FMCSA Clearinghouse

A Guide to Registering in the FMCSA Clearinghouse

When the FMCSA Clearinghouse first launched, many people encountered difficulties registering in the system. However, these problems have been addressed, and the process should be more straightforward now. The most common issues arise when FMCSA Portal account holders forget their user ID, security questions, or email address and must call the FMCSA to verify their identity. To get around this problem, there is a workaround you can try.

Query Bundles

Query bundles are a cheaper way to buy a large number of queries. FMCSA suggests purchasing a query plan large enough to cover the number of drivers employed. In addition, employers may purchase additional programs that never expire and do not require an annual fee. Query plans are not required for employers that use third-party administrators.

The cost of a query bundle depends on the number of queries an employer requires. For example, a bundle of 1,000 queries costs $24,000 and does not expire. Therefore, this is an excellent option for larger fleets that require regular reporting.

Query Plans

Once you’ve created an account on the FMCSA clearinghouse, you’ll want to make a DOT PIN. You can request this number online by filling out a form or by email. Then, you’ll need to complete the registration process. Once you’re finished, you’ll be directed to the Dashboard, where you can designate C/TPAs and invite Clearinghouse Assistants. You’ll also be able to conduct queries and purchase query plans. Finally, when you’re ready to start using the Clearinghouse, read through the terms and conditions.

Before registering in the Clearinghouse, you’ll need to choose a method for conducting background checks. You can either use a TPA or a consortium. Both options require you to purchase a query plan. If you plan to query for background information on drivers, be sure to choose one of these options.

Registration Issues

When the FMCSA clearinghouse first launched, there were many issues associated with registration. However, these problems have since been fixed. Some issues were due to the user-ID, security questions, or email address provided to create the account. When this happens, the user must call the FMCSA to verify their identity and password. If this is the case, a workaround can be used to register.

Some companies could not register because they experienced IT problems related to the Clearinghouse portal. For these cases, the FMCSA has offered an extended deadline for members to register their companies. Until then, members should carefully follow registration instructions to ensure their accounts are up and running. Having a Clearinghouse account is a requirement for all employers of CDL drivers. This allows employers to access driver records and take action if necessary.

Getting a Full Query

While drivers don’t have to register in the FMCSA clearinghouse to view their information, they must permit access to the database. They may face civil fines or criminal penalties if they don’t register. Therefore, it is best to register before the deadline, January 2020.

To register in the Clearinghouse, employers must purchase a query plan. Each query costs $1.25, and employers must log into their Clearinghouse accounts and purchase questions. C/TPAs cannot purchase questions on behalf of employers. A complete question can take up to 10 days. A delayed response can mean a delayed start for the FMCSA’s drug and alcohol testing program.

In some cases, drivers may not receive a full query when registering for the Clearinghouse. This is usually due to an issue with the Clearinghouse’s system. However, the question is released once the driver’s consent is granted.