On January 6th, 2020, the new FMCSA Clearinghouse went live. The main goal of the FMCSA's Clearinghouse was, and is, to save lives by reducing crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving commercial motor vehicles. To accomplish this mission of enhancing safety on our nation's thousands of miles of highways, CMV drivers and their employers will be required to register the driver’s alcohol and drug violations on a federal clearinghouse.
On Friday, February 21, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published the initial data from the first weeks of its CDL Clearinghouse database. This initial data release showed nearly 8,000 violations since the Clearinghouse's January 6 implementation – a violation rate of more than 1,000 per week. Clearly, the Clearinghouse is effectively serving its purpose.
Unfortunately, throughout the week of March 5th, the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse experienced connectivity issues that prevented the system from verifying commercial driver’s license information. This issue marked the first major hiccup since the tool’s initial roll-out period.
Certain functions, including conducting queries and reporting violations, were temporarily deactivated. As a result of these functions being halted, users of the Clearinghouse weren’t able to do much of anything. The good news is that the issue didn’t last long, and was resolved on March 9th.
While the FMCSA Clearinghouse is again running smoothly, there are still a few things users of the Clearinghouse need to be aware of. If an employer became aware of a driver’s drug and alcohol program violation during the week of March 5th but was unable to report the violation due to the connectivity issue, the employer must report the violation immediately.
While employers of CMV drivers were required to start reporting violations on January 6th, many remain uncertain of exactly how the Clearinghouse works, and what they need to do to effectively follow the rule. The truth is that following the new FMCSA Clearinghouse rule can be tricky. That’s why we decided to launch Clearinghouse Navigator.
The Clearinghouse Navigator site is intended to be a commercial resource for CMV employers and drivers in regards to learning and following the new rule. Our website has robust online courses giving Clearinghouse users confidence that they can meet the requirements of the new rule in a timely and efficient manner. Additionally, our site has an extensive suite of regulatory reference material, an interactive knowledge base, and live help desk via chat and telephone.
Now that the issues with the Clearinghouse have been resolved, it’s crucial that CMV drivers, employers, medical review officers, and substance abuse professionals are equipped with the necessary tools to follow the rule. In addition to eLearning opportunities, users of the Clearinghouse Navigator gain access to a full knowledgebase, live chat and email support, and even live training sessions. Our technical staff are not affiliated with the FMCSA, and give impartial, expert advice.
Visit Clearinghouse Navigator today to enroll in eLearning courses to ensure you, your employees, and your company have all the necessary resources to effectively follow the new FMCSA Clearinghouse rule.