The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse now notifies employers if there is a change to a driver’s Clearinghouse record for up to 12 months after a pre-employment query of the system, according to the agency.
This action, which took effect in March, snaps shut a gap in the Clearinghouse system that had enabled a driver to have a drug or alcohol violation reported by a prior employer after a pre-employment query, but not before their next annual Clearinghouse check. As a result, employers are now notified by email when a driver with a query has new information placed on his or her record.
“It is our goal to make sure information found in the Clearinghouse is accurate and timely,” Cicely Waters, FMCSA director of communications, told HDT. “That is why we continuously work to improve its functionality.”
Agency: Fix Resulted from Stakeholder Feedback
“We appreciate the feedback received from stakeholders that helped us identify a loophole in our Clearinghouse,” she continued. “That loophole made it possible for a driver to have drug or alcohol violations reported by another employer after a pre-employment query (but before an annual query). Thus, the current employer would not be aware of it.”
Waters said that because of feedback FMCSA received on this matter, the agency implemented a “system improvement” to address the issue.
“In March of this year, the Clearinghouse began notifying employers of changes to a driver’s Clearinghouse record up to 12 months following a driver query. This better ensures carriers are notified if, for example, one of their drivers tests positive after applying to work at another motor carrier.”
Additionally, Waters advised that “employers are now also notified via email when a driver they have queried has new information recorded in their Clearinghouse record within 12 months of a pre-employment or annual query.”