FMCSA Proposes National Drug and Alcohol Testing Clearinghouse for Drivers

February 12, 2014

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UPDATED -- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced a proposed rule to establish a drug and alcohol clearinghouse for all national commercial driver’s license holders. 

The clearinghouse would help improve roadway safety by making it easier to determine whether a truck or bus driver is prohibited from operating a commercial motor vehicle for failing to comply with federal drug and alcohol regulations, including mandatory testing, according to the agency.

Current federal regulations require employers to conduct mandatory pre-employment screening of a CDL driver’s qualifications based upon his or her driving record. However, there has not been a single federal repository recording positive drug and alcohol tests by CDL holders that employers would be able to search to ensure that the driver is able to perform safety-sensitive duties. 

The proposed rule announced would create such a repository and require employers to conduct pre-employment searches for all new CDL drivers and annual searches on current drivers.

“We are leveraging technology to create a one-stop verification point to help companies hire drug and alcohol-free drivers,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro. “This proposal moves us further down the road toward improving safety for truck and bus companies, commercial drivers and the motoring public everywhere.”

Under the proposed rule, FMCSA-regulated truck and bus companies, Medical Review Officers, Substance Abuse Professionals, and private, third party U.S. DOT drug and alcohol testing laboratories would be required to record information about a driver who:

  • Fails a drug and/or alcohol test,
  • Refuses to submit to a drug and/or alcohol test, and
  • Successfully completes a substance abuse program and is legally qualified to return to duty.

Private, third-party U.S. DOT drug and alcohol testing laboratories also would be required to report summary information annually. This information would be used to help identify companies that do not have a testing program.

To ensure the privacy of drivers involved, each CDL holder would need to provide his or her consent, before an employer could access the clearinghouse.

Drivers who refuse to provide this information could still be employed by the truck or bus company, however, they could not occupy safety-sensitive positions, such as operating a commercial motor vehicle.

Federal safety regulations require that truck and bus companies that employ CDL drivers conduct random drug and alcohol testing programs. Carriers must randomly test 10% of their CDL drivers for alcohol and 50% of their CDL drivers for drugs each year.

In addition to random testing, truck and bus companies are further required to perform drug and alcohol testing on new hires, drivers involved in significant crashes, and whenever a supervisor suspects a driver of using drugs or alcohol while at work.

The proposed rule was directed by Congress in the most recent transportation bill, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act.

The American Trucking Associations praised the FMCSA for finally issuing the congressionally mandated proposal.

"ATA has been a strong advocate for the creation of this process to help protect motorists since 1999," said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. "It is unfortunate that it took so long for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to act on this common sense safety solution, but we are pleased the agency has finally taken the first step toward creation of this clearinghouse."

Update adds ATA reaction.


  1. 1. Fritz [ February 12, 2014 @ 11:42AM ]

    An I want all government employes to do the same!!!!

  2. 2. Russell Vaughan [ February 12, 2014 @ 12:20PM ]

    This rule moves us one step further down the road to National Socialism..

  3. 3. Jerry [ February 12, 2014 @ 12:47PM ]

    Just more gov bullshit any one with a dot or mc number has to have drug and alco testing in place to keep third numbers or the dot would pull them. Ramdom testing is set up by there registered consorteum medical agent

  4. 4. Al [ February 12, 2014 @ 01:42PM ]

    Why don't they have the same thing for everyone else nope just cdl holders 42 years driving a truck and can't beleive the bull that's going on now it's just getting worst every year sorry for all the young drivers out there

  5. 5. Lee Lenard [ February 12, 2014 @ 02:25PM ]

    Every "mandate" coming out of Anne Ferro has one goal.....eliminate every transportation entity so that only UPS and Fed-X are left controlling everything. They then can comply with each mandate with each driver being so limited in earning ability that they will fall into the poverty level but that will put U.S. drivers on par with earnings in China, India, or Mexico. "Mission Accomplished"......public protected, what a joke....non CDL drivers (mostly of 4 wheelers) That's where the problem IS.

  6. 6. Richard Cowan [ February 12, 2014 @ 04:46PM ]

    Look around, doesn't it seem that more drivers are from 3rd world countries where the gov is tyrannical, no personal liberties or freedoms. If we replace all the 'bible & gun clingers' w/people like that, they have nothing to Stand Up & Fight' for. W/out trucks the country stops...coincidence? I don't think so!! There's no 'driver' shortage, just a shortage of drivers who have no concept for Rule of Law & the Constitution. Once they fully control the industry, the whole Country is f'd. Remember your Oath, or pledge if you haven't. Defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign & domestic

  7. 7. joey elier [ February 13, 2014 @ 06:06AM ]

    why don't they make a rule where we have to hire a 24 hr 365 day a year baby sitter I think that would work .. I mean im 44 yrs old I need to know when to go to bed when to wake up when to sheit shower play wit my pter... I got a idea US gov go furk ya self ...hell lets just all get on disability cause we must be mentally ill if we need all this shiat let the Indians and Mexicans have it

  8. 8. cgetz [ February 13, 2014 @ 06:18AM ]

    You guys should re-read the article. Unless you do drugs you dont have anything to worry about. They are making a data base to identify those drivers who FAIL the random and mandatory drug tests

  9. 9. Fritz [ February 13, 2014 @ 10:49AM ]

    Chet's that's bullshit!!!! Government employs should have this test so we don't have a doper with finger on the button!! The whole world would be safer then!!!!!

  10. 10. Angela [ February 17, 2014 @ 07:12AM ]

    I agree with an earlier post, it does not affect any driver that does not have a dirty drug or alcohol test in the last few years. In Arkansas, we pull from a database that shows only if the driver has tested positive IN ARKANSAS. I would think most of you would not want someone driving near you that tested positive for drugs or alcohol while on the job.


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