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FMCSA resolves Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse glitches

All drivers looking for a new job reminded to register.

Trucking companies onboarding new drivers are no longer eligible for temporary relief from conducting queries within the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse now that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has resolved the system’s technical problems.

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 shortly before it opened for queries due to a flood of registrations and query requests. While the FMCSA worked to correct the problem, employers had been allowed to hire drivers through manual background checks alone.

“For employers or drivers who, due to extremely high traffic volume, experienced issues last week registering or conducting queries, those issues have been addressed,” the FMCSA posted in an alert today. “To ensure compliance, please retry completing those actions at this time.”

The agency reminded employers that they or their designated consortia/third-party administrators (C/TPAs) must now conduct queries (with driver consent) for all prospective commercial drivers and annually for all drivers currently employed. Employers must be registered prior to hiring a new driver and before they can complete the annual queries. Only drivers seeking new employment must be registered.

FMCSA also emphasized that employers or their C/TPAs and medical review officers must now report drug and alcohol violations into the clearinghouse.


  1. Chris

    So, I have CDL hazmat.
    Back ground checked by fbi,cia,dps,Police and god knows who else.
    So I have twic card just about useless. Back ground checked by all the same outfits above.
    So explain because I just don’t get it.
    Why do we have 1 more burocrap government circus act to double check the double checked burocrap double checked.

  2. Randell Turney

    What about the sap program? I’ve spent over 50,000 dollars on rehab not to mention losing MY business all because I failed a drug test,. A sap wanted to spend more of my money and complete three more months of his program. Believe me, I’m healed, I have 33 years otr, over 3 million miles! NO ACCIDENTS, NO TICKETS!! You people are causing this industry good safe drivers over these stupid laws. Saps do nothing more than what a company can do on their own.

  3. Tony miller

    There are a lot of people who have their class A or B license, that do not work in the trucking industry mandated by DOT or Federal motor carrier, those people who work in emergency services like fire department etc. Are not managed for drug screening in many places but they do hold their commercial drivers license for future sake. When I went on the site, I had a lot of trouble trying to fill out some things and then the screen just went blank, and according to people I know in the fire service the same thing happened to them. I think you should rethink some of the questions on there.

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John Gallagher

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.