AUGUST 27, 2019
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Clearinghouse requirements kick in Jan. 6, 2020
Operators must query new and existing drivers
by Ken Presley, UMA Staff | August 27, 2019

Beginning January 6, 2020, motor carriers will be required to query a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) database of drivers prior to hiring a new driver, to determine if they have refused or failed drug and alcohol tests. In addition, this must be done at least annually for drivers currently employed by the motor carrier. The database will provide drug and alcohol testing information for the past five years.

Eventually (2023) the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will replace the process of contacting a driver’s previous employer to obtain drug and alcohol testing records. Meanwhile, motor carriers must query the database as well as contact the previous employer(s).

FMCSA will offer two types of queries — limited and full. Limited queries will check for the presence of information in the queried driver’s Clearinghouse record. Full queries provide employers with detailed information about any resolved or unresolved violations in a driver’s Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse record.

FMCSA will charge motor carriers $1.25 for each query. Motor carriers may also purchase bulk query plans, however, the query fee of $1.25 does not change. Click the image above right to download more information.

Please note, driver consent must be obtained by the motor carrier for both types of queries.

Motor carriers should visit . This clearinghouse will be the subject of a Small Fleet Operators education workshop at UMA Motorcoach EXPO, on January 20, shortly after the requirement goes into effect.
The implementation of the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will be a hot topic at the upcoming Safety Management Seminar, powered by UMA. Representatives from the FMCSA, as well as other regulatory agencies will be part of the program aimed at motorcoach compliance, safety, and operations. Attendance is limited to the first 150 registrants and sells out annually. Go to to register and learn more.
Operator sentenced for fraudulent operation
Guilty court decision with judge gavel and wooden cubes with text
On August 19, 2019, Tian Jian Pan, former president of Universe Bus, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to 37 months of time served, 36 months of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment fee. Pan pled guilty in March 2019, for his role in a long-running conspiracy to fraudulently operate multiple bus companies along the East Coast.
According to the indictment, Pan and 13 other defendants conspired to form, control, manage, and operate numerous bus companies—including All-State Travel Bus, Asia Tours, Apex Bus, New Egg Bus, and Universe Bus—in multiple States, and routinely falsified FMCSA Motor Carrier Identification Reports and applications for operating authority. These activities concealed the identities of the companies’ actual operators and the fact that the buses were unsafe.
The investigation revealed that the defendants conspired to falsify FMCSA-regulated records related to bus safety, maintenance, and driver qualifications to impede Agency inspections and reviews. Specifically, they submitted false documents indicating that the companies had driver safety and training programs in place when they did not, and false records related to accident registers, hours of service, vehicle maintenance, drug and alcohol testing programs, and their previous company affiliations. Pan admitted that he and others falsified documents that enabled their companies to obtain operating authority, licenses, stickers, insurance, and other authorities indicating that their buses met Federal and State safety standards. He further admitted that he used false identification documents to obtain a CDL, and provided false documents and information to FMCSA during a compliance review.

Help UMA honor the best of our industry!
Do you have the best drivers and mechanics? Prove it at EXPO!
The annual UMA International Driver Competition and the UMA Maintenance Competition both take place during EXPO and the winners will be recognized with cash prizes and trophies during the Leadership Awards Celebration and Dinner on the evening of Tuesday, January 21, 2020.

The awards ceremony leads off with these two honors and builds to the naming of the Vision Award winners, UMA's highest honor. Learn more about these awards and more ways high achievers and industry leaders are recognized during the most important operator event of the year, UMA Motorcoach EXPO.

The deadline for nominations is September 27, so act quickly!
Dire driver shortage prediction:
What it means for Americans

USA Today Online | August 24, 2019 | by Zoe Nicholson

Trucking companies nationwide are about  60,000 drivers short , a gap that is expected to grow in the coming years and could threaten U.S. supply chains.

That's the conclusion from the  American Trucking Association , a national trade association for the trucking industry, where Chief Economist Bob Costello warns driver shortages could reach six-figures by 2024.

"The increase in the driver shortage should be a warning to carriers, shippers and policymakers because if conditions don’t change substantively, our industry could be short just over 100,000 drivers in five years and 160,000 drivers in 2028," Costello said in July.
Driver recruitment is on everyone's mind, of course, and UMA Motorcoach EXPO will cover the issue with numerous education sessions, including one entitled, Driver Recruitment Insights from Other Industries, on Monday, January 20, 2020.
UMA members elected to leadership in MBMCA

UMA members were elected to several leadership posts at the recent meeting of the Midwest Bus and Motorcoach Association. They held their Annual Convention Trade Show and Roadeo in Bettendorf, IA.

Congratulations to the following UMA members elected to the MBMCSA board for three-year terms.

  • Trent Stange, Compass Coach, MI
  • Jack Kaufman, Timi's Tours, IL
  • Dennis Streif, Vandalia Bus Lines, IL
  • Pete Bachrach, ABC Companies, MN

Congratulations to the following Directors elected as Officers.

  • President: Dave James, BRT, OH
  • Vice-President: Dennis Streif, Vandalia Bus Lines, IL
  • Secretary: Trent Stange, Compass Coach, MI
  • Treasurer: Rex Tennyson, USA Tours, MO
Roadeo Winners

Congrats to the top three drivers who competed in the MBMCA Roadeo! It was a tough course. 

  • 1st place - Daniel Ankebrant,
  • CIT Signature Transportation. 
  • 2nd place - Rebecca Luchtman, Windstar Lines
  • 3rd place - Bill Mong, Compass Coach
Join colleagues online to learn about the FMCSA Portal
UMA Board members from each region will guide discussion about regional issues and the main topic, the FMCSA Portal and Your Business. Please mark your calendar for one of the following meetings and log in or call in to join us! Get more information online at
Meeting Code: 366-513-9797
Phone in to: US: 1 669 900 6833 or 1 646 876 9923
Use the Meeting ID: 366 513 9797
September 10 at 2 p.m. ET
Hosted by Dennis Streif
September 11 at 2 p.m. ET
Hosted by David Moody
September 12 at 2 p.m. ET
Hosted by Marcia Milton
Small fleet education will tackle big issues
Small Fleet Operator Session 1
  • What’s Your Policy Regarding Policy? –Adoption of policies can be poorly reasoned and forgotten – until the worst happens and the plaintiff’s attorney is knocking on your door. Learn the best ways to develop and manage policies.
  • New Driver Training Requirements – For 20 years, Congress mandated FMCSA to establish a driver training curriculum, to no avail. Finally, A Negotiated Rulemaking Committee quickly developed the long-awaited Entry Level Driver Training curriculum. Integration and meeting requirements will be tricky, but the curriculum sets basic standards for what a driver is expected to know.
  • Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse – Use of and mandatory participation in the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse is effective Jan. 6 and promises to eliminate illicit drug users that stay away from CMV driving long enough to test clean and then apply for that opening you need to fill. This tool closes the gap.

Small Fleet Operator Session 2
  • Rest Management – It’s the call you never want; it’s 3:00 am and one of your coaches has turned over in a single-vehicle crash. All indications point to the driver falling asleep. This session will address both the art and the science of managing safety-sensitive human resources in a manner that mitigates sleepiness and sleep deprivation.
  • The Driver You Know – We hope our drivers always present themselves as skilled professionals, but there are times when it absolutely matters; vehicle/driver inspections, the aftermath of a crash, or a passenger problem are instances where drivers need training so they conduct themselves in a manner that best represents your company.
  • Excise Tax Exemptions – You’ve heard about fuel-tax refunds or the excise tax exemptions, but your accountant cannot find it in the tax-code. This session covers where to find the specific references and forms. Many carriers are surprised to find out they may have three years of refunds just waiting to be claimed.

Small Fleet Operator Session 3
  • What really matters? – Email alerts and newsletters from national, state and regional associations barrage your inbox with warnings of doomsday legislation and untenable regulations. You don’t have time for all of it, but our industry’s highly regulated and knowledge is power. This session offers help via a discussion of how and where to invest your time to stay informed.
  • Managing revenue and cost right down to profits – You’re a small fleet operator with myriad responsibilities and it feels like you’re are always running behind; too little time and revenue. This popular revised session (How Much Should I be Charging?) covers a simple method of capturing your operational cost, revenue timing and improving your financial outlook.
Advertisement: New opportunities in Bus & Motorcoach News
Bus & Motorcoach News  is mailed twice monthly to all UMA members. In addition, it's available online 24/7 at and by email, on a schedule you choose! Invite everyone on your staff to stay informed about the industry by signing up for email updates from  Bus & Motorcoach News Sign up here. You can choose daily or weekly updates! Below is a sampling of what's in our latest digital and print editions.

Is the Motor Carriers
Accountability Act too much?

Bus & Motorcoach News | August 24, 2019 | by Dave Milhouser

In our society, “dumb” is often concealed by an intellectual bikini… “spin” that barely hides nonsense, invoking “good intentions.” Once in a while the bikini slips, and we are confronted with Full Frontal Stupidity.

If I read it correctly (which is hard because of the legal language) it appears that the proposed “Motor Carriers Accountability Act” falls into that category (pun intended). In addition to dictating a number of “rights” for passengers who experience delays, it would impose a minimum fine of $50,000 on any carrier who runs afoul of the regulation.

Many of the mandates are common sense, and responsible coach operators already work hard at meeting their spirit. We don’t intentionally leave customers on the side of the road without shelter, food or information.


Discounts on premier
industry education

UMA members save hundreds of dollars when attending UMA Motorcoach EXPO, the Bus & Motorcoach Industry Sales Summit, and the upcoming Safety Management Seminar. For example, when members register at the Early Bird Rate for the UMA Motorcoach EXPO, you pay $399 per person while nonmembers pay $800 each. That's right, members get the best for less.

Member Rate: $315
Non-Member Rate: $495
Member Savings: $80
Member Rate: $325 Early Bird
Non-Member Rate: $625
Member Savings: $300

Member Rate: $399 Early Bird
Non-Member Rate: $800
Member Savings: $401
Motorcoach Industry Calendar

  • 10 UMA Region I Town Hall Meeting - 2:00 p.m. - Join the Meeting
  • 11 UMA Region II Town Hall Meeting - 2:00 p.m. - Join the Meeting
  • 11 Maryland Motorcoach Association Annual Crab Feast, Kentmorr Restaurant and Crab House. Stevensville, MD
  • 12 UMA Region III Town Hall Meeting - 2:00 p.m. - Join the Meeting
  • 18-22 Regional Meeting of NCMA, VMA, and MCASC, Embassy/Marriott/Benton Convention Center, Winston-Salem, NC Learn More

  • 9-10 GNJMA Fall Annual Meeting & Related Events including Group Leader Marketplace, Resorts Atlantic City
  • 13 -15 California Bus Association’s 46th Annual Convention and Trade Show, Sheraton Carlsbad Resort and Spa
  • 20-22 Bus Association of New York (BANY) Annual Meeting and Marketplace, Sands Bethlehem, Bethlehem, PA –
  • October 21-23, 201920th Annual North West Motorcoach Association ROADEO Location TBD




MARCH 2020
  • 25- 27 California Bus Association’s 47th Annual Convention and Trade Show, Omni Rancho Las Palmas in Rancho Mirage, CA (Palm Springs)
Remember, as a UMA member you have the power of discounts on the best products and services, access to relevant education, targeted professional resources, and colleagues all over the map. Remember to consult your member directory when you need help on the road, access to more vehicles to meet demand, or services out of your area. We are UMA! Want to find other members to do business with? Use the online directory.

Reach the UMA staff by calling (703) 838-2929 or by email at . We love to hear from our members!