2023 CDL Drug and Alcohol Investigation Changes

As of January 6, 2023, all employers of CDL drivers must satisfy the pre-employment drug and alcohol query through the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse set forth in 49 CFR 382.701.

Before this rule change employers had to conduct both electronic queries in the Clearinghouse and direct inquiries with previous employers to complete the mandated pre-employment background investigation to determine if a new CDL driver had violated drug and alcohol DOT regulations within the past three years.

Now, employers may only satisfy the pre-employment requirements through a Clearinghouse query. Inquires not conducted through the Clearinghouse will no longer satisfy the requirements of background investigations for drivers regulated under the FMCSA.

NOTE: the Clearinghouse contains only information about FMCSA regulated drivers. If a prospective worker was employed by any other DOT agency during the three-year time frame, employers are still required to conduct direct inquires of potential employees’ drug and alcohol information from those DOT-regulated employers.

The annual employer requirements have not changed. Employers must continue to conduct annual Clearinghouse queries for each CDL driver they employ.