The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is expanding the timeframe in which it will notify motor carriers of a change in a driver’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse information. Previously, the clearinghouse only sent a notification when a change regarding motor carrier’s driver occurred within 30 days of a pre-employment query. Now the clearinghouse will send notifications of all changes occurring within 12 months of a pre-employment query or the annual queries a motor carrier must conduct on each driver.
A change in the driver’s information may be good news or bad news, ranging from a change in return-to-duty status, a removed violation, or a new drug and alcohol violation. However, the notification will only indicate a change in information in the driver’s clearinghouse record and not reveal specific details.
The motor carrier must conduct a full follow-on query within 24 hours to see if the new information prohibits the driver from performing safety-sensitive functions, such as operating a truck. A full clearinghouse query requires driver consent, so notifications will include a “send consent request” button. Motor carriers usually pay for queries to the clearinghouse but the motor carrier will not be charged for the follow-on query when using that mechanism.
FMCSA will consider a follow-on query as the annual query for that driver. Annual queries occur on a rolling 12-month basis. A new query for that driver will not be required for 12 months unless the clearinghouse sends another notification.
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