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.

You can learn more about the clearinghouse by reading the PrePass whitepaper “FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Greatly Changes the Truck Driver Qualification Landscape.”

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