Clearinghouse website has problems verifying CDLs

Issues should not disrupt new hire procedures

Although the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse system is working after technical difficulties following its launch on January 6, 2020, users are experiencing intermittent issues verifying drivers’ commercial driver’s license (CDL) information.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has instructed those experiencing the problem to continue requesting the report until successful.

Check your Clearinghouse entry

If the database does not recognize a driver’s CDL, your first step is to make sure it was not an entry error on your part. The same would be true of a driver trying to register for a personal account.

The system does not recognize:

  • Dashes
  • Symbols
  • Spaces

In addition, you need to confirm the correct state of issuance was selected.

If the CDL number was entered correctly, the error message is likely the site’s inability to verify the license.

Meanwhile, handling driver queries

The sporadic technical difficulties do not have to disrupt your new hire process. An employer does not have to delay hiring and assigning a driver to a safety-sensitive position due to the pending query.

Instead, as previously communicated by FMCSA on the clearinghouse site, employers would use the procedures set forth in §391.23(e), the DOT testing history portion of the safety performance history inquiry. Once users can access the site, they would be expected to have the pre-employment query as required in §382.701(a).

Additional attempts at getting the pre-employment query should be timely. As evidence of your compliance efforts, it is suggested that employers take a screen shot of the clearinghouse message indicating that it is unable to verify the driver’s CDL.

About the author
Kathy Close - Transportation Editor

Kathy provides regulatory support for a variety of products; her areas of expertise include transportation security, DOT drug and alcohol testing, driver qualification, and the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) enforcement model.

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