The FMCSA Clearinghouse Final Rule established requirements for the Clearinghouse and identified Jan. 6, 2020 as the implementation date. The Clearinghouse will contain drug and alcohol program violation information for employees subject to the testing requirements under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations in 49 CFR part 382. See the links for additional information.
What this means for districts:
By Jan. 6, 2020, districts will need to establish a login and password, in order to access the Clearinghouse. Districts should see that driver applicants are in the Clearinghouse so that a full search can be conducted in order to determine whether a disqualifying violation is on record. In addition, at least annual checks must be conducted on current drivers after that date. Districts and their Medical Review Officers (MROs) are also required to report violations to the system. The federal regulations contemplate that manual driving record checks as well as new electronic checks should continue to be conducted in connection with the bus driver application and employment process through January of 2023 after which an electronic check with the Clearinghouse will suffice.
Districts are required are required to notify drivers that personal information collected as part of the Clearinghouse process is subject to being reported to the system. The KSBA “A” board policy (06.221) describes the distribution of “educational materials” relating to drug testing requirements.
We would recommend supplementing previously supplied materials with a new communication along the lines of: “The DOT by regulation has set up a new database that requires as of January 2020 reporting of the following information on individual drivers to the federal drug and alcohol testing Clearinghouse: verified positive, adulterated, or substituted test results; confirmed alcohol tests at .04 or higher; refusal to submit to required tests; the district’s actual knowledge (as defined by federal regulation) of DOT regulatory violations, including violations based on prohibited on duty, pre-duty, or post-accident alcohol use and controlled substance use; and regulatory return to duty and follow-up testing information as applicable.” For additional details, please reference the links above.
Policy reference 06.221