FMCSA Clearinghouse Query Notification Period Expanded to Twelve Months

As of March 9, 2023, the FMCSA Clearinghouse will now notify employers of any new activity on their record from up to 12 months following a pre-employment or annual query.

What has changed?

Employers utilizing the FMCSA Clearinghouse will receive a notification via email if a driver they have queried has new information added to their record. Previously, these notifications were only sent for activity added during the 30 days following a query.

Notifications will now be sent for new activity added during the 12 months following a query.

What should employers expect from this change?

Due to the longer timeframe, employers should expect to see a much higher volume of notifications — and will therefore need to complete several more Follow-On Queries.

Follow-On Queries

What is a Follow-On Query?

Once notified of a change, employers must complete a Full Follow-On Query within 24 hours to determine if the new information added prohibits the queried driver from performing safety-sensitive functions.

Once a Follow-On Query is completed, it resets the Clearinghouse’s 12-month notification window, meaning any future information added to the driver’s record will prompt a notification during the 12 months from the date of the Follow-On Query.

Driver Consent

Performing this Follow-On Query requires the consent of the queried driver via electronic signature in the Clearinghouse. If the driver refuses to consent, the employer must remove them from all safety-sensitive functions until a full query is completed and their results are obtained.

Pro Tip:

The initial notification email that the employer receives will have a link to the driver’s Query History page within the Clearinghouse. This page will have a prompt to request consent from the driver. If this function is utilized, the Follow-On Query will be completed free of charge.

Do Follow-On Queries count toward the annual employee query requirement?

Yes! Employers are required to conduct an annual query on employees at least once per year, and Follow-On Queries do count for this requirement. 

The annual query requirement is also tracked on a rolling 12-month basis. For example:

If an employer were to conduct a query on a driver on April 12, 2023, and that driver is hired, the employer would not need to conduct another query April 12, 2024. 

For Follow-On Queries, the same rules apply:

If an employer initiates a query on April 12, 2023, but then receives a notification of a change in their records and initiates a Follow-On Query on May 9, 2023, the employer would not be required to complete a new annual query until May 9, 2024.

For further information on Clearinghouse queries, visit the Clearinghouse website and check out the FAQs.

TEAM will continue to monitor any changes to Clearinghouse procedures and systems, and post any important updates in our newsroom.

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