The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse website is undergoing technical difficulties, reports the New England Fuel Institute. Some companies have noted a delay of several hours in trying to register, or they have made multiple attempts where registration has been denied, the Institute reports.
NEFI further notes that, per a notice posted to the Clearinghouse website:
If you are an employer currently experiencing technical difficulties accessing the Clearinghouse and are unable to conduct required pre-employment queries, you may hire a driver using solely the procedures set forth in 49 CFR 391.23(e) [the existing procedures]. Once FMCSA has determined and announced that users are able to access the Clearinghouse, pre-employment queries must also be conducted as required by section 382.701(a).
NEFI further notes that a motor carrier is not absolutely required to have registered with the Clearinghouse by Jan. 6; companies were told to register before they took on any new drivers so that they could a conduct a required pre-employment query through the Clearinghouse portal. That requirement has been temporarily suspended. Likewise, companies need only upload information to the Clearinghouse portal on drug and alcohol violations that occur after January 6, 2020; if you do not anticipate any such violations occurring, you need not register at this time nor fear penalty for not registering. NEFI says its regulatory counsel, Rick Schweitzer, is working with the FMCSA. Fuel dealers with questions can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-946-2548.