Carriers will have to start paying the FMCSA $1.25 per query into the impending Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, which will compile records of all drivers who have failed or refused a drug or alcohol test.
Carriers can also buy query packages in bulk to help streamline the process; however, the bundles won’t necessarily cut costs. A bundle of 7,500 queries costs $9,375, and a bundle of 10 costs $12.50 and they don’t expire. Click this link to view the full bundle schedule.
Starting on January 6 of 2020, carriers will be required to query the database for all driver hires, as well as once a year for existing drivers.
FMCSA’s Joe DeLorenzo, director of enforcement and compliance, says the clearinghouse will end the manual process of carriers having to call drivers’ previous employers to inquire about drug and alcohol tests.
However, carriers will need to continue that practice until 2023.
Carriers, including single-digit fleets, will need to open accounts in the clearinghouse, which opens for registration in November. Drivers will also need to register as users so that they can consent to carrier queries within the database.