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FMCSA’s Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Moving Forward – Implementation date January 6, 2020

As discussed in previous First Advantage updates since 2016 and in a March 2019 First Advantage blog, when the FMCSA’s Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Final Rule was first published in the Federal Register, the FMCSA’s Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse was and continues to be scheduled to be implemented on January 6, 2020.

In March, FMCSA announced its launch of a new website with information about the Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. The website includes a timetable for implementation, questions and answers for all users of the Clearinghouse, and opportunities for users of the Clearinghouse to subscribe for future email notifications about the Clearinghouse. The website states that Clearinghouse users will be able to register for the Clearinghouse starting in the fall 2019 and First Advantage has since learned that registration will likely commence in October 2019.  Employers, MROs, SAPs, TPAs and other authorized users of the Clearinghouse should sign up to receive notification confirming when the registration is active and to receive details concerning the registration process, including information on user fees, which is not available at this time.

Historically, a great deal of information was made available such as overview documents, frequently asked questions and answers, and fact sheets. The announcement of fall 2019 registration and the opportunity to subscribe for email notifications are new.  A PDF fact sheet is available for download on the clearinghouse website.


Most recently, updated and expanded FAQ’s were published and are available at the following link.


Please note that more information is needed before service agents, including First Advantage, can move forward with some of the practical steps necessary to comply with the Rule. That being said, preparatory work continues as we work to determine the support that First Advantage can offer our clients to ensure timely compliance as well as to ensure our compliance as a service agent. First Advantage continues to closely follow all developments on the Clearinghouse and to pursue clarifications as needed. Our team also participated in an FMCSA Industry Meeting Briefing in May and has directly reached out to the FMCSA IT Development Division’s Team for direction and guidance on various practical questions.


Opportunity For Public Comment on FMCS Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

On June 20, 2019, a Federal Register Notice and Request for Comments was published regarding FMCSA Agency Information Collection Activities; Renewal and Revision of an Approved Information Collection: Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.

The notice specifically asks for information and comments related to:

  1. Whether the proposed collection (CDL drug and alcohol testing violation information) is necessary for the performance of FMCSA’s functions;
  2. The accuracy of the estimated burden in the Clearinghouse final rule;
  3. Ways for FMCSA to enhance the quality, usefulness and clarity of the collected information; and
  4. Ways that the burden could be minimized without reducing the quality of the collected.

Comments are due August 19, 2019.  First Advantage will be filing comments on the Notice and is contributing to the development of the Substance Abuse Program Administrator’s (SAPAA’s) Government Relations Committee’s comments to the ICR, as its Committee Co-Chair. That being said, all stakeholders interested in the FMCSA Clearinghouse are encouraged to comment directly to the Federal  Docket Management System (FDMS).

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