A Key Clearinghouse Requirement for Owner Operators

Lindsey Bergeron

OCTOBER 22, 2019 – Do you drive for your own company? Whether you’re the only driver – or you manage a small fleet – you’ll have some new DOT Clearinghouse responsibilities that you’ll need to prepare for now.

And that starts with designating a consortium/third-party administrator (C/TPA).

As an owner-operator, this is now a required step for your company. To ensure that owner-operators have a third party available who can report drug and alcohol testing violations if needed, the DOT requires that all owner drivers have a C/TPA designated in the Clearinghouse before the January 6, 2020 implementation date.

Related Article: DOT Clearinghouse Webinar: Your Questions Answered

How to Find a C/TPA

Look for a C/TPA that is both an expert in DOT drug and alcohol testing and has kept up with the new Clearinghouse regulation. If you choose the right provider, they’ll be able to manage all of the Clearinghouse requirements on your behalf, which may multiply fast if you have drivers working for you. These include:

  • Reporting drug and alcohol violations to the Clearinghouse
  • Reporting negative return to duty results, as well as updates when a driver completes their follow-up testing plan
  • Running a pre-employment Clearinghouse query for each new hire
  • Running an annual Clearinghouse query on all current drivers
  • Keeping thorough records of all queries run

If you don’t yet have a C/TPA, start your research now so that you have plenty of time to find and designate your third-party administrator before the Clearinghouse goes into effect.

Sign Up Today for Our FREE Webinar on Clearinghouse Compliance!

How to Designate your C/TPA

As you work your way through the Clearinghouse registration process, you’ll be prompted to designate your C/TPAs.  In the search box on this page, simply begin typing in the name of the third-party administrator you’re working with and select them from the results below. If your C/TPA doesn’t show up, it means that they haven’t yet created a Clearinghouse account. If this happens, you should contact them to make sure they’ve completed their Clearinghouse registration.

If they are registered, you should click the blue “Designate” button next to their name. You’ll then have an opportunity to select what tasks you’d like to authorize the C/TPA to perform on your behalf. Options include:

  • Reporting violations
  • Reporting return-to-duty information
  • Conducting queries

You can then complete your Clearinghouse registration process. Once your C/TPA is designated, and you’ve set up your account with your third-party administrator, you’ll be ready to go when the Clearinghouse takes effect in January.

At Foley, we have DOT Clearinghouse packages available for owner operators that will manage your requirements and ensure you’re prepared for this big regulatory change. For more information, click here or call our Clearinghouse hotline at (860) 815-0762.

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About the Author

Lindsey Bergeron is Editor of the Foley blog. Serving as transportation guru, she keeps an eye on the industry and its day-to-day evolution and developments, specifically writing about the various lifestyle, business and regulatory topics that are most relevant to motor carriers. Holding a degree in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Connecticut, she ran a successful content marketing firm before joining Foley at its Hartford hub. Her current expertise in transportation writing is built upon an extensive background in editing, feature writing and content development.

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