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January 2020: MORE About the Clearinghouse

Monday’s e-mail raised even more questions.

What if the driver's request doesn't show up on my dashboard?

 You will see 3 categories on your dashboard:
  1. Pending requests  (drivers who have requested you to be a SAP)
  2. Pending initial assessments (drivers who you have “accepted”, and are being assessed)
  3. Pending return-to-duty test eligibility (drivers who you have not yet determined to have successfully complied with your recommendation)
When a driver has “requested” you, you’ll see it in your “Pending requests”.  If it’s not there, you obviously can’t “accept” it, and you won’t be able to access the driver’s record.
If there’s no request, the MRO may not yet have entered the positive drug test or refusal (2 days), or the employer has not yet entered the positive alcohol test or refusal (3 days).
It could also mean that the driver has not registered himself on the Clearinghouse.

Who registers a driver or an employer on the Clearinghouse?

An employer must register the company.  When registering, he doesn’t indicate who his drivers are.  The company’s record stands alone and is not linked to drivers
Each driver must register himself.  (An employer can’t register his drivers.)  A driver must establish a password so he will be able to access his record in the future.  He enters his name, date of birth, email address, phone #, CDL# and the state in which the CDL was issued.  He won’t be asked for the name of his employer.  If a driver has a violation, it is his violation, not his employer’s violation.  This means that a driver can register, even though his employer might not yet have registered.
An owner/operator must register himself as a driver, and also register himself as an employer.  Each owner/operator has two records on the Clearinghouse.

What if the driver isn't registered on the Clearinghouse?

When a driver calls for an appointment, ask him if he is registered.  If he says he is, tell him to bring his password and smartphone to the appointment.  (If he doesn’t have a password, he isn’t registered.)
Some SAPs have discovered that in a few cases this week, even when a driver said that he was registered, he really wasn’t. 
You will save yourself a lot of headache by sitting at your computer with the driver and getting him/her registered.  It will take only a few minutes, but when you do this, the driver’s record will definitely be in the Clearinghouse.
If you are a SAP in a larger organization, you could designate a support staff person to assist with getting a driver registered, or to help the driver extend a request to you so you will have access to the driver’s record.  Ask the driver to arrive 30 minutes early, or to stay after the first session to get this done.

What does the MRO do if the driver isn't registered?

The MRO who verified the positive drug test or refusal must enter the result in the Clearinghouse.  The MRO enters that information by using the driver’s CDL#, which appears on the CCF from the collection site.  The Clearinghouse will accept the violation information, even if the driver hasn’t yet registered.
If you help the driver to register, and if the violation has been entered by the MRO or the employer, the driver’s CDL# will immediately link to the violation.  The driver can then enter your name as the SAP, you will be able to accept the request on your dashboard, and you’re good to go.  Several SAPs told me this week that this is how it worked.
Yes, this may take valuable time away from the first assessment meeting.  It might require a second or third assessment meeting.  One SAP today said she is considering a 2-hour first appointment in those situations when she hasn’t received a driver’s request.  These are business decisions that will settle out as you get used to working with the Clearinghouse.  Remember…it’s only been 3 weeks.  It. Will. Get. Better.

A helpful hint

Be careful when you enter dates on the Clearinghouse.  Once a date has been entered (final assessment meeting and date of compliance determination), you can’t change it.  The only way it can be changed is by contacting the Clearinghouse and explaining why you need to change the date. 

Update Training in Las Vegas

February 14-15  (Spend Valentine’s Day on the Strip!)
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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