Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Clearinghouse Requirement

What you need to know:  A new regulation affecting clients who employ CDL drivers became effective January 6th, 2020. Employers are now required to report violations of the Department of Transportation (DOT) drug and alcohol testing program for their current drivers as well as query current and prospective drivers on an annual basis.  The Clearinghouse contains records of drug and alcohol prohibition violations, including positive drug or alcohol test results and test refusals. Employers will still need to complete the manual query until January 6, 2023 when only the electronic clearinghouse query will be required.  Driver violation records will be available in the Clearinghouse for five years from the date of the violation determination, or until the violation is resolved through the successful completion of the return-to-duty (RTD) process and follow-up testing plan, whichever is later.

Who does it affect: This affects all CDL drivers who operate commercial motor vehicles on public roads and their employers. This includes, but is not limited to:

Why it’s Important: This online database will help keep roads safer for all drivers by identifying, in real-time, drivers that are prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions due to a drug and alcohol program violation. These functions include operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).

Types of Queries for employers to make:

Employers must conduct a limited or full query at least once every year for all drivers.

The Clearinghouse:  A centralized location to query driver information and report drug and alcohol program violations incurred by  current and prospective employees holding Commercial Driver’s License and Commercial Lerner’s Permit. The employer must use the Clearinghouse to:

Reporting Details: Employers must report the following information to the Clearinghouse:

Additional Information:

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA)’s Clearinghouse website contains important resources. These resources includeuser brochures and guides with step-by-step registration instructions for all users.  Users can visit Clearing House to access these resources and to start the registration process.

Register for Clearinghouse:

Fact Sheet:

Learning Center:


Employers Query Plans: