Employers of CDL Drivers Must Register for the Clearinghouse

The new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will be operational Jan. 6, 2020. The Clearinghouse is an online database that will give employers, FMCSA, state driver licensing agencies, and state law enforcement real-time information about CDL driver drug and alcohol program violations. Clearinghouse registration is required for all motor carriers who employ or contract with drivers who are responsible for “safety sensitive functions.”


  • Mandatory reporting by employers to the Clearinghouse begins Jan. 6, 2020.
  • Employers will be required to conduct both electronic queries and manual inquiries with previous employers to check CDL driver violation histories from the past three years as required by the FMCSA's drug and alcohol use testing program.
  • Employers are required to query all current employees at least annually.
  • All queries need driver consent. The type of consent depends on the query type, limited or full. A limited sample consent form can be found here. If a full query is needed for a driver, the driver will need to register with the Clearinghouse, log in, and grant electronic consent.
  • On Jan. 6, 2023, employers will be required to use the Clearinghouse exclusively when it comes to identifying prospective drivers who have committed drug and alcohol program violations. Three years of violation data will by then be stored in the Clearinghouse system, making inquiries to previous employers unnecessary.

Action Steps 

  • If not already registered, employers must complete the registration process for the Clearinghouse before they are able to conduct queries or report drug and alcohol program violations.
  • If you are affected by the new Clearinghouse, this guide provides specifics about the Clearinghouse process and ways employers can stay compliant with the FMCSA.

For more information about the new Clearinghouse visit clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov, or read the fact sheet linked below.

Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Fact Sheet »

North Risk Partners' recently held an educational webinar on the new Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. Access to the webinar recording and slides can be found here.

If you have questions related to this update, please contact your North Risk Partners advisor. Don’t have an advisor? No problem. We’ll help you find one.

This regulatory update is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice.