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What the new FMCSA Clearinghouse changes mean for you

April 6, 2022

On March 8, 2023, the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) issued a notice to all Clearinghouse users of a change they were making.  

How will this affect you?

Previously, after conducting a pre-employment query, an employer received a notification from the Clearinghouse if there was a change to that driver’s Clearinghouse record within 30 days. With the new change, as of March 8, 2023, an employer will be notified when a driver they have queried, has new information recorded in their Clearinghouse record within 12 months of a pre-employment or annual query. If the employer uses a C/TPA to run their queries, the C/TPA will receive the same notice.

New information that might trigger a notice to employers could include an update in return-to-duty status, a removed violation, or a new violation.  To see this information the employer needs to run a full query.  They can do this by running a “follow-on” query triggering it from the query that generated the notice within the query history section of the clearinghouse.  If they trigger the full query in this way, they will not be charged for running it.  

What should you be doing?

FMCSA instructs employers that they should run a full query within 24 hours of receiving the update notification. Employers need to keep in mind a full query requires the driver to provide consent within the clearinghouse, the consent to run limited queries does not apply here. 382.703(c) states an employer may not permit a driver to perform a safety-sensitive function if the driver refuses to grant the required consent.  Employers should have a process in place that addresses running a query within 24 hours of the update notification from FMCSA, how to ensure the driver provides consent within the clearinghouse, and steps it will take to remove the driver from safety sensitive function if they do not provide the necessary consent in time.

Employers should also look at their annual query process as they adjust to this change. When an employer runs a full follow-on query, it does reset the clock for when the driver’s next annual query needs to be ran.

This change to the clearinghouse notification went into place on March 8.  Within the learning center of the clearinghouse FMCSA states the following about this change:

  • The query was initiated on or after the September 14, 2022; and
  • The new information was recorded after March 8, 2023.

We’re offering a free 30-minute screening program audit with one of our certified transportation compliance experts who understand your needs and how you work. We will review your existing screening program and workflows and provide meaningful insight as to where there may be any compliance red flags, over spend, or opportunities for efficiency and improving the driver candidate experience.  There is no obligation or risk involved, and you will receive a report you can review with team members following the consultation.

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