The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s New Year Resolution is to improve our Nation’s roadway’s safety. The FMCSA and the Federal government hope to do that with the help of a secure, online database called the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will give employers and other authorized users real-time information about commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders’ drug and alcohol program violations.


The hope is that the database will improve safety by giving employers and authorized individuals access to real-time information. They need to make informed safety decisions about which employees need to go from safety-sensitive functions, including operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will institute a database of drivers who’ve failed or refused a drug test, but Employers will be required to do both electronic AND manual record queries for the next three years.

The causation for this is that it will take three years to get all current events to populate the database. A violation that occurs in 2019 will not appear in the database, requiring a manual check with a driver’s former employers. The estimated timing for the database to be current will be in 2023, and manual tests will no longer be necessary.

All fleets will be required to query for all new driver hire and yearly for existing drivers. Additionally, employers will be required to report drivers that failed or refused to take DOT drug tests. Also, the employers will have to report the results for drivers required to complete a return-to-duty program and clean drug test to the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.

Registering before January 6, 2020, is the first step in ensuring your company, and you will be ready when the Clearinghouse is operational. It’s also essential for registering that you purchase a query plan before we can conduct queries on your behalf. Without the query plan, we will not be able to make inquiries for you, and we have been told on proper authority to purchase your query plan before January 6, 2020, to avoid any unnecessary delays in conducting queries.

The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will commence on January 6. Peopletrail will remain your consortium/ third-party administrator. Our clients who employ CDL or CLP drivers must designate Peopletrail as their consortium/ third-party administrator (C/TPA) in the Clearinghouse. You may assign us permission to report violations, report return-to-duty (RTD) test results, and conduct queries on their behalf.

Peopletrail is committed to helping its clients through this transition with accurate and compliant background checks. Every report, decision, and relationship have the Peopletrail’s personalized touch. Let Peopletrail help you prepare by January 6, 2020, for the drug and alcohol clearinghouse.