In 2012, Congress directed the Department of Transportation to establish a national clearinghouse containing Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) operators’ violations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s drug and alcohol testing program. On December 2, FMCSA finally announced establishment of the database. DOT-regulated employers, Medical Review Officers and other service agents will report to the clearinghouse information relating to drug and alcohol regulation violations beginning in January 2020.
Motor carriers will be required to initially check the clearinghouse for violations before permitting drivers to operate CMVs on public roads. They will then check the database annually to determine continuing driver eligibility. State driver’s licensing agencies must use the clearinghouse whenever a Commercial Driver’s License is issued, renewed, transferred or upgraded.
Information regarding alcohol and drug violations will remain in the database for five years. FMCSA hopes that the clearinghouse will prevent situations where a driver commits a violation while driving for one employer, but fails to inform a subsequent employer of the situation. DOT and motor carriers have several years to prepare for actual use of the clearinghouse.