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January 2020: FMCSA Clearinghouse Started Yesterday!

The long awaited January 6 finally arrived. 

And with it came anxiety.  If you are just not quite sure how this thing is going to work, you’re not alone. 
FMCSA’s website crashed several times yesterday.  Millions of us were trying to access it.  But it was alive and well this morning, so it’s been repaired.  (FMCSA’s anxiety level is probably greater than yours!)
FMCSA has put a previous webinar on its website.

When you are on the FMCSA webinar page, scroll down, and click on “SAPs”.  You may have to install Adobe Connect, which will take 5 seconds.  This is a recording of a webinar that took place in December.  You can watch it, but you can’t participate.  You can’t click on anything, and you can’t type in any questions.  Just watch.  It’s an hour. 
Most of the hour is about the Clearinghouse in general.  Yes, it’s boring, and you may think it doesn’t apply to you as a SAP.  But stick with it.  It’s important information.  You need to know how the Clearinghouse works, beginning to end.
Go to the Clearinghouse "Learn" Webinar
Let me clarify a few things:
  • The Clearinghouse is for FMCSA only.  No other transportation modes will be on the Clearinghouse.
  • If you intend to provide SAP services to FMCSA truck drivers, you must be registered on the Clearinghouse.
  • Recording of violations started yesterday, January 6.  DOT considers the violation date to be the date on which the employee provided a specimen of urine or breath.  For a drug test that is ordered today, the urine specimen will be overnighted to the laboratory, analyzed on Wednesday or Thursday.  If it’s non-negative, the report will be sent to the MRO, who must interview the employee.  The MRO's determination of a positive or refusal might be Friday, but more likely early next week. 
  • The employer is responsible for entering the results of positive alcohol tests and employer-determined refusals. 
  • If you are finishing with a driver whose violation date was any time prior to January 6, it won’t be on the Clearinghouse, and you simply complete it as you have been doing in the past.  Don’t try to access the Clearinghouse for that violation.
Some of you have asked if you will be able to view a driver’s violation history on the Clearinghouse.  The answer is no.  However, nothing prohibits you from asking the driver (or the employer) if there are previous violations.  And…if the positive result was for a follow-up test, you’ll know there was a previous violation.
When you are on the Clearinghouse to enter the “Date of the Initial SAP Assessment”, you will see an additional note on the screen that says “If the assessment took place over multiple days, enter the date it was completed.”  SAPs are finding that an assessment requires more than one session, especially when you need time for the employee to complete assessment instruments (SASSI, etc.) and a depression screen.  Also, if you do collateral.  SAPs often tell me that one hour is simply not enough time to get it all done.  When you need more than one session, don’t enter a date until you have totally completed the assessment and you have told the employee precisely what your treatment recommendation is…where, what, and how long.  Then you must enter that date, before the end of the next business day.  (The date should match the date at the bottom of your Initial Report).
The next (and final) time that you return to the driver’s record on the Clearinghouse is to enter the date on which you determined that the driver demonstrated successful compliance.  Again, you must enter that date at the end of the next business day.
That’s enough for now. 

EAPA Announces SAP Qualification and Update Trainings for 2020

  • Feb 14-15          Las Vegas
  • Apr 24-25           Baltimore
  • Jun 12-13           Denver
  • Oct 30-31           Houston

For hotel information, and to register:

Go to EAPA SAP Training Registration

SAPlist UREMINDER: SAPlist U For Your Continuing Ed Requirement

SAPlist U provides 12 hours of continuing education related to DOT's testing rules.  It is endorsed by EACC, NASW, and NBCC.  It’s online, convenient, and you can complete it at your own pace.

Go to SAPlist U Continuing Ed
Until next time,

Lee Mauk signature

Lee Mauk  | and SAPlist U
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