HR Management & Compliance

Agency proposes clearinghouse for commercial driver drug tests

by Charles S. Plumb

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has proposed a new rule that would create a database of commercial drivers’ drug test histories, making it easier for employers to find a job candidate’s past drug test results. The comment period is open until April 21.

Under the current rules, employers that hire commercial drivers may not know whether an applicant has a history of positive drug or alcohol tests because employers can rely only on information about earlier test results that individuals applying for driving jobs supply.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a proposed rule that, if adopted, would require regulated motor carrier employers, medical review officers, and others responsible for maintaining DOT testing programs to report positive and adulterated test results as well as test refusals by applicants and employees. Regulated employers also would be required to report traffic citations issued to drivers for driving a commercial vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The proposed rule says employers would be required to search the FMCSA’s clearinghouse as part of the preemployment selection process for commercial drivers. The same search would be required on an annual basis for existing commercial drivers.

Charles S. Plumb is an attorney at McAfee & Taft in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He can be reached at

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