FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Q&A

FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Q&A

In January of 2020, the Federal Motors Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) established the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. This secure online database gives employers, state driver licensing agencies and state law enforcement personnel real-time information about commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders’ drug and alcohol program violations.

Although the Clearinghouse has been in place for over a year now, many employers still have questions about the Clearinghouse and how it impacts their company. Below is a collection of frequently asked questions from companies who use our drug and alcohol testing services.

How do I know if I need to register in the Clearinghouse?

All CDL drivers or employers who operate commercial motor vehicles on public roads need to register in the Clearinghouse. This includes:

  • Construction equipment operators
  • Federal organizations and others who employ drivers required to follow FMCSA drug and alcohol testing regulations
  • Interstate and intrastate motor carriers and passenger carriers
  • Limousine drivers
  • Municipal vehicle drivers (waste management)
  • School bus drivers

Can I have Sanford register in the Clearinghouse for me?

Sanford OccMed does not complete Clearinghouse registration. We recommend contacting the Clearinghouse at (800) 724-2811, (844) 955-0207 or at Your local or state department of transportation office is another resource for any questions you have.

What tests do I need to submit to the Clearinghouse?

Only negative return-to-duty tests or positive alcohol tests need to be submitted to the Clearinghouse.

What is a query?

A query is an electronic check conducted by an employer or their designated consortium or third-party administrator (C/TPA). A query can determine if a potential or current employee is prohibited from operating a commercial motor vehicle due to unresolved drug or alcohol violations.

When do employers need to perform queries?

The FMCSA requires companies to perform pre-employment queries on new employees.

Annual queries are also required for current employees.

Does Sanford OccMed automatically perform annual queries?

Sanford OccMed does not automatically perform annual queries, even if you have signed up for our random testing program and have designated us as your C/TPA within the Clearinghouse.

Employers, owners and operators can perform queries or submit a request to Sanford OccMed. To perform a query on behalf of your company, you must submit your employee’s date of birth, CDL numbers and the state where their CDL license was issued.

How do I request a query be done for my company?

Fill out the Clearinghouse Reporting form.

If you have any questions about the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse and how it affects your company, contact us at (844) 753-6367 or email us.