What Employers with CDL drivers must do

by | Jan 4, 2021 | 0 comments

All employers of CDL drivers must purchase a query plan in the Clearinghouse. This query plan enables employers, and their consortia/third-party administrators (C/TPAs), to conduct queries of driver Clearinghouse records.

Registered employers must log into their Clearinghouse accounts to purchase their query plan. Query plans may be purchased from the FMCSA Clearinghouse only.

Why do I need to purchase a query plan?

Employers are charged a fee for conducting queries in the Clearinghouse.

Employers must purchase a query plan to ensure they and their designated C/TPAs can conduct queries. C/TPAs cannot purchase queries on behalf of employers.

Note: Working with a C/TPA to manage a drug and alcohol testing program is a requirement of all owner-operators (employers who employ themselves as CDL drivers, typically a single-driver operation).

The Clearinghouse final rule requires that employers conduct queries:

As part of any pre-employment driver investigation.

At least annually for every CDL driver currently employed.

Which query plan is right for me?

The query bundle you purchase will depend on the number of queries you will need to conduct.

Not sure how many queries you will need to conduct?

Select a query bundle large enough to cover the amount of drivers you currently employ. You can purchase additional plans as needed.

If, due to the number of drivers you employ, you anticipate having to conduct a high volume of queries on an annual basis, view the options for high-volume users.

About Queries

What is a query?

A query is an electronic check in the Clearinghouse, conducted by an employer or their designated C/TPA, to determine if current or prospective employees are prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions, such as operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), due to unresolved drug and alcohol program violations.

There are two types of queries, limited queries (which satisfy the annual query requirement) and full queries (which include all pre-employment queries). All queries require driver consent; the type of consent depends on the query type.

Learn more about queries and consent requests

Limited Queries

Limited queries check for the presence of information in the queried driver’s Clearinghouse record. Driver consent is obtained outside the Clearinghouse. Download a sample limited consent form.

Full Queries

Full queries will disclose to employers and C/TPAs detailed information about any resolved or unresolved violations in a driver’s Clearinghouse record. The driver’s specific electronic consent in the Clearinghouse is required.

If a limited query returns a result that there is information recorded in the Clearinghouse about the queried driver, and the employer follows up with a full query to access the detailed violation information, the employer will only be charged once for both queries.

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