Closing drug-test loopholes could hit truck driver availability beginning next year

A long-standing loophole that allowed drivers addicted to drugs to maintain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) will begin to expire early next year – potentially making it more difficult for carriers to seat their trucks.

The government’s Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will be open for registration in October, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Office of Enforcement and Compliance. Beginning January 6, 2020, employers will be required to query the clearinghouse on all prospective applicants, so anyone seeking a new job or changing jobs will have to be registered with the clearinghouse – even if they have never tested positive for drugs or alcohol – in order for the employer’s query to be answered.