FMCSA Gives States Three More Years to Comply With CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse
Washington D.C. – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is giving State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLA) more time to comply with reporting requirements as part of the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.
On January 6, 2020, mandatory use of the Clearinghouse to report and seek information about driver drug and alcohol program violations goes into effect.
Employers will be required to conduct both electronic searches within the Clearinghouse and manual inquiries with previous employers to cover the preceding three years.
The final rule, which was issued December 5, 2016, requires SDLA’s to request information from the Clearinghouse about individuals prior to issuing, renewing, upgrading, or transferring a CDL for those drivers.
The FMCSA says SDLA’s compliance with this requirement is now being delayed until January 6, 2023.
In a statement, the FMSCA explained its action by saying, “The compliance date extension allows FMCSA the time needed to complete its work on a forthcoming rulemaking to address the States’ use of driver-specific information from the Clearinghouse, and time to develop the information technology platform through which States will electronically request and receive Clearinghouse information.”
Further, the FMCSA says SDLA’s will still have the option to “voluntarily request Clearinghouse information” beginning on January 6, 2020.
As for the safety impact of the delay, the FMCSA argues the extension will have “no impact.”
Explaining this conclusion, the FMCSA says, “The Clearinghouse final rule did not address how SDLAs would use Clearinghouse information for drivers licensed, or seeking to become licensed, in their State. Accordingly, the final rule’s Regulatory Impact Analysis did not identify any safety benefit associated with the States’ query requirement.”
The agency also noted that all other requirements pertaining to drivers and employers relating to the Clearinghouse’s compliance date of January 6, 2020, remains in place.
For more answers to FAQs about the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, click HERE.