163K Truck Drivers at Risk of Losing CDL: What You Need to Know

163,318 truckers risk losing their CDLs when the FMCSA's new Clearinghouse rule takes effect in November. Here's what it means and how it impacts the industry.

163K Truck Drivers at Risk of Losing CDL: What You Need to Know

Come November, a significant number of truck drivers might find themselves sidelined.

Starting November 18, 2024, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will begin downgrading the commercial driving licenses (CDLs) of drivers with a "prohibited" status in the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse.

That means 163,318 CDL and commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders need to act fast or risk losing their driving privileges.

What's Happening?

The FMCSA's Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse is an online database that tracks violations of the agency’s drug and alcohol testing program. If a driver is flagged as "prohibited," they’re not allowed to operate commercial motor vehicles until they complete the Return-To-Duty (RTD) process. Starting November, State Driver’s Licensing Agencies (SDLAs) will start downgrading the licenses of these drivers who haven't started their RTD.

Key Stats:

  • 163,318 drivers are currently listed as "prohibited."
  • Downgrades will begin November 18, 2024.
  • Drivers must complete the RTD process to regain their CDL status.

What’s the Process?

The FMCSA’s Clearinghouse-II rule, effective November 18, 2024, enforces stricter measures on SDLAs to ensure that drivers with a "prohibited" status don’t hold CDLs or CLPs. This builds on the original Clearinghouse rule from January 2020, which mandates that motor carriers check the database before hiring drivers and annually for current drivers.

In Short:

  • Initial Rule (2020): Prohibits drivers with violations from operating commercial vehicles.
  • New Rule (2024): Ensures these drivers lose their CDL/CLP until RTD is complete.

Driver Reactions

Social media is buzzing with reactions. While some drivers are worried, others see it as a chance to clean up the industry.

  • yaki_khadafi: "If you’re in SAP, hurry up and return to duty to avoid the downgrade."
  • thejordandavis: "Hey more freight for the rest of us."

The Bigger Picture

This move by the FMCSA aims to ensure that only compliant drivers are on the road, which should enhance overall safety.

As we approach November, expect more drivers to scramble to meet compliance standards, and watch for shifts in market dynamics as the industry adapts.

Source: CDL Life

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