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.
What is a Follow-On Query?
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.
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.
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.