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Clearinghouse streamlines recruiting going forward — Taking the Hire Road

New changes to DOT requirements to alleviate manual tasks for carriers

Pre-hire requirements can often prove challenging to recruiters during the onboarding process for new employees. The Department of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse requirements of 2020 added even more delays to this process.

Those provisions stated that in order for transportation companies to hire a new CDL driver, they had to run a full clearinghouse query on them to see if there was any data that indicated drug or alcohol violations that would prevent the driver from operating a commercial vehicle legally. 

However, because the process was so new, there was a severe lack of data involved in the query process, thus providing carriers with little to no information. This forced carriers to continue to manually contact previous employers regarding drug-and-alcohol-related reports, while still being required to query prospective drivers.

“When [the clearinghouse process] first began, the system was devoid of data,” said Brandon Wiseman, founder and president of Trucksafe Consulting. “Now we have enough data that should alleviate the gaps we had previously.” 

Starting in January, changes will be made to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s clearinghouse that rid carriers of that monotonous task. According to the FMCSA, “carriers will no longer have to manually reach out to previous employers for drug-and-alcohol-related information about prospective drivers” and will now see that data exclusively in their clearinghouse account.

These changes are “hoped to streamline how trucking companies comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse,” according to a recent FleetOwner article

Despite this news — and given the nature of recruiting — carriers are still obliged to reach out to previous employers for other driver information, particularly to confirm employment and driving history, according to Wiseman.

With this change coming and processes constantly evolving, many carriers are still left with questions. For those who want or require assistance in the world of DOT compliance, Trucksafe Consulting is an experienced company in helping motor carriers with their DOT compliance needs. 

“I just wanted to put better [DOT compliance] content and courses out there and make it available to those that are charged with running a regulated transportation program,” Wiseman said. 

You can also learn more from Wiseman and occasional guests regarding industry topics on the Trucksafe Live podcast that is updated monthly.

Click for more FreightWaves content by Britni Chisenall.

More from Taking the Hire Road:

Steering recruiting amid an exhausted labor market 

Taking DOT compliance to the next level

Quality data for qualified candidates

Britni Chisenall

Britni Chisenall is a sponsored content writer for FreightWaves. She lives in Ooltewah, TN with her husband, Garrett and her cat, Lily. Britni is a graduate of Dalton State College.