FMCSA plans to delay parts of clearinghouse rule

September 5, 2019

Mark Schremmer

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration plans to extend the compliance date for part of its drug and alcohol clearinghouse rule.

In December 2016, FMCSA published a final rule to establish a drug and alcohol clearinghouse and identified the roles and responsibilities of those who will be required to use the clearinghouse.

The rule is set to go into effect on Jan. 6, 2020. Under FMCSA’s proposal, which is set to publish in the Federal Register on Friday, Sept. 6, part of the rule’s compliance date would be delayed until Jan. 6, 2023.

According to the final rule, states must request information from the clearinghouse before completing certain commercial driver’s license transactions.

FMCSA’s proposal would give states three more years to comply.

After the final rule was published, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators said the final rule failed to address various operational issues related to the states’ role in the clearinghouse.

Some of the group’s questions included:

  • What does FMCSA intend that the states do with information they receive from the clearinghouse?
  • What specific information would states receive in response to a request for information about an individual CDL holder or applicant?
  • What privacy and data controls will be applied to the transmission of clearing information to state driver’s license agencies?
  • How would an erroneous clearinghouse record be corrected?
  • What the cost implications for the state driver’s license agencies?

FMCSA plans to publish a separate proposed rule to specifically address the issues raised by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators.

The rest of the clearinghouse rule is still set to go into effect on Jan. 6, 2020.

Once FMCSA’s notice publishes in the Federal Register, a 30-day comment period will begin. Comments may be submitted at the Regulations.gov website by using docket number FMCSA-2019-0120.

Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, associate editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and nearly two decades of journalism experience to our staff.