Semi trucks

The DOT Clearinghouse Deadline is Approaching-How to Conduct a Query

The first annual DOT Clearinghouse Query deadline is only a few weeks away. If you are an owner-operator or if you employ drivers, you have until January 5, 2021, to do so. Failure to run the queries by the deadline can result in fines up to $2,500 per driver.

Because of the large numbers of traffic during the first initial rollout of the Clearinghouse early this year, they had frequent crashes and technical hang-ups. Employers and drivers are advised to register for the Clearinghouse as soon as possible, so they can meet their requirements before the deadline.

What is the DOT Clearinghouse?

The DOT Clearinghouse is an online database that provides the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and employers the necessary tools to identify drivers who are prohibited from operating a CMV due to alcohol or drug-related violations. 

The Clearinghouse also ensures that all drivers who have a drug or alcohol violation receive the required evaluation and treatment before they can operate a CMV again. A driver’s record will remain in the Clearinghouse for 5-years or until they complete the return-to-duty process. Once the return-to-duty-process is complete, that information will be included in the Clearinghouse.

How to Conduct a Query 

Employer Registration 

To run the DOT Clearinghouse query, you must first set up an account. The FMCSA requires all drivers to be registered before January 5, 2021. You can register your drivers here

Enter and Verify Driver Information

Once you have completed registration, the next steps are to enter and verify driver information. For this step, you will need to know the driver’s first name, last name, date of birth, CDL/CLP number, country of insurance, and state of insurance.

Select a Query 

You have the option of running a full query or limited query. A full query gives the employer more detailed information on the drug or alcohol violations. A limited query allows an employer to determine if a driver’s record has any information on resolved or unresolved drug or alcohol violations. If you choose to run a limited query and information shows on the driver’s record, you will be required to run a full query in the next 24-hours.

Before running the query, you will need to have the driver’s consent. Employers should provide their drivers with a limited consent form, which allows them to run an unlimited amount of queries on the driver during their employment. If you want to run a full query on a driver, you must have a driver’s consent every time. 

For more information on the annual DOT Clearinghouse Query check out the Clearinghouse Learning Center.

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About the Author

Maranda Heaverin

Maranda Heaverin

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