What is the FMCSA Clearinghouse?

You probably have heard a lot about the new federal Clearinghouse. The clearinghouse is a new federal regulation for employers. This new rule is meant to make it easier for employers to quickly verify whether or not an applicant, transferee, or current CMV driver has violated the law by engaging in prohibited drug use or alcohol misuse, or by refusing a DOT test. 

Employers were required to begin using the online federal database set up be FMCSA or as we’ve come to know it as the Clearinghouse. Employers were to use this database to perform drug-and-alcohol related background checks on employees or applicants they intend to put into safety-sensitive service.

Who needs to be registered with the Clearinghouse?

Since the FMCSA is operating the clearinghouse and it acts as the center for all violations and verifications for drug and alcohol testing results it is necessary that all CMV stakeholders register as soon as possible. As of January of 2020, the clearinghouse has been open for registrations. The FCMSA has made it free to register and all CMV stakeholders need to know to access the clearinghouse, authorized users must register.  These users include:

  • Drivers who hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or commercial learner’s permit (CLP).
  • Employers of CDL drivers. This includes those who employ themselves as CDL drivers (owner-operators), typically a single-driver operation.
  • Consortia/Third-Party Administrators (C/TPAs).
  • Medical Review Officers (MROs).
  • Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs).

Commercial drivers are not required to immediately register for the clearinghouse but will need to register to respond to an employer’s request for consent prior to a pre-employment query or other full query being conducted. 

How do you register for the Clearinghouse?

The FMCSA has made the registration process simple for most users. You’ll need your login.gov credentials to begin the registration process. Your third party administrator can perform the registration process on your behalf. These third-party administrators take the hassle out the entire process and can have your company 100% compliant with the new legislation fast. 

Third-Party Adminstors 

Third-party administrators can be an invaluable resource for your team. These C/TPA will register, report, and query on your behalf to make sure your drivers are 100% compliant with the clearinghouse regulations. The C/TPA is also required to report the results of a drug and alcohol incident within 3 days. Also, it’s important to know for all the single operators/owners they must have designated a C/TPA with the clearinghouse to report and manage the Clearinghouse on their behalf. 

Federal Carrier Compliance Registration

It’s important to choose your C/TPA carefully these agencies must also perform various administrative activities, including the collection of user fees to support the cost of the database; maintaining the security and reliability of the database, and removing information about a driver when it has expired. This is something you can just leave up to your office admin or yourself to stay on top of. FCCR operates as your C/TPA and will stary on top of all the changing requirements and regulations for you so you can do what you do best. 

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