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February 2020: Drivers & the Clearinghouse

SAP reports are still required


 The Clearinghouse does not change the requirement for SAP reports.  SAP REPORTS MUST STILL BE SENT TO EMPLOYERS!!!!

SAPs are helping drivers get registered


Numerous SAPs have told me that they are taking it upon themselves to help drivers get registered on the Clearinghouse when the drivers arrive for the first appointment.  It could take enough time that in some cases it means the driver will have to return for another appointment.
 
In order to register, the driver will need to create a password.  The driver will also have to bring a smartphone to receive an access code to be able to get into the Clearinghouse.
 
Here are the registration instructions that a driver must follow.  https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov/Resource/Index/Registration-Driver-Instructions

These instructions include screenshots.  It’s relatively simple.  The screens ask only for the driver’s contact information, including e-mail address, followed by CDL#, and state and country where the license was issued.  (Registration for a Canadian driver requires the two-letter abbreviation for the province.  For a license issued in Mexico, there is only one code:  MX)
 
The driver will not be asked for the name of his employer.
 
The driver will be asked how he/she would like to be contacted by DOT.  The driver has two options.  1) E-mail, or 2) US Mail.  Encourage the driver to choose e-mail.  FMCSA warns drivers that if they choose U.S. Mail, there could be a delay of as much as 2-3 weeks if DOT needs to contact the driver.  Depending on the situation, it may mean that the driver is unable to drive for that 2-3 week period, which would result in serious loss of income.  E-mail is a more efficient way for a driver to be contacted, if need be.  If a driver has no e-mail address, it would be worth the time and effort to set up a free e-mail account with Gmail, or Yahoo, or one of the other no cost e-mail services.
Go to Driver Registration Instructions

A SAP cannot search for a driver on the Clearinghouse


Some of you told me that you are not able to find a driver when you search.  Keep in mind:  The Clearinghouse is not a searchable database.  You can’t get into a driver’s record by entering information in a search box.  You can only get to a driver’s record when that driver’s name shows up on your own record, under Pending Assessments, or Pending Return to Duty Test Eligibility. 

If the driver name doesn’t show up on your dashboard, you’re not linked.  And that could be because 1) the driver isn’t registered; OR 2) the driver hasn’t properly requested you on the Clearinghouse to be his/her SAP.  Both of those reasons need to be corrected in order for you to put information on the driver’s record.
 
If you don’t enter information on the driver’s record, the violation will always show up, and a future employer won’t be able to hire the driver.

What about the defiant driver who has a violation, but won’t register?


A few of you have told me that you are working with a driver who absolutely refuses to register, and you wonder what you can say about it. 
 
You should explain that after January 6, every employer who hires a driver must conduct a Full Query on that driver on the Clearinghouse.  A driver who isn’t registered can’t be queried, and therefore can’t be hired.
 
In simple words, a driver who is not registered on the Clearinghouse will never be able to get a job.

Notification e-mail to a SAP is not working…yet


A few weeks ago, I wrote that when a driver invites you to be his SAP, you would receive an automatic e-mail notifying you of the request.  However, the Clearinghouse informs me that that e-mail function is not working yet.  It will, eventually.
 
In the meantime, there are only two ways you will know that a SAP has requested your SAP service: 
 
1)  the driver tells you that he has requested you to be his SAP; OR
2)  you regularly go to your record on the Clearinghouse and check your dashboard. 
 
How often?  I suggest you log in to your Clearinghouse account at least once a day.  Twice would be better.  If you are a SAP who has frequent SAP cases, checking your dashboard three times a day would be a good idea (morning, noon and night!), because when a driver has a violation, he’s anxious.

Be patient


Many employers haven’t registered.  Many employers don’t even know about the Clearinghouse.
 
Many drivers also haven’t registered.  Driver are finding out that in order to be considered for a new job, they must be registered on the Clearinghouse.
 
Drivers who test positive or have a refusal are learning that in order for a SAP to be able to record their progress through the return-to-duty process, they must be registered on the Clearinghouse.
 
It will take a while for Clearinghouse things to sort out.  I’m always glad when a SAP tells me that they completed a case on the Clearinghouse, and it went smoothly.  Eventually, that’s how they all should go.

SAP Training in Baltimore, April 24-25


It’s not too early to think about the SAP training coming up in Baltimore, April 24-25.
 
Hotel information and registration is at www.eapassn.org
Go to EAPA SAP Training Registration

ODAPC’s CBD Clarification on February 18


If you are on ODAPC’s listserv, and if you are registered on the Clearinghouse, you would have received ODAPC’s notice about CBD use

When the DOT employee in your office says “But it was just CBD oil”, ask the employee to read one sentence in bullet #3 on the page: 

“Furthermore, CBD use is not a legitimate medical explanation for a laboratory-confirmed marijuana positive result.” 

The MRO didn’t accept that excuse, and neither can you.  A marijuana positive is a marijuana positive, regardless of the source of the THC.
Go to ODAPC's February CBD Notice

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  |  SAPlist.com and SAPlist U
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