Commercial Driver’s License Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse

Who This Affects:

  • Employers (Owner/Operators fill both employer & employee roles and must comply with all regulations regarding both definitions)
  • Employees (Drivers)
  • Consortia/TPAs (Consortiums & Third Party Administrators)
  • MROs (Medical Review Officers)
    • Uploads violations within 48 hours
  • SAPs (Substance Abuse Professionals)
  • SDLAs (State Driver’s License Agencies)
    • When a CDL is obtained, renewed, upgraded, or transferred: MUST QUERY SYSTEM
  • NTSB: National Transportation Safety Board
    • Will be able to access the system for drivers involved in a crash under investigation.

What This Is:

The Commercial Driver’s License Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse will be a database containing CDL Drivers’ drug and alcohol program violations. It will also contain information regarding the successful completion of the mandatory return-to-duty drug and/or alcohol rehabilitation process.

When This Will Take Place:

January 04, 2020

How it Works:

The clearinghouse requirements fall into two major parts:

Reporting and Querying


Employers, consortia/third party admins and/or MROs will be required to report drug and alcohol testing program violations to the clearinghouse. SAPs will be required to report information about drivers undergoing the mandatory return-to-duty drug and/or alcohol rehabilitation process.

Each time new information is added/modified/removed to a driver’s clearinghouse record, the FMCSA will notify the affected driver. Drivers will HAVE to register with the clearinghouse to receive notifications and access their records. Drivers will have the option to opt-in for electronic notifications via email.


Employers will be required to “query” or search the Clearinghouse for covered drivers for two purposes…

Pre-Employment (mandatory for all employers for all new hires after 01/04/2020)

Annual Verification (at least once annually, but the frequency is the best policy. Consistent monthly or bi-monthly queries will net you the best results @ a cost…)

  • Example: Driver X works for Company Y & Company Z. Driver X violates the D&A Program at Company Y mid-way through the year and is removed from safety-sensitive duties and is referred to a rehabilitation program. Company Z decides that it will run it’s annual query of the clearinghouse a month after Driver X violates Company Y’s program. When they run their query a record will appear with the violation and then Company Y must also remove that driver from safety-sensitive duties. This system catches the violators and makes sure they complete the mandatory testing they’ve been prescribed before returning to a truck and hitting the road. (If this driver leaves the employment of both Y&Z, his policy violations will be picked up during his next pre-employment screen during their verification with the clearinghouse!!)

NOTE: All driver records must have consented to view. Before an employer can access a record in the clearinghouse the FMCSA must ask permission from the driver to submit those records to the employer. Unsure if driver consent is one time or each time record is accessed. Drivers must consent to the release or they will be removed from safety-sensitive duties immediately.


IMPORTANT: There will be NO FEES for a driver (employee) to access their own records in the clearinghouse. There will, however, be a fee for MOTOR CARRIERS (employers) to query the clearinghouse. No fee amount has been determined, but rumors say $0.25 – $4.00 depending on limited/full query type but should include an option for employers that is either subscription-based (good for large carriers) or batch use (charged by activity and # of searches presumably). The fee will ultimately be determined after a bidding process between the firms creating the database and managing the registry.

If you have questions or you need to have your employee(s) tested for drugs, Dr. Gil’s can help. Give us a call or contact us online today. 



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Dr. Gil’s Immediate Care focuses on providing the best care to your employees at all stages of employment, from pre-employment physicals and drug screenings to immediate care following a work-related injury.

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