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  • ITVI.USA
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  • OTRI.USA
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  • OTVI.USA
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  • DATVF.CHIATL
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  • DATVF.DALLAX
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  • DATVF.LAXDAL
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  • DATVF.SEALAX
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Driver issuesNewsTrucking Regulation

FMCSA postpones queries after Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse crash

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is providing temporary relief to employers who are trying to hire new truck drivers but are unable to complete required background checks in the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse.

“If you are an employer currently experiencing technical difficulties accessing the Clearinghouse and are unable to conduct required pre-employment queries, you may hire a driver using solely the procedures set forth in 49 CFR 391.23(e),” the agency states in an alert posted on the clearinghouse website. “Once FMCSA has determined and announced that users are able to access the Clearinghouse, pre-employment queries must also be conducted as required by section 382.701(a).”

Pre-employment queries became a federal requirement for carriers as of Jan. 6, when the clearinghouse opened for conducting such checks. However, the system began crashing over the past several days due to a flood of registrations and query requests.

“If the FMCSA didn’t provide this allowance, carriers would be in limbo with drivers that they couldn’t put to work until the query results were returned, potentially losing out on revenue,” said Marilyn Surber, transportation adviser for Tulsa, Oklahoma-based trucking compliance consultant Tenstreet. “They did the right thing.”

Surber cautioned, however, that while FMCSA’s query postponement means employers can temporarily hire drivers without conducting a full query, “the clearinghouse regulatory mandate is still in place, meaning that once the clearinghouse site is back up, employers still have to run a full query for all drivers hired on or after January 6, 2020.”

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John Gallagher, Washington Correspondent

Based in Washington, D.C., John specializes in regulation and legislation affecting all sectors of freight transportation. He has covered rail, trucking and maritime issues since 1993 for a variety of publications based in the U.S. and the U.K. John began business reporting in 1993 at Broadcasting & Cable Magazine. He graduated from Florida State University majoring in English and business.

23 Comments

  1. I’d love for Anonymous to Firestorm the whole damn thing including DOT and FMCSA’s connecting sites. Then go after the Departments BOD’s and their bank accounts and retirement accounts. Just destroy their Fkn lives because that’s what they are doing to those who have been in the industry for a while. More rules = more BS!

    1. Quote:

      “I’d love for Anonymous to Firestorm the whole damn thing including DOT and FMCSA’s connecting sites”

      LOL !

      There’s a more secure and sustainable way for creating a change . CHAOS is not the answer . There’s no need to ad to the hardship .

      Sure satellite connections and websites can be interrupted , but you need to anticipate the result of your actions as well , and how the opposing party will retaliate .

      WE need to wisen up and align ourselves collectively . Nothing prevents someone from creating another website , another bank account , and so on and so forth . What prevents a “system” from going back to its old ways is to “change that system” , not simply interrupt it .

      Example :
      Prior truck driver strikes in regards to high oil prices in the past didn’t prevent oil prices from rising in the future .
      It was simply a temporary Band-Aid .

      In my humble opinion …………

  2. Typical legislative bs. Make a rule to look like they are doing something but make it impossible for anyone to implement. Tried to register a week ago but was unable to recd a java script error – I called and sent tech support two emails but heard absolutely nothing back. CDL drivers already subject to preemployment and random drug and alcohol testing- this creates another needless layer of bureaucracy to the hiring process. Trump needs to reign in these bureaucrats.

    1. This is one of the most needed fixes to the drug testing loop hole.
      Because carriers wait to the last minute and overload a system with 100 times the typical traffic it is a bad system.
      If you bothered to take a moment to understand what the system that is a couple decades late is designed to do you would realize that this will make the hiring process easier not harder.

      1. No one waited until the last second. Companies are required to do it for everyone, starting Jan 6th. You couldn’t do it on Jan 5th, or 4th or 3rd…

        The whole set up was mistake. They should have made it gradual, or state by state, but no – they told every carrier they had to wait to do it until Jan 6th, and that everything had to be done by Jan 6th to be legally able to drive. It’s a disaster.

  3. More stupid b.s. for an over regulated industry as it is. Much like electronic logs it won’t do anything for actual safety like actually knowing how to drive a truck safely in the real world.

  4. I am the administrator for a small fleet and also hold a CDL. I successfully registered our company, which was very difficult, but I am unable to register myself as a driver. Why? The site crosschecks my license with CDLIS and tells me that I don’t exist. Trust me, I know my own name, date of birth and license number! And this is now required of millions of drivers? This entire system is a solution in search of a problem.

    1. As a Safety Consultant I share in your stress and disappointment. We have received the same response with assisting drivers and carriers through this registration process.
      One question that has not been answered is where in the rules does it state that a driver must possess internet access and submit to a 3rd party such as yahoo or google in order to operate a CMV and possess a CDL?

      Hmm? Anyone have that answer? Because there is none. But the new registration requires that the driver posses an email in order to get into the system. What if I don’t want and email and or do not have internet or don’t want internet? Is the federal government saying I cannot work in this industry? By what law passed by congress is this stated? Will the Federal government guarantee the protection of my personal information I must submit to these 3rd party vendors such as Google and yahoo? So why should be subject to have to use it?

    2. We do driver onboarding fo 100’s of carriers and we have only seen CDLIS issues when there is a CDL issue.
      You need to see what is happening if the issue continues after the network overload is fixed.
      If this issue continues there is an issue outside the FMCSA and this process may have caught an issue for you.

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