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June 2020: Clearinghouse Publishes the First Monthly Summary Report

Facts and Figures

FMCSA has published a summary of data for the first five months of activity.  There are more than a million records on the Clearinghouse.

Here’s the breakdown, through the end of May:
  • 889,268 drivers
  • 114, 947 employers
  • 7,246 C/TPAs  (including assistants)
  • 1,440 MROs  (including assistants)
  • 2,139 SAPs  (including assistants)
Under queries, you’ll see that January and February were high months, because employers were hiring drivers.  COVID hit in March, and you can see that the number of full queries on new drivers fell significantly in March, April, May.
The number of violations also fell during March, April and May, due to fewer drivers, and fewer tests being conducted.  If you’ve been wondering why your SAP cases have fallen off, these numbers tell the story.  A trucking publication reported several weeks ago that 80,000 drivers lost their jobs as a result of COVID shutdowns.
Notice that in 5 months there have been over 21,000 violations.  If those drivers intend to go back to a driving position, every violation requires a SAP.
Page 4 shows a breakdown of substances identified in positive drug tests.  No surprise that marijuana is the most common illegal drug.
Now, look at page 5.  There are almost 20,000 drivers with at least one violation, but 15,682 of those drivers have not even started the return-to-duty process.  That means the violation is on their record, but there are no assessment dates.
The categories are somewhat confusing.  I will try to get clarification as to what these numbers actually mean, but for now it seems that a lot of drivers are not doing anything about connecting with a SAP.  If a driver applies for a new job, the new employer is required to conduct a full query on the Clearinghouse, and the driver won’t get hired because the driver’s record shows a violation. A violation on a Clearinghouse record prevents that driver from being hired by a new employer
I believe that many of these 15,000 drivers are sheltering at home.  Many have been terminated.  They are waiting for COVID restrictions to be lifted before they call a SAP.  Many SAPs have wondered why their SAP cases have fallen off.  This is the reason.  It’s these 15,000 drivers, under stay-at-home orders.  Some of these 15,000 drivers will try to bypass the system, and look for jobs without going through a SAP process.  That won’t work.  Those drivers will soon realize that the Clearinghouse has closed the loophole.  When drivers figure out that they can’t avoid a return-to-duty process with a SAP, your phone will ring.

How do I find the monthly report on the clearinghouse website?

Go to  Click on LEARN.  Scroll down, past the photos, to News and Events.  Click on DOWNLOAD REPORT.  A new report will show up every month, probably around the 10th.

Someone e-mailed me, claiming to be an auditor. How can I be sure, and if she is an auditor, must I open my files to her?

It seems that more and more SAPs are being audited.  If you receive an e-mail, it should come from an e-mail address that is clearly identifiable as one of the transportation modes.  For example,, or, or, etc.  If the auditor calls you on the phone, you should ask questions that would help you to know that this is really an auditor. It is far better to work hard at making certain, than to glibly say “Sure, I’ll tell you anything you want to know.”  An auditor who comes to your office will likely show you an official badge.  If they don’t, ask to see it.
40.311(g) says “You must make these records available, on request, to DOT agency representatives (e.g., inspectors conducting an audit or safety investigation) and representatives of the NTSB in an accident investigation.”

What happens if a driver is a no-show?  Should I try to remove him from my dashboard?

Don’t remove a driver from your dashboard.  The driver must remain there.  When the driver realizes that he can’t be hired, he’ll have to contact you.  Removing him would allow him to do SAP shopping, which is prohibited by 40.295.  If the driver requested you, and you accepted the request, you are the SAP and it can’t be changed.  Think about it this way:  “A cluttered dashboard is the sign of a busy SAP.”

A driver started his treatment plan, but he has disappeared.  He won’t answer my e-mails or my phone calls.  Should I send a letter of non-compliance?

The beauty of the Clearinghouse is that you don’t have to do anything.  As long as you haven’t entered a date of compliance, no employer can hire him.  At some point, he will have to return to you.  He can’t go to another SAP.  He must come back to you and finish the plan.  Depending on when that happens, you may require a new assessment, and make a new recommendation.  (Many SAPs consider a treatment plan to be valid for only 30 days.  In the world of addiction, a lot can change in 30 days!)
For an FMCSA driver, a written report of non-compliance is no longer necessary.

However, for the other 5 transportation modes, a non-compliance report is still important and required, to let the employer know that the employee has dropped out, or is not cooperating with the process.  And in those cases, you should send a non-compliance report as soon as an employee is not returning your calls, or is refusing to start or cooperate with the treatment plan that you recommended.

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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