Carrier Must Review Within 24 Hours!
NOTE to ICSA fleet owners: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has just updated the notifications sent to carriers when there is a change in the information received by the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse about truck drivers employed by carriers. Effective March 8, 2023, the Clearinghouse will email motor carriers (or carriers’ assistants or third-party drug testing administrators authorized by carriers to receive Clearinghouse notifications) whenever Clearinghouse driver information has changed.
Most importantly, motor carriers must conduct a full follow-on query within 24 hours to see if the new information prohibits the driver from performing safety-sensitive functions, such as operating a truck.
Previously, the Clearinghouse notified motor carriers only when changes had occurred within 30 days of a pre-employment query. Now the Clearinghouse will send notifications of changes within 12 months of a pre-employment or annual query.
The change in the driver’s information may be good news or bad news – it may be a change in return-to-duty status, a removed violation, or a new drug and alcohol violation placing the driver in the “Prohibited” status. The notification will only say that there is new information in the driver’s Clearinghouse record.
Since a full Clearinghouse query requires driver consent, the Clearinghouse notification will include a “Send Consent Request” button, and the motor carrier will not be charged for the query when using that mechanism. The follow-on query will then be considered the annual query for that driver and a new query will not be required for 12 months unless there is another Clearinghouse notification.