Truck Drivers: Are You Ready for the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse?
Posted: December 23, 2019
The FMCSA’s Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse site is slated to go live next month, and many truck drivers might be feeling the pressure to fully understand what will be expected of them once it goes into effect. The good news? There’s no reason to be intimidated. The Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse is specifically designed to streamline the hiring process for recruiters and carriers…which will, in turn, make applying for these jobs easier for the drivers involved.
The Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse is simply an online database that will house drug- and alcohol-violation data, keeping everything carriers need to know in a centralized location and allowing drivers to provide electronic consent to pre-employment screening requests.
Not all CDL-A drivers are required to register for the Clearinghouse. However, drivers who are actively searching for new career opportunities with other trucking companies will need to register in order to have the option of giving electronic consent. Because speed is so critical for recruiters who need to get drivers in trucks quickly, drivers who register before January 6 will have their Clearinghouse accounts and contact preferences set up so that they can respond to query requests beginning on or after that date. Drivers not actively seeking employment do not need to register by January 6.
To better understand the mechanics of the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse, it’s important to know that there are two types of queries carriers can pull when running a check on a prospective driver: full and limited.
A full query enables the carrier to see detailed information about any drug- or alcohol-related violations in a driver’s record. Before this information is released to the carrier, though, they must first obtain the driver’s electronic consent via the Clearinghouse site. Full queries must be included in the pre-employment process, and at most carriers—Averitt included—recruiters and leadership must have a clean full query in hand before the driver can attend orientation.
A limited query does not release specific violation information contained in a driver’s Clearinghouse record, but it does allow an employer to determine whether the driver’s information indicates resolved or unresolved drug/alcohol program violations. Driver consent is still required for a limited query, but it can be obtained outside of the Clearinghouse system.
Drivers who are hesitant to set up a Clearinghouse account due to privacy concerns should know that because the FMCSA takes the protection of personal information so seriously, security measures have been put in place to keep driver data safe at all times. For example, the Clearinghouse will require authentication through a login.gov username and password to access records. More information to address privacy concerns can be found here.
If you recently registered an account with the Clearinghouse site because you’re a professional CDL-A truck driver looking for a great career opportunity, give our recruiters a call! At Averitt Express, we’re always looking for quality drivers. Whether you’re a seasoned truck driving pro or former military making the transition to a civilian career, we have a lane for you. Turn Here.