CDL?
Yes. The Clearinghouse will identify drivers who move frequently and obtain CDLs in different states and link those CDLs, in order to maintain complete and accurate information on such drivers.
How will driver data be protected in the Clearinghouse?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) takes the protection of personal information very seriously. The Clearinghouse will meet all relevant federal security standards and FMCSA will verify the effectiveness of the security protections on a regular basis.
- Clearinghouse information will not be available to the public; only authorized users will be able to register and access the Clearinghouse for designated purposes.
- The Clearinghouse will require authentication, via a login.gov username and password, to access records. Login.gov, a shared service which offers secure online access to participating government systems, also requires the completion of a user verification process to ensure the proper person is using those credentials.
- Drivers registered in the Clearinghouse will be able to access their Clearinghouse records at any time, and at no cost to them. Drivers will only be able to access their own information, not information about other drivers.
- FMCSA will only share detailed drug and alcohol violation information with a prospective or current employer, and/or their designated consortium/third-party administrator (C/TPA), when an employer or designated C/TPA has requested and received specific consent from the driver. Drivers will be able to see the information that would be released to an employer before consenting to the release.
- Driver information will only be used by FMCSA and other enforcement agencies as required to enforce drug and alcohol testing regulations.
How do authorized users sign up to access the Clearinghouse database and when will registration be available?
Employers, drivers, medical review officers (MROs), substance abuse professionals (SAPs), and consortia/third-party administrators (C/TPAs) must register in the Clearinghouse to access the Clearinghouse database. Clearinghouse registration is scheduled to open in fall 2019. Sign up now to receive email updates, including a notification once registration is open.
Does the final rule change any of the existing drug and alcohol program requirements in Part 40?
No, the final rule does not change any existing requirements in the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)-wide procedures for transportation workplace drug and alcohol testing.
The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will take effect in January 2020. This Clearinghouse applies to employers and employees under the U.S. Department of Transportation. If you have further questions about the Clearinghouse, please visit the FMCSA’s website.