HomeDriversFMCSA Releases Advice on New CDL Alcohol and Drug Clearinghouse

FMCSA Releases Advice on New CDL Alcohol and Drug Clearinghouse

While the FMCSA’s CDL clearinghouse query database is not available for access yet for school districts or contractors to use, what can they do to satisfy CDL requirements in the meantime?

The FMCSA released some tips this week about the pre-employment query process for hiring a commercial driver’s license (CDL) driver. As FMCSA notes, the query checks to see if there is any previously reported alcohol or drug violations associated with a driver’s CDL.

“Before you can conduct the pre-employment query, you must obtain the driver’s electronic consent,” according to FMCSA officials. “In this process, the employer (or designated C/TPA) logs in to the Clearinghouse and sends the request; the driver then logs in to his or her Clearinghouse account to respond to the request.”

Below are additional tips from the FMCSA to assist users when navigating the clearinghouse:

    • I am trying to conduct the pre-employment query, but the clearinghouse says it cannot verify the driver’s CDL information.

The clearinghouse checks the CDL information you entered with the states’ CDL systems, which tracks driver CDLs nationwide. If the information you entered does not verify, make sure you have entered the driver’s CDL information correctly. If the CDL number has special characters (such as spaces, dashes, or leading zeros), try entering the CDL number with or without these characters, as requirements vary by state.

I was able to submit the consent request, but the driver does not see it in his/her dashboard.

First, make sure the driver has a verified CDL in [his or her] clearinghouse profile. Have the driver log in to his or her Clearinghouse account. If the driver has not verified his or her CDL information, there will be a message on his or her Driver Dashboard with the next steps, prompting him or her to do so. Once the driver has verified [his or her] CDL, the pending consent request should display on their Driver Dashboard.

If you have confirmed that the driver has verified his or her CDL information in the clearinghouse, and the driver still does not see the pending consent request, try sending a new consent request (you can cancel the pending consent request, which will credit your query balance). This time, when you enter the CDL information, enter it exactly as the driver entered it in the Clearinghouse, including all zeroes, dashes, special characters, etc.

Last month, FMCSA extended by three years the deadline for states to request driver information via the database. The queries are currently voluntary.

Meanwhile, the rest of the clearinghouse requirements went into effect on Jan. 6. Registration by drivers and companies began last fall.

Additional questions about the clearinghouse can be submitted to FMCSA online.

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