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163,318 holders of CDL and CLP licenses are registered as "prohibited"

The latest FMCSA report reveals that 163,318 holders of CDL and CLP licenses are registered as “prohibited” in the agency’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. This center is an online database that monitors violations of the FMCSA’s drug and alcohol testing program. Under this prohibition record, those drivers who do not promptly begin the return-to-duty (RTD) process could lose their licenses.

Starting November 18, 2024, the FMCSA will require State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLAs) to revoke the commercial driving privileges of those marked as “prohibited” in the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. This will result in a license downgrade until the driver completes the RTD process, as reported by the agency.

The deadline was set by a second Final Rule (Clearinghouse-II) issued by the FMCSA in October 2021. Additionally, the first Final Rule of the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, effective January 6, 2020, requires carriers to check the online database before hiring a driver and once a year for existing drivers.

This rule aims to provide real-time access to a driver’s drug and alcohol violation records, including positive substance tests and test refusals, to employers, law enforcement agencies, State Driver Licensing Agencies, and law enforcement officials.

En la imagen se muestra una prueba de drogas

How does the Return-to-Duty (RTD) process work?

Drivers who have failed a drug or alcohol test under FMCSA regulations must go through the RTD process before returning to vehicle operation. According to the FMCSA, before an employer allows a driver to return to work to perform a safety-sensitive function after violating prohibitions, the driver must comply with the following:

  • Be evaluated by a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP)
  • Participate in/complete the prescribed treatment program
  • Pass a return-to-duty drug and/or alcohol test with the following results: alcohol with a result indicating an alcohol concentration of less than 0.02; and/or controlled substances with a verified negative drug use result
  • Have a documented follow-up testing program

It is crucial to complete the steps of the RTD process in the order specified by the FMCSA and correctly in the Clearinghouse. Once the driver passes the evaluation, they can return to their duties. Compliance with these requirements is essential to avoid penalties and ensure public safety.


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