FMCSA delays Clearinghouse requirements by 3 years

Dec. 27, 2019
Agency says compliance extension gives it time to complete rulemaking addressing states' use of drug, alcohol information

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently granted State Driver Licensing Agencies three more years to comply with new Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse requirements.

States’ compliance, previously due to begin Jan 6, 2020, now is delayed until Jan 6, 2023, under new rulemaking announced Dec 13 in the Federal Register.

However, states still will have the option to voluntarily request Clearinghouse information beginning Jan 6, 2020, FMCSA said.

“The compliance date extension allows FMCSA the time needed to complete its work on a forthcoming rulemaking to address the states’ use of driver-specific information from the Clearinghouse, and time to develop the information technology platform through which states will electronically request and receive Clearinghouse information,” FMCSA said. “The compliance date of Jan 6, 2020, remains in place for all other requirements set forth in the Clearinghouse final rule.”

FMCSA said it believes the delay will not impact highway safety.

According to the announcement, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) asserted that the final rule published in 2016 failed to address operational issues related to states’ roles in the Clearinghouse.

AAMVA’s concerns included FMCSA’s use of the Clearinghouse information, and what privacy and data controls will be applied to the transmission of information to state agencies.

FMCSA maintained it is working on a “Clearinghouse II” notice of proposed rule that will address those issues.

The American Trucking Associations has expressed disappointment in FMCSA’s proposed delay of states’ query requirements, according to various reports, while the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association suggested the FMCSA should delay all Clearinghouse requirements to avoid confusion about implementation.

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