A major change is coming for CDL drivers

If you own or drive a truck that requires a CDL license to operate, please take a moment to review the following information.  Compliance with FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse regulations is critical to maintaining the ability to operate.  Simply put, if your company and your driver(s) are not registered in the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse the CDL privilege will be removed at renewal beginning November 18, 2024.  To register you will need an email address, if you do not have one create one before you proceed with the registration process.

It is also important to remember that compliance with FMCSA, state and local laws and regulations is crucial when involved in a crash whether at fault or not.

Overview of Alcohol and Drug Testing Regulation – Compliance Date: January 6, 2020

The Federal Motor Carrier Administration Safety Administration established the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (DACH). This new database contains information pertaining to violations of the U.S. DOT controlled substances drug and alcohol testing program for holders of CDLs.  The DACH final rule requires the following:

  • Employers must query the Clearinghouse for current and prospective employees’ drug and alcohol violations before permitting those employees to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) on public roads.
  • Employers must annually query the Clearinghouse for each driver they currently employ.
Clearinghouse-II Final Rule: CDL Downgrades

As required in the Clearinghouse-II final rule, beginning November 18, 2024, State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLAs) must query the Clearinghouse before issuing, renewing, upgrading, or transferring CDLs and CLPs, and must review a driver’s information when notified by the Clearinghouse of a status change. SDLAs will be required to remove the CDL or CLP privilege from the driver’s license of an individual subject to the CMV driving prohibition, which would result in a downgrade of the license until the driver complies with the return-to-duty (RTD) requirements.

For more information on the Clearinghouse or to register go to https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov/


Final Comments to Consider

Obviously, it is very important that we all work together to remove all drivers impaired by alcohol and/or drugs from our roadways, regardless of the type of license they have.  Driving while impaired crashes continue to be a major concern to all who travel the nation’s highways.  The Clearinghouse-II Final Rule will go a long way to addressing these concerns regarding CDL holders, but I can only hope that further steps will be taken to remove non-CDL licensed drivers from the roadways as well.  Our families are often exposed to the danger impaired drivers pose.

Forest Insurance Center Agency, Inc. – Risk Control Services was created to assist companies that transport forest products within Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota.  If you have questions or need assistance with understanding FMCSA regulations or need driver safety issues addressed, please contact, Jimmie Locklear, Risk Control Manager, at jlocklear@forestinsurancecenter.com or cell # 906-291-0011.

Always Think Safety and Drive Safe!