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Technical Issues Could Plague DOT Clearinghouse Yet Again
Foley
3 mins read
In the wake of the first DOT Clearinghouse deadline this past January, the federal website experienced technical difficulties due to the surge in last-minute registrants. This caused the website to crash on multiple occasions during the month – during which times users were unable to access the site.

With the next big deadline just a few weeks away – and so many employers who both still need to register and run their annual queries – some believe that the DOT Clearinghouse site could become overwhelmed yet again.

According to the latest FMCSA Clearinghouse report, more than 50 percent of safety-sensitive employers still haven’t created a DOT Clearinghouse account. With the first annual query deadline coming up on January 5, 2021, these employers only have a few weeks left to create an account, purchase query credits, get driver consent and run the required queries on their drivers.

[New Webinar] A Year of Clearinghouse Violations & Enforcement: What You Need to Know

Any employer who misses this deadline could face fines of up to $2,500 per driver.

The Takeaway? It’s Important to Plan Ahead for the DOT Clearinghouse

If you employ CDL drivers, and haven’t registered, it’s important that you do so immediately.

But even if you do have a DOT Clearinghouse account, it’s critical that you run those annual DOT Clearinghouse queries as soon as possible. As of the writing of this blog, you only have less than three weeks to meet this FMCSA requirement.

Clearinghouse Enforcement Has Begun. Are You Ready?

To break it down further, that’s less than three weeks to:

  • Create a DOT Clearinghouse Account
  • Have all drivers sign a limited consent form
  • Purchase a DOT Clearinghouse query plan
  • Run a limited query on each driver in the DOT Clearinghouse

It’s important to re-emphasize, that a DOT Clearinghouse query is a background check that is protected by both the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Privacy Act. That means that driver consent is required before you’re able to run either a full or limited query. A full query requires electronic consent in the DOT Clearinghouse each time you intend to run a query of a driver’s Clearinghouse record. For limited queries, drivers can give written consent only once. This consent form should give you authorization to run DOT Clearinghouse queries throughout their employment.

Are You Running Compliant Clearinghouse Queries? Find Out in Our FREE Webinar!

The clock is ticking on getting those annual queries in before the deadline. Rather than risking technical issues and fines for noncompliance, make some time to fulfill this requirement now – before the site gets bogged down with last-minute traffic. If you need help, Foley is here to assist you. We have a program that will not only take care of your annual query requirements, but all of your FMCSA Clearinghouse needs. Please click here to learn more. 

 
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