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Owner-operators consortiums meet DOT drug testing compliance rules

Wisconsin Drug Testing Consortium fills testing niche for owner-operators

Meeting DOT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations for drug and alcohol testing is a task made easier for owner-operators through owner-operators consortiums, such as that maintained by Wisconsin Drug Testing Consortium (WDTC). Soon the FMCSA clearinghouse will make the results of those tests available to employers throughout the country as the government ramps up safety oversight for the commercial motor vehicle industry.

The FMCSA clearinghouse is a national information repository that aims to prevent CDL holders with positive test results from moving to different states in an attempt to outrun their records. Once the clearinghouse is established in 2020, motor carrier employers will be required to query the system for information pertaining to current or prospective drivers who have unresolved violations of drug and alcohol testing regulations.

“Just as importantly, the new FMCSA clearinghouse rule requires employers, third-party administrators and others to report violations of the drug and alcohol testing program to the system,” explains Mike Bray, president of WDTC, an accredited, Certified Third Party Administrator (C-TPA) that serves as a US DOT drug testing consortium for employers regulated by the US DOT. “Owner-operators consortiums will meet that reporting requirement for owner-operators.”

FMCSA clearinghouse will collect data from owner-operators consortiums

The FMCSA clearinghouse database will hold positive drug or alcohol test results, refusals and other drug and alcohol violations required to have a CDL. In addition, information on drivers completing the return-to-duty process will be recorded when the clearinghouse rule takes effect on January 4, 2020. The database will contain only violations that occur on or after that date.

Drivers will be able to request corrections on their clearinghouse record, but only the accuracy of information reported. They will not be able to challenge the accuracy or validity of test results or refusals. Drivers will need to register in the clearinghouse in order to access their information.

Owner-operators consortiums will be required to report the following violations to the clearinghouse:

  • A driver’s refusal to submit to a DOT test for drug or alcohol use
  • An alcohol confirmation test result with concentrations of 0.04 or greater
  • A negative return-to-duty test result
  • An “actual knowledge” violation
  • A report that the driver has successfully completed all follow-up tests as ordered by the Substance Abuse Professional

“Despite owner-operators’ self-employed status, the new rule will still require them to query the clearinghouse the same as if they were doing so for a new employee,” Bray says. “The rule stipulates that owner-operators must designate owner-operators consortiums/TPA to comply with the employer’s clearinghouse reporting requirements. WDTC meets that definition.”

About Wisconsin Drug Testing Consortium

Wisconsin Drug Testing Consortium is an accredited, Certified Third Party Administrator (C-TPA), and specializes in Consortium Management; a variety of drug testing methods, including urine, hair and fingernails; post-accident testing; pre-employment drug tests; criminal background checks; supervisor training programs to keep employees compliant with DOT regulations; pre-employment DOT physicals; and paternity DNA testing. Headquartered in Green Bay, WDTC also has offices in Appleton, Fond du Lac and Madison, Wisconsin. Call 888-784-8842 or visit for more information.

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