Top Questions About the Clearinghouse Rule

Now that the Clearinghouse Rule has been in full effect for a year, there still may be lingering questions about the use of the database and how to access, correct, or add information. Thankfully, we here at Clearinghouse Navigator are committed to answering all of your questions as well as providing useful eLearning resources that can help the many different users of this database, including medical professionals, substance abuse professionals, employees, and drivers themselves. 

Questions About Security & Privacy

Many CDL drivers have questions about how their private data will be stored and secured from the public eye. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) takes the protection of personal information very seriously. Clearinghouse information is not available to the public. In fact, only authorized users are able to register and access the Clearinghouse for designated purposes.


FMCSA will only share detailed drug and alcohol violation information with a prospective or current employer, and/or their designated consortium/third-party administrator (C/TPA), when an employer or designated C/TPA has requested and received specific consent from the driver. Drivers will be able to see the information that would be released to an employer before consenting to the release.

Questions About Who Can Use the Clearinghouse

Many employers and drivers alike wonder who has legal access to the database and who can inquire about testing and results. Authorized users must register in the Clearinghouse to access the Clearinghouse database. According to the FMCSA authorized users include:

  • CDL drivers who can check only their account
  • Employers, includes motor carriers and other employers of drivers operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) that require a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or commercial learner’s permit (CLP)
  • Consortia/third-party administrators (C/TPAs)
  • Medical review officers (MROs)
  • Substance abuse professionals (SAPs)
  • Enforcement personnel

Questions About the Type of Data Contained on the Database

What’s on the database? Simply put, the database contained records of violations of drug and alcohol prohibitions in 49 CFR Part 382, Subpart B, including positive drug or alcohol test results and test refusals. Also contained in the database is information about when a driver passed a test to return to duty and what follow-up process they adhered to. 

Questions About What Type of Drivers Are Required to Register
We often think that CDL drivers are “big rig” drivers. However, this encompasses all commercially licensed drivers who operate CMVs on public roads and their employers and service agents including: 

  • Interstate and intrastate motor carriers, including passenger carriers

  • School bus drivers

  • Construction equipment operators

  • Limousine drivers

  • Municipal vehicle drivers (e.g., waste management vehicles)

For more information and answers to your questions about the database check out our FAQs.