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What Is the Truck Driver Clearinghouse?

Litton Law Firm May 12, 2022

Large tractor-trailers present a significant danger to everyone on the road. This is especially true if the driver in charge of maneuvering the massive vehicle is intoxicated or otherwise unable to drive. While you may feel comfortable driving alongside big rigs on a regular basis, you may not be aware of the potential danger.

According to the National Safety Council, large trucks were involved in 4,842 deadly accidents in 2020 alone. Another 107,000 were involved in collisions causing significant injuries. Law enforcement and federal officials have created a way to help minimize the number of lives lost in fatal truck accidents.

What Is the Clearinghouse?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration developed the Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Database as a way to minimize the number of unauthorized truckers on the road. Prior to the database, there was not a reliable way to ensure that truckers actively driving had no violations or suspended licenses. Trucking companies might hire a driver who had previous driving violations without knowing.

How Does the Clearinghouse Work?

Certain entities, including substance abuse professionals, trucking companies, law enforcement and third-party administrators, are able to log into the database and pull information regarding truck drivers’ licenses. The database shows updated information, such as whether a driver is enrolled in a drug or alcohol program, has a suspended license, has a previous violation or should not be operating a truck. Former employers, drug counselors and law enforcement can report to the database. New employers are required to check the clearinghouse before hiring new truckers.