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FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearninghouse

On December 5, 2016 (in the Federal Register at Page 87686), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued its final rule establishing the National Commercial Drivers' License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.

The regulation went into effect on January 4, 2017.  States must be in full compliance on or before January 6, 2020.

The intervening years will provide states, employers, medical review officers (MROs) and substance abuse professionals (SAPs) with time to prepare for full implementation including ensuring their capacity to report information to and retrieve information from the clearinghouse. 
 
FMCSA intends to have the clearinghouse up and running before the Compliance Date of January 6, 2020.  The clearinghouse must be able to accept detailed information about all CDL holders as well as be able to distribute information to employers about those individuals.
 
This new rule stems from Congressional action in 2012, when the House and Senate passed and president Obama signed the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act”, also known as MAP-21.  The law required FMCSA to establish a Commercial Drivers' License Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse to “improve roadway safety by identifying commercial motor vehicle drivers who have committed drug and alcohol violations that render them ineligible to operate a CMV.”  The rule that was issued on December 5th implements the mandate that the Congress placed on FMCSA via MAP-21.
 
According to FMCSA, the rule and the new clearinghouse will begin to address the problem of drivers concealing their drug and alcohol violations by moving from job to job and employer to employer.  Under this new program, the driver's drug and alcohol information will ‘follow' the driver regardless of how many times they change employers.
 
The regulation applies to all Service Agents as well as to all Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators and employers of Commercial Motor Vehicle operators.  ‘Service agents' are defined as those who provide services in connection with drug and alcohol testing requirements, including clearinghouse requirements. 

In response to several comments, FMCSA makes very clear that these requirements DO apply to municipalities because such municipalities are subject currently to FMCSA's drug and alcohol testing programs.  FMCSA recognized that municipalities are exempted from some requirements. That is not the case with this rule.

NAPT members can log in to the Members Only Section to read the full NAPT Summary of this Rule.

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