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  • Natalie Byers

FMCSA Clearinghouse - UPDATE! Pre-Employment Investigations for Drug and Alcohol Program Violations

The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration issued an update to the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. The update will begin January 6th, 2023.

With this update to the FMCSA's Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, a pre-employment Clearinghouse query will satisfy the requirement to investigate a prospective driver's previous drug and alcohol program violations, as set forth in 49 CFR 391.23(e)(4) and 382.413(b).


Employers of CDL drivers are required to conduct background investigations before hiring a driver. This process includes determining if the driver has violated the drug and alcohol regulations of any Department of Transportation (DOT) mode within the past three years (see 49 CFR 391.23(e)(1)-(3) and 382.413(a)). Currently, this requires employers or their designated consortia/third-party administrators (C/TPAs) to conduct both electronic queries in the Clearinghouse and manual inquiries with previous employers to meet the three-year time frame.


Beginning January 6, 2023, when three years of violation data is stored in the Clearinghouse, prospective employers must conduct a pre-employment query of the Clearinghouse, as set forth in 382.701(a), to comply with the inquiry requirement in 382.413(b) and 391.23(e)(4), as it pertains to FMCSA-regulated employers. Inquiries not conducted under 382.701(a) will not satisfy these inquiry requirements.


Annual query requirements have not changed.

Employers of CDL drivers must conduct a query in the Clearinghouse at least once a year for each CDL driver they employ (see 382.701(b)). This annual query requirement applies on a rolling 12-month basis, which means that if you conducted your last annual queries in December 2021, it is time to conduct the next round of annual queries.

Employers must obtain general consent from CDL drivers they employ before conducting limited queries in the Clearinghouse to view these drivers’ information (you can download a sample limited query consent form).


What does this mean for you?

We at Front Range Compliance Services, LLC, understand that the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse can be very confusing and even intimidating. Which is why we are here to help YOU!


We provide our clients with all services related to the Clearinghouse. We run both full and limited queries when they are due, report Return-to-Duty results, and follow up testing completions. We also offer Reasonable Suspicion Supervisor Training for Drug and Alcohol both in person and online.


Be sure to call us at (970) 646-1050 for more information about Front Range Compliance and our services.

Make sure to check out our online DOT Training, DOT University! We currently are offering Reasonable Suspicion for Supervisors, Cargo Securement, Defensive Driving, and Pre/Post Trip Inspection. In the coming months we plan on releasing Designated Employer Representative, and Appendix A.


Until then, check out our other blogs or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to be the first to know when new classes are made available or for other updates like this! You can also opt-in to our newsletter for exclusive offers, regulation changes, and industry news!


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