By Chad Engle, Loss Prevention and Safety Specialist

Seems like many of the calls I’ve been fielding lately have dealt with DOT issues. From the Clearinghouse to Random Drug and Alcohol testing. Let’s take a minute to clarify a few things.

Regarding DOT updates, it appears that the Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) regulations are set to go into effect on February 7, 2022. As of that date, any driver attempting to obtain a first time Class A or B CDL; upgrading an existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL; or obtaining a school bus (S), passenger (P), or hazardous materials (H) endorsement for the first time will be required to complete the new training and certification process outlined in the ELDT regulations. The training and certification process must be obtained from a training provider listed on the Training Provider Registry (TPR). For more information about the ELDT regulations and the TPR you can visit https://tpr.fmcsa.dot.gov.

Unfortunately, NIRMA’s loss prevention staff does not meet the requirements as outlined by the DOT and therefore will not be able to provide entry level driver’s training to NIRMA members.

The Clearinghouse is up and running and has been a requirement since January 6th of 2020. If you employee CMV operators, your county is required to register as an employer on the DOT Clearinghouse. All CDL holders are required to register as well. Clearinghouse registration is not optional, it is required by federal statute. Employers (counties) will be fined if found to be noncompliant. To register or utilize the learning center you can visit https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov.

All counties that employee drivers with CDLs used for county purposes are subject to DOT Random Drug and Alcohol testing. There are no exemptions. If you have questions, you are always welcome to contact me at chad@nirma.info or 1.800.642.6671. NIRMA currently provides Reasonable Suspicion Training for Supervisors to our members, at no cost. This training is a one-time requirement for any person that supervises employees that operate CMVs. We have a training scheduled for August 16th which will be presented via a Zoom meeting.

If you would like to attend, please email me your name and email address and I’ll provide a Zoom meeting link prior to the session. I am also planning to attend DOT Designated Employer Representative (DER) training soon so that I can put together a similar training session for our members. Every employer with CDL holders is required to have a DER. They are sometimes referred to as drug and alcohol contact persons. This is the person designated to answer DOT drug and alcohol related questions from employees. I will notify all members counties once the training program has been developed.

Enjoy the rest of your summer and be safe!

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