FMCSA Clearinghouse queries on new drivers is essential for ensuring compliance with federal regulations, identifying high-risk drivers, improving safety, and protecting your business. As a responsible employer, it is your duty to ensure that your drivers meet the necessary safety requirements and are not a risk to themselves or others on the road. Running FMCSA Clearinghouse queries on new drivers is a simple and effective way to achieve this goal.
WHAT IS AN FMCSA CLEARINGHOUSE QUERY AND WHY SHOULD I RUN QUERIES ON NEW DRIVERS?
As a business owner, you understand the importance of hiring qualified and reliable drivers for your fleet. To ensure that your drivers meet the necessary safety requirements, you need to conduct FMCSA Clearinghouse queries on new drivers. In this article, we will explore what an FMCSA Clearinghouse query is and why you should run queries on new drivers.
WHAT IS AN FMCSA
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Clearinghouse is a secure online database that provides real-time access to important information about commercial drivers. It was established to improve safety on the nation’s highways by identifying drivers who are prohibited from operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) due to drug and alcohol program violations.
An FMCSA Clearinghouse query is a search conducted on the Clearinghouse database to determine if a driver is prohibited from operating a CMV. Employers are required by law to conduct an FMCSA Clearinghouse query before hiring a new driver, and at least once a year for current employees. Employers must also report drug and alcohol program violations to the Clearinghouse.
WHY SHOULD I RUN QUERIES ON NEW DRIVERS?
Running FMCSA Clearinghouse queries on new drivers is important for several reasons:
As mentioned earlier, employers are required by law to conduct FMCSA Clearinghouse queries on new drivers before hiring them. Failure to do so can result in fines and other penalties. Running queries on new drivers ensures that you are complying with federal regulations and avoiding potential legal issues.
FMCSA Clearinghouse queries can help identify high-risk drivers who have a history of drug and alcohol program violations. By identifying these drivers, you can take appropriate action to ensure the safety of your fleet and other drivers on the road.
The primary goal of the FMCSA Clearinghouse is to improve safety on the nation’s highways. By running queries on new drivers, you are taking a proactive approach to ensure that your drivers meet the necessary safety requirements and are not a risk to themselves or others on the road.
PROTECTING YOUR BUSINESS
Hiring a driver with a history of drug and alcohol program violations can be detrimental to your business. Such drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents and can damage your company’s reputation. Running FMCSA Clearinghouse queries on new drivers helps protect your business from these potential risks.
WHAT IS THE COST TO THE MOTOR CARRIER TO RUN
A CLEARINGHOUSE QUERY ON A NEW DRIVER?
All employers of CDL drivers must purchase a query plan in the Clearinghouse. This query plan enables employers (Motor Carriers), and their consortia/third party administrators (C/TPAs), to conduct queries of driver Clearinghouse records as required per § 382.701.
Query plans may only be purchased from the FMCSA Clearinghouse website by registered employers. Employers can choose a query plan that fits their business needs. C/TPAs cannot purchase query plans on behalf of an employer.
Individual Queries purchased in the FMCSA Clearinghouse Portal are $1.25 each. Vertical Identity charges a service fee of $12 per Query is the Motor Carrier prefers Vertical Identity as their C/TPA to run the query on their behalf.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF THE FMCSA
CLEARINGHOUSE QUERIES FOR CDL DRIVERS?
There are two types of FMCSA Clearinghouse queries for CDL drivers:
A full query is a comprehensive search of the Clearinghouse database that provides information on whether a driver has any drug and alcohol program violations. Employers are required to conduct a full query on new drivers before hiring them, and at least once a year for current employees.
A limited query is a restricted search of the Clearinghouse database that only reveals whether a driver has any drug and alcohol program violations. Employers can conduct limited queries on current employees during their annual query requirement or when there is a need to investigate a driver’s drug and alcohol program violations.
Both types of queries require the driver’s consent before the employer can conduct the search. Employers must also provide a pre-employment query consent form to the driver, and obtain their electronic or written consent before conducting a full query. Limited queries do not require the driver’s consent, but the employer must still provide notice to the driver that a limited query will be conducted.
HOW DO CDL DRIVERS REGISTER IN
THE FMCSA CLEARINGHOUSE?
CDL drivers can register for the FMCSA Clearinghouse in a few simple steps:
- Go to the FMCSA Clearinghouse website and click on “Register” to create a Clearinghouse account.
- Enter your personal information, including your name, date of birth, and email address.
- Provide your CDL information, including your CDL number and state of issuance.
- Consent to the terms and conditions of the Clearinghouse and authorize electronic access to your drug and alcohol program information.
Once registered, CDL drivers can log into their Clearinghouse account to view their drug and alcohol program information, provide consent for employers to conduct queries, and access their driver record. It’s important for CDL drivers to keep their Clearinghouse account up to date with accurate and current information to ensure compliance with FMCSA regulations.
HOW DO CDL DRIVERS GIVE CONSENT TO EMPLOYERS
FOR AN FMCSA CLEARINGHOUSE QUERY?
CDL drivers can provide consent to their employers for an FMCSA Clearinghouse query in one of two ways:
CDL drivers can electronically provide consent to their employers by logging into their own personal Clearinghouse account. After an employer runs a query for the driver, the driver should be able to view and click on the green button stating ‘I Consent’ and then click on ‘Yes’ on the next pop-up box if they recognize the employer running the query for them.
CDL drivers can also provide written consent to their employers by completing a paper consent form. The employer must provide the form to the driver and obtain their written consent before conducting a full query. The form must include the driver’s name, CDL number, and the date the consent was obtained. Once the employer receives the signed consent form, they can conduct a full query on the driver.
It’s important for CDL drivers to provide consent to their employers before a query is conducted, as failure to provide consent can result in disciplinary action. Employers must also ensure that they have a query plan in place and that the query is conducted in accordance with FMCSA regulations.