The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Consent Form is an important tool for employers when considering prospective employees. This form allows employers to access information about a potential employee’s past drug and alcohol use as it relates to their driving record, which can help them make informed decisions about who they hire. Additionally, the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Consent Form helps employers comply with federal regulations by ensuring that they have the necessary information on file for any potential employee. Employers can use this form to ensure they hire safe and reliable workers without a high risk of substance abuse-related accidents. A high-quality Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Consent Form Template allows businesses to create an easily customizable and updateable legal document.
What Is the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Consent Form?
A Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Consent Form is an agreement between employers, applicants, and employees that all parties must sign to allow for the release of information from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regarding drug and alcohol testing results. The FMCSA requires this consent form before employers can access the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse is an online database containing detailed information about individuals who have failed or refused drug and alcohol tests as part of their commercial motor vehicle operation. The consent form allows employers to access this information to determine if a potential or current employee has any relevant violations that may disqualify them from operating a commercial motor vehicle.
Why is Drug And Alcohol Clearinghouse Consent Form Important?
In order to understand why Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Consent Forms matter, it helps to know where they came from. These forms and the oversight department that collects and releases driver information related to drug and alcohol violations are very recent. Here is a basic timeline of how these vital documents and the information businesses can gain with them came about in the last 40 years.
- Prior to the 1980s, there was little way to track which drivers were abusing substances or had a history of doing so while driving commercial vehicles. Due to the intensifying worries about substance misuse in the transportation industry, the U.S. government started rolling out drug and alcohol testing regulations during the 1980s and 1990s. This was done as a preventive measure to help reduce accidents, deaths, and injuries.
- According to the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991, drug and alcohol testing is mandated for those in safety-sensitive transportation occupations, such as truck drivers.
- On December 5, 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a final rule that created a Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.
- During the 2000s, the FMCSA worked hard to strengthen drug and alcohol testing rules for commercial drivers. Several industry representatives and safety proponents asked to establish a central database to monitor any drug and alcohol offenses committed by CDL holders.
- As of January 6th, 2020, the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse has been active. Happily, this means that employers must submit information on violations of drug and alcohol-related regulations, as well as search for drivers who meet the necessary standards.
- The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse requires employers to have their drivers’ consent before conducting queries to check their violation records. The need for consent led directly to the developing and using a Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Consent Form.
These forms ensure employee rights are respected and allows employers to require a background check as a condition of employment so long as they apply the checks to every employee who drives equally. Additionally, it can be used if any legal questions arise later. Drivers can argue their cases if they believe there’s wrong information, and businesses can use it to prove they had a legal right (or requirement) to request the info.
Essential Components of Drug And Alcohol Clearinghouse Consent Form
The essential components of a Drug And Alcohol Clearinghouse Consent Form are relatively brief and mostly concerned with providing necessary details for the prospective employee to give informed consent. The employee provides their personally identifying information and consent, and the document ensures they understand the possible outcomes. Below we’ve created an outline that explains what should be included and why it matters.
- Document Title- At the top of the page, it should state in large, bold print that this is a “Drug And Alcohol Clearinghouse Consent Form.”
- Company Name- The format for this is (your company name) Drug And Alcohol Clearinghouse Consent Form. The redundancy may not always be required.
- Prospective Employee Information- The employee should list their name, date of birth, social security number, employee identification number, job title, and hire date.
- Consent- This consent is an “I” statement where they list their name in a blank space and indicate that they know they must consent for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Drug And Alcohol Clearinghouse to send their records. Additionally, it shows they understand the consequences and potential outcome of signing.
- Comprehension Statement- This indicates that they understand what information may be included. These items, such as Refusal to test (as specified in 49 CFR Part 40) and Negative return-to-duty test results, should be presented in a numbered or bulleted list.
- Signature and Date Lines- By signing and dating the form, the employee gives their full and voluntary consent for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Drug And Alcohol Clearinghouse to release these records to your business. Additionally, they certify that they know this background check may be a condition of employment or continued employment.
Pro Tip: According to the Department of Transportation (https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/), “Only employers who employ drivers subject to the licensing requirements in 49 CFR Part 383 and the drug and alcohol testing requirements in 49 CFR Part 382 are required to query or report information in the Clearinghouse.”
Below we’ve included more information about this topic’s most frequently asked questions. You’ll learn about whether drivers need to sign a new consent form every time a query is conducted and whether drivers can request copies of their Drug And Alcohol Clearinghouse Consent Form, among other helpful facts.
An employer can use a digital or electronic version of the consent form if they meet certain requirements. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, employers must ensure that all digital and electronic consent forms are sent securely and electronically signed. As stated by the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, employers must ensure that all digital and electronic consent forms are sent securely and electronically signed.
Furthermore, employers must keep records of each signed consent form for at least three years. Employers must also ensure that all electronic versions of the consent form are stored securely. Additionally, all electronic versions of the consent form must comply with applicable local and federal laws and regulations. Finally, employers must identify whether the person agrees to the electronic use of their consent form in a conspicuous manner.
Drivers must sign a new consent form every time a query is conducted. The consent does not cover multiple queries. The purpose of requiring a signed consent form each time is to ensure that drivers are aware of their rights and responsibilities regarding the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, which may change over time.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that all motor carriers and drivers obtain consent from their employer to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). This consent form is required by law and must be updated or modified if there are changes to regulations or company policies.
The process for updating or modifying the FMCSA consent form involves the following steps:
ᐅ Identify the changes: Before making any changes to the FMCSA consent form, it is important to indicate the specific changes being made. You can do this by reviewing the relevant regulations and company policies. Taking time for this will help the company identify what changes need to be made to their consent form and ensure that no other regulations or policies are violated.
ᐅ Review the form: Ensure all relevant changes have been made.
ᐅ Send the document to the carriers: After changing the appropriate information, send a copy of the updated consent form to all carrier freight forwarders with which you have established contracts. The updated consent form may be used to update subsequent consents or contracts with these carriers.
ᐅ Send Notices to Drivers: Notices to drivers must be available for transport employees and driver applicants at least 5 days before the effective date of the new rates. In addition, if a rate change affects current rates, notices must be distributed within 10 days after a contract is signed or new rates are established. Use the following format: Notice of FMCSA Rates Effective Date MM/DD/YYYY Effective Date MM/DD/YYYY New Rates ________ The following language must be included: “The use of the fuel card is subject to applicable state and federal regulations.”
ᐅ Send Notices to Owners: Notices to owners must be available for transport employees and driver applicants at least 5 days before the effective date of the new rates. In addition, if a rate change affects current rates, notices must be distributed within 10 days after a contract is signed or new rates are established.
ᐅ Post the new rates: For a change in FMCSA rates, post the new rates on the company website and all other locations where existing fuel card listings are made available to employees or driver applicants.
ᐅ Eliminate Existing Fuel Cards: If an old fuel card has been given to an employee or driver applicant, please provide them with a new one that reflects the rate changes.
There are specific requirements for the language and format of the FMCSA consent form to ensure it is legally valid. These requirements include:
ᐅ Language: The form must be written in plain language that can be easily understood by the person providing the consent.
ᐅ Signing: The form must include a signature line, and it must be signed to be complete.
ᐅ Consent: The form must contain a written explanation of what is being consented to, and what information will be collected. It is strongly recommended that you include how it will be used and stored. Additionally, consent must be provided voluntarily and without coercion or undue influence. A person cannot provide consent if they are under 18 years old, are considered legally incompetent due to their mental state, or have been coerced into providing it.
ᐅ Withdrawal of Consent: It should also include a statement regarding the right to withdraw consent. The consent cannot be withdrawn once it is provided unless the person providing the consent withdraws it themselves or a court order terminates such rights.
ᐅ Voluntary: Consent must be made voluntarily and without coercion or undue influence.
ᐅ Enforceability: Any waiver of a right in this policy will be void and unenforceable if there is any ambiguity in the policy’s language or if any other agreement provides conflicting rights or obligations to the recipient of such waiver (e.g., a purchase agreement).
ᐅ Time Limitation: Any action taken by the Company under this policy must be done within one hundred and eighty (180) days of the date when the relevant facts first came to its attention unless otherwise provided in this Policy or Order Form as indicated by an “as soon as practicable” clause. If a delay is necessary, then it shall not exceed six (6) months after the cause of the delay has ceased to exist.
ᐅ Severability: Explain that “If any term or condition herein is held invalid or unenforceable for any reason, it shall be severable from the remainder of the agreement and shall not affect the validity or enforcement of the remaining provisions. This policy may be amended at any time upon written notice to you of any changes made by (Company), providing that such changes are prospective in nature and do not materially affect your rights or obligations under this Policy.”
ᐅ Governing Law: This Policy shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of (state) without giving effect to any principles which might provide for the application of laws other than those of (state), except as expressly provided herein.
Drivers can request a copy of their signed Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) consent form, which employers must provide. The FMCSA requires employers to keep drivers’ consent forms on file and make them available to drivers upon request. The form must include the driver’s name, the date of signature, and a signed statement that the driver is aware of the FMCSA’s requirements. Additionally, the FMCSA requires employers to provide drivers with a copy of the consent form within 30 days of the driver’s request. If the employer fails to provide the form within 30 days, drivers can contact FMCSA directly to request a copy.
Drug and Alcohol clearinghouse consent forms are an important tool for businesses to ensure the safety of their employees, customers, and the public. By having a Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Consent Form in place, businesses can be sure they are doing their due diligence to protect everyone involved. The form is also necessary for companies required to comply with regulations such as Department of Transportation (DOT) drug testing regulations. With this crucial document in place and signed, businesses can ensure they properly screen their employees for substance abuse issues before allowing them to work. Doing this helps ensure that the workplace and road remain safe for everyone involved. By using a Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Consent Form Template, you can quickly and easily find out everything you need to know about prospective employees driving records.