Prioritizing a safe and productive work environment is top of mind for most employers. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) ensures the safe and efficient movement of goods throughout the country. The keys of DOT include excellence, trust, fairness, empathy, and imagination. These core values are at the forefront of DOT and how they approach workplace endeavors.


Using the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, employers will have access to necessary information about drug and alcohol violations before hiring someone. Let’s take a deeper look!


What is the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse?


Keeping roads safe and efficient is of the utmost importance. Utilizing the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is one way to do so. If you’ve never heard of the Clearinghouse, don’t worry. It’s a secure database available to employers, state law enforcement, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLA). 


The database details information about commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders’ drug and alcohol violations. Some of the types of drivers the Clearinghouse include are:


  • Interstate motor and passenger carriers
  • School bus drivers
  • Municipal vehicle drivers 
  • Drivers that work for federal organizations
  • Limousine drivers


The Clearinghouse shows all violations after January 6, 2020, including positive drug tests and the refusal to take drug tests. That said, drivers do have the ability to complete a return-to-duty (RTD) process. This process includes another drug test and is also recorded in the database. 


How to Use the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse


With the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, employers can access real-time data about CDL and CPL program violators. Those that are authorized to use the Clearinghouse include:


  • CDL and CPL drivers
  • Employers of drivers who operate commercial motor vehicles
  • Medical review officers
  • Substance abuse professionals
  • Law enforcement personnel


To access this data, employers or third-party administrators must undergo an easy registration process. When registered, you’ll have access to complete the following:


  • Conduct a partial or complete query for the pre-employment investigation process.
  • Annually conduct limited queries for all employed drivers.
  • Request consent, typically electronically, from the driver for an entire query.
  • Report drug and alcohol program violations.


Moreover, drivers can also access their information in the Clearinghouse. If they register, they can access their records at no additional cost. It includes proof of their drug tests, drug and alcohol program violations, and return-to-duty process need-to-knows.

Conducted Queries: The Essentials

Conducted queries help companies ensure that job applicants aren’t prohibited from performing essential job functions. More specifically, it aids employers in evaluating applicants with unresolved drug and alcohol program violations. 


Drivers do have the ability to document their resolved violations, though. Suppose a driver is being hired after completing the return-to-duty process. In that case, employers must report the new negative drug test results as well as the date of successful program completion.


Driving commercial motor vehicles is an important job and is one that requires a sound mind. The U.S. DOT Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse improves conditions for drivers and passengers across the country. 


Ready to Create a Safe Work Environment?


Another way to ensure a safe environment for workers is by conducting background screenings. With a background check, you can run the national sex offender registry, criminal records, and the national criminal database. It will also validate social security numbers, previous employment, and past and current addresses. 


Running a background screening is the number one way to ensure you’re hiring the right fit for your company. Here at Soteria, we offer various services, from background screenings to drug testing. We provide high-quality, accurate results promptly. If you’re looking to run a screening or administer a test, we can help.

Contact us to learn more and get started!

Skip to content