Cisive Product Highlight: FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse

  • November 9, 2022
  • Jenni Gray
  • Approx. Read Time: 3 Minutes
  • Updated on June 25, 2024

In this Cisive Product Highlight series, we’ll review key tools to consider when screening your workforce, as well as top benefits and features when ordering them through Cisive and our family of brands, including Driver iQ.

This month’s highlight is the FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse, a requirement for companies hiring Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) or Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) drivers.


What is the FMCSA Clearinghouse? Why is it important?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) launched the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse on Jan. 6, 2020. It is a centralized database of drug and alcohol violations by CDL/CLP drivers that occurred within the past three years. The Clearinghouse is available to employers, state driver’s licensing agencies (SDLAs), law enforcement, and drivers themselves.

Employers are required to check the FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse before hiring a CDL/CLP employee and on an annual basis for the duration of employment.  Employers must also ensure that violations are reported to the Clearinghouse if one of their employees has a drug or alcohol violation. 

The centralized database of drug & alcohol violations helps keep our roads safer by allowing employers to more easily recognize when an applicant has had a violation. Beginning January 6, 2023, employers no longer have to check with a driver’s individual previous employers during onboarding.. 


What’s on an FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse report?

An FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse report contains violations of drug and alcohol prohibitions in 49 CFR Part 382, Subpart B, including the following:

  • Positive drug or alcohol test results
  • Test refusals

If a driver completes the Return-to-Duty process, including follow-up testing, this is also included in an FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse report. 


What are an employer’s obligations regarding the FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse?

  • Conduct a full query of the Clearinghouse during the onboarding process when bringing on a new CDL driver.
  • Conduct a limited query of all CDL drivers annually.
  • Report all violations to the Clearinghouse.
  • Obtain driver consent when running a query.
  • Record progress on a driver’s Return-to-Duty process, including follow-up testing or violations that are unresolved. 


How do drivers interact with the FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse?


How do employers run a query on a driver?

In the Clearinghouse dashboard, select “Conduct a query.” Provide the following information about the driver:

  • First and last names
  • Date of birth
  • CDL/CLP number
  • Country of issuance
  • State of issuance

Select between Full Query and Limited Query. Next, submit the consent request to the driver. When the consent is received, view the results by selecting “Query History” on the dashboard. 

For employers with multiple drivers to query, there is a bulk upload option. Download the bulk upload file and populate the required information. Find more detailed instructions on how to run single and bulk queries here:

Cisive and Driver iQ can conduct full and limited queries on behalf of employers, individually or via the bulk upload process. 


How do employers select Cisive or Driver iQ to process FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse reports?

Employers should designate Cisive or Driver iQ as a consortia/third-party administrator (C/TPA). Then, employers may designate the functions Cisive or Driver iQ should complete on their behalf.

Detailed instructions to do so can be found here

A complete list of FAQs provided by the FMCSA can be found here


How can Cisive help?

Beginning January 6, 2023, employers are no longer required to contact a driver’s previous employers for drug and alcohol violation information. All queries will go through the Clearinghouse. Contact Cisive today to offload your FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse queries, so you can spend your time recruiting. 

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