Employers Required to Check Driver Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Record Upon Notification from FMCSA of New Information

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced changes in the way employers are notified of driver drug and alcohol violations uploaded to the agency’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. Previously, the Clearinghouse would only notify an employer (by email) of new information uploaded to a driver’s drug and alcohol file for 30 days following an employer’s pre-employment query. The 30-day notification period was meant to capture any recent driver drug or alcohol violations that had not yet been uploaded to the Clearinghouse database at the time of the pre-employment query. Without the 30-day notification period, an employer would not learn of a driver’s drug or alcohol violation until it was time for the driver’s annual Clearinghouse query after 12 months of employment.

However, as of March 8, 2023, an employer will be notified via email when a driver they have queried has new information recorded in their Clearinghouse record within 12 months of a pre-employment or annual query. The new information in the Clearinghouse record may include changes such as an update in return-to-duty status, a removed violation, or a new violation. The Employer is required to conduct a full follow-on query to determine if the new information results in the driver having a “prohibited” Clearinghouse status. The Query History will also be updated to reflect when new information is available, as illustrated in the simulated screenshot below:
Joe Driver (US-CA-1234567)
Employer Conducting Query:
Joe Employer
Query Result: Result Not Available
Query Status: Specific Consent Required
Query Conducted By: Joe Employer Query Type: Limited Query Submitted: Manually

There is new information in this driver’s clearinghouse record. To determine if this information result in the driver having a “Prohibited” Clearinghouse status you will need to conduct a follow-on query which involves sending the driver a new consent request.
If you click on “Send Consent Request’ below, this will send a consent request to the driver. There is no charge for this follow-on query.

The employer is required to complete a full follow-on query within 24 hours of receipt of FMCSA notification to determine if the new information results in the driver having a “prohibited” Clearinghouse status. Employers using the “Send Consent Request” prompt on the Query History screen will not be charged for the follow-on query. For more information click on the links below.

How is an employer notified of changes to a driver’s Clearinghouse record?
What actions should an employer take if notified of a change to a driver’s Clearinghouse record?
Which Clearinghouse users are notified when there is a change to a driver’s Clearinghouse record?
What is the annual requirement for employee queries and how is it tracked?