Recapping the First Few Months of the FMCSA Clearinghouse Rule

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 are now required to register the driver’s alcohol and drug violations on a federal clearinghouse. 

As we move through the month of May, CMV drivers and employers have had almost four months to learn more about the new rule. Though there have been massive interruptions caused by COVID-19, CMV and other relevant professionals still have a better sense of the rule now than they did in January. With help from the eLearning tools and informational resources of Clearinghouse Navigator, thousands of CMV and CMV-related professionals have been able to effectively follow the rule. Here’s a recap of the first few months of the FMCSA clearinghouse rule. 

The Initial Rollout

The initial rollout and implementation of the new rule went relatively smoothly. FMCSA officials feared that a lack of understanding of the rule could be an issue, but thanks again in large part to online platforms that helped all relevant professionals to be prepared to effectively follow it, that concern never came to fruition.

By the end of the first few weeks, an astonishing 8,000 CMV driver violations were reported. This averaged out to well over 1,000 reported violations per week. This was without a doubt a sign that the FMCSA clearinghouse was effectively, and efficiently, serving its purpose. It was also an indicator that CMV professionals were receiving the necessary information and tools to understand exactly how to follow the rules.

Bumps in the Road  

The first month of the new rollout for the FMCSA clearinghouse went smoothly. Not only were violations being reported at a healthy rate, but the technical aspects of the website also functioned as they should. There was some concern regarding heavy traffic causing issues for the site, but, for the most part, this wasn’t the case. 

The first and only legitimate issue with the clearinghouse came in March. 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. 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.  

The Role Clearinghouse Navigator has Played 

Clearinghouse Navigator is a website designed to help CMV drivers, CMV employers, and a number of other relevant professionals to learn the new rule. Clearinghouse Navigator simplifies FMCSA's Clearinghouse requirement by bringing together robust eLearning solutions, dozens of FAQs and Knowledgebase articles, useful - and easy to use - compliance forms, all supported by a team of industry experts who specialize in DOT drug and alcohol regulatory requirements.

Clearinghouse Navigator played a pivotal role in educating people on both what the rule is, and how to properly follow it. Much of the initial success of the FMCSA clearinghouse can be attributed to educational tools such as Clearinghouse Navigator. If you’re a CMV professional concerned about following the new rule, there are tailor made eLearning courses to meet your every need. 

Overall, the rollout of the FMCSA clearinghouse has gone relatively smoothly. Issues were minimal, violations were reported at a steady rate, and, thanks to sites like Clearinghouse Navigator, people are beginning to become more comfortable with the rule.