As of June 1, there were over 19,000 drivers in prohibited status – a number that will continue to climb the longer the Clearinghouse is in effect.
That leaves almost 19,000 drivers in prohibited status – a number that will continue to climb the longer the Clearinghouse is in effect. It’s important to note that most of these drivers were put into prohibited status due to positive drug test results for marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and amphetamine use.
Why This Matters to You
Because the Clearinghouse just went into effect in January, all of these violations occurred within the last six months and it’s very likely that the number of prohibited drivers will continue climbing for the rest of the year.
As an employer, you’re required to run an annual query on all current drivers to ensure none are in prohibited status, but with that compliance deadline still a few months away, many haven’t run their annual queries yet – which means they’ll only know if a driver is in prohibited status if they were the one who reported the violation. But since it’s not uncommon for drivers to operate for multiple employers, a driver could have received a violation from another employer that you don’t know about yet.
As we previously discussed, this will lead to drivers being put out-of-service, as inspectors are now checking drivers’ Clearinghouse records during roadside checks.
How to Protect Your Business
If you’re an employer and you haven’t yet run an annual query on your CDL drivers, then it’s important to do so as soon as possible. Something else to consider, is whether you want to run these queries on a more regular basis. Although it’s not required, following the minimum Clearinghouse requirement could put you at risk for noncompliance or safety issues if a you unknowingly allow a driver in prohibited status to drive for you. As a best practice, we recommend running Clearinghouse queries on a quarterly or even a monthly basis.
Are You Registered?
In order to conduct these required queries, employers will need a Clearinghouse account. The FMCSA required employers to set up these accounts before the regulation went into effect, but data released from the agency suggests that the vast majority of CDL employers still haven’t registered.
The same is true for drivers.
If you haven’t yet set up a Clearinghouse account, it’s critical that you and your drivers do so right away. Not only will it ensure that you’re compliant, but it will enable you to run the required queries on your drivers – and enable drivers to provide electronic consent when a full query is needed.
If you have questions about Clearinghouse registration or queries please click here or call (860) 815-0764.