FMCSA postpones Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse queries after rocky start

Washington, DC – As reported in yesterday’s Member Newsletter , many motor carriers continue to incur challenges querying the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse for driver compliance. As a result, FMCSA has posted the following message on the Clearinghouse website:
“Notice: If you are an employer currently experiencing technical difficulties accessing the Clearinghouse and are unable to conduct required pre-employment queries, you may hire a driver using solely the procedures set forth in 49 CFR 391.23(e). Once FMCSA has determined and announced that users are able to access the Clearinghouse, pre-employment queries must also be conducted as required by section 382.701(a).”
It is our interpretation that while FMCSA’s query postponement means employers can temporarily hire drivers without conducting a full query, the clearinghouse regulatory mandate is still in place. Once the clearinghouse site is fully accessible for queries, employers must still run a full query for all drivers hired on or after January 6, 2020.
Motor carriers that have not yet registered should do so. Document any difficulties incurred should you need to prove you at least attempted.

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