The FMCSA Clearinghouse and Driver CDL#s
Every SAP who has registered their e-mail address on ODAPC’s webpage received an e-mail on Thursday about the Clearinghouse. (If you didn’t receive an e-mail, it means you haven’t registered your e-mail, and under the revised 40.281, you are not qualified to be a SAP. I suggest you register on ODAPC’s website as soon as you can).
ODAPC’s e-mail is directed at MROs, C/TPAs, labs, and BATs. The e-mail deals with the part of the regulation that requires the Custody/Control Form (CCF) (for drug test results) and the Alcohol Testing Form (ATF) (for alcohol test results) to include the driver’s CDL# and the State of issuance of that CDL.
Some of you have asked me why SAPs were not mentioned in that e-mail notice.
SAPs aren’t involved with entering any information on the CCF or the ATF. 382.705(d) says that a SAP is responsible to enter only the following information on the Clearinghouse:
- Your name, address and phone number
- The driver’s name, DOB, CDL# and State of issuance (you will obtain that information from a copy of the CCF or the ATF, which you should request from the employer, or from the driver’s actual CDL).
- The date of your initial assessment
- The date on which you determined that the employee has successfully complied with your recommendation.
Of these 4 items, #1, #2 and #3 must be reported by the close of the next business day following your assessment. If your assessment extends over more than one meeting, you would wait until after the final assessment meeting. If you facilitate the driver’s entry into a treatment program, you would wait until the treatment provider has agreed to take the client and after you have given this information to the client. Item #4 is to be entered at the end of the SAP process. This is your report of successful compliance, and it must be reported by the close of the next business day following your determination.
If you decide that the driver has not been successful, you don’t enter anything on the Clearinghouse. It stays blank. The case simply remains open, and a future employer can’t hire a driver whose case is still open. When the driver decides he wants to return to driving, the driver will have to return to you; no other SAP could get involved. You are the SAP on this case, and you are only SAP that can report compliance. Keep in mind, there is no statute of limitations. A driver’s case remains open until the SAP indicates successful compliance, even if that is 5 years. Or more.
Regarding your SAP reports, DOT has not changed anything in 40.311. SAP reports are the same as they have been. Your SAP reports would continue to carry the employee’s social security #, but not the DOB and not the CDL # or State of issuance, because the employer will see that information on the Clearinghouse. If the employee had been terminated, a future employer can obtain your SAP reports and your follow-up testing plan directly from you. If the employee had worked in a DOT position after the SAP return-to-duty process, that paperwork will have to go from the previous employer to the new employer. When a driver takes a new job, the previous employer must always send the CCFs for the driver’s return-to-duty test and all completed follow-up tests to that new employer.
If you haven’t already checked out FMCSA’s Clearinghouse website, I suggest you do so: https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov There are a few glitches on those pages, but if you return to the site in a few days, they should be fixed.
One thing that has changed, is that as a SAP, you are able to designate an “assistant” who can enter information on the Clearinghouse on your behalf. I don’t know how that will work, but we can expect there will be more information about this in the coming months.
In the meantime, if you are scheduled for continuing education hours in the coming months, I suggest that you ask the provider if there will be explanations or study materials that deal specifically with the Clearinghouse. Now is the time to learn what this new regulation is about. Don’t wait until January.
Watch for more e-mails from SAPlist about the Clearinghouse. I will try to help you understand how you interact with the rule when it is implemented in January 2020.