As of January 2020, the Department of Transportation (DOT) Clearinghouse has gone into effect. Many truck drivers and employers are still adjusting to the requirements of the DOT’s regulations and may wonder about its implications for hiring or being hired as a truck driver. Educate yourself on the DOT Clearinghouse pre-employment query requirements with this article.
The DOT Clearinghouse is a recently implemented online database that keeps records of all Commercial Driver’s License drivers’ drug and alcohol violations. The Clearinghouse enables employers to easily check the drug and alcohol records of a potential or current employee. Employers are required to submit infractions to the Clearinghouse and must perform regular queries of employees.
There are two types of queries required in accordance with the DOT Clearinghouse: full and limited queries. Full queries provide a driver’s drug and alcohol records in full detail, while limited queries will inform on whether a driver has had any drug or alcohol violations but do not provide the specifics. A pre-employment query falls into the full query category and is performed before employment to ensure a driver is not prohibited from any functions of their job, such as operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).
Employers are required to run full queries on any potential drivers before officially hiring them to perform safety-sensitive functions. Employers will then need to keep these queries on record as proof that they have been conducted in compliance with DOT standards. The prospective driver for whom the query is being conducted must create an electronic Clearinghouse account to accept the query and give consent to the request. Consent is required because a full query will reveal potentially sensitive information about drug and alcohol violations to potential employers.
To remain DOT compliant, it’s important to be aware of and fulfill the DOT Clearinghouse pre-employment query requirements. Another way to stay DOT compliant is through drug and alcohol consortium enrollment with Labworks USA. Although Labworks USA does not provide assistance with the Clearinghouse registration process or management of overall Clearinghouse compliance, we can help truck drivers and employers remain compliant with DOT drug and alcohol testing standards.Back to Blogs