FMCSA Employers: Don’t forget to sign up for the Clearinghouse!

Dec 16, 2019 | Complete Employee Screening, Drug Testing, In the News, Industry News

FMCSA Employers: Don't forget to sign up for the Clearinghouse! New DOT CDL driver regulations. Comprehensive drug testing for federal employers. DOT Consortium sign up at Blueline Services.

This is a reminder to all of our FMCSA employers to get registered with the Clearinghouse as soon as possible. This registration will be a new requirement for all DOT drivers beginning in 2020. We have included instructions on how to get started below.

What is the new Clearinghouse?

The Clearinghouse will improve highway safety by helping employers, FMCSA, State Driver Licensing Agencies, and State law enforcement to quickly and efficiently identify drivers who are not legally permitted to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) due to drug and alcohol program violations. This secure online database will provide access to real-time information, ensuring that drivers committing these violations complete the necessary steps before getting back behind the wheel, or performing any other safety-sensitive function.

Who will the Clearinghouse affect?

It will affect “all CDL drivers who operate CMVs on public roads, and employers/service agents.”
This includes, but is not limited to:
-Interstate/intrastate motor carriers, includes passenger carriers
-School bus drivers
-Construction equipment operators
-Limousine drivers
-Municipal vehicle drivers (e.g., waste management vehicles)
-Federal and state agencies that employ drivers subject to FMCSA drug and alcohol use testing regulations (e.g., Department of Defense, public transit)

What will be reported to the Clearinghouse?

-A verified positive, adulterated, or substituted controlled substance test
-Refusal to test (includes failure to appear)
-A verified positive alcohol test above .04
-DUI citation in a CMV
-DUI conviction in a CMV
-Actual knowledge of illicit alcohol or dug use (382.107)
-Negative return-to-duty
-Completion of follow-up

What should I do to get started with the Clearinghouse?

To get the process started, here are the steps that we suggest you implement right away:

  1. Register your company at
    1. If you have a USDOT number, the clearinghouse will pull your company information from other relevant systems. Make sure to double check the accuracy of the information pulled.
    2. Assign others in your company to be assistants to help you manage the information provided through the clearinghouse.
  2. Assign Blueline Services as your C/TPA (Consortium/Third Party Administrator).
  3. Pre-purchase enough queries to cover your current DOT regulated employees.
    1. Queries never expire and additional can be purchased as needed.
  4. Get your drivers to register at right away!
    1. A driver must register and give consent for his/her information to be accessible.  If they want to maintain a CDL, they HAVE to register on the clearinghouse site.  
    2. Drivers can monitor their information and dispute reported information directly on the site.

All employers with FMCSA regulated employees must register and use the clearinghouse. If drivers do not register, the consent will be sent by regular mail to the address on their CDL. This will delay employment and potential opportunities for drivers, so is in their best interest to register online.  Employers must query all new drivers before hire and all current drivers must be queried annually. The Clearinghouse is not yet integrated with other screening vendors/platforms, which means the queries need to be performed directly on the clearinghouse site. For the first three years (DOT requires a 3 year employment verification), Blueline can still provide the required employment verifications while the database catches up (year by year) to the requirement.  

We know change can cause heartburn, but this update is one that will be good for employers and overall industry safety. We encourage you to check out the excellent resources on the FAQ and Leaning Center pages of the clearinghouse website . 

Thank you for your continued business, please reach out to us with any questions or implementation issues.  

Blueline Drug Testing Department