The Department of Transportation has instituted a new procedure for drivers with violations. The clearinghouse SAP Evaluation is mandatory for individuals who test positive for alcohol or drugs while on the job. The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation.
The driver must register on the FMCSA Clearinghouse and contact an SAP professional to begin the process. The SAP professional provides an assessment and recommendation to facilitate the process to return to work as soon as possible.
Here is the new process for SAP
MRO verifies a positive drug test or refusal. Or employer verifies a positive alcohol test or an employer-determined refusal
- MRO (or employer) enters the violation on the driver’s record, using the CD# that is now required to be on the CCF
- The driver receives a notification (e-mail or text, according to the driver’s preference) that information has been entered on his record
- A driver goes to his record, views the violation, and enters the name of the SAP he wishes to use
- The Clearinghouse now kicks out a notification e-mail to the SAP, indicating that the SAP has an “invitation” from the driver
- The SAP goes to his/her record on the Clearinghouse and will see an invitation message on the SAP’s dashboard with the driver’s name
- The SAP clicks on “Accept Request” or “Deny Request”
- If the SAP clicks on “Accept Request”, the SAP will now be able to access the driver’s record
- After the SAP completes the assessment and tells the driver what the SAP’s treatment recommendation is, the SAP enters the date of the final assessment meeting
- After determining that the driver has successfully complied, the SAP enters the date of the determination, which means an employer (either the previous employer or a new employer) can order a return-to-duty test
- The SAP is now done. Close the file!
Nothing will happen until the MRO enters a drug test result or refusal, or until the employer enters an alcohol test result or refusal. Entering that information on a driver’s record is the necessary first step in order to start the whole process.
- An MRO has 2 days in which to report a drug violation.
- An employer has 3 days in which to report an alcohol violation.
That means the driver may be in your office before the violation has been recorded on the Clearinghouse, and therefore the driver hasn’t been able to invite you to be his/her SAP.
When the driver enters your name, it must be exactly the name that you used when you registered on the Clearinghouse. If you are Deborah Jones, and the driver enters Deb Jones, it won’t go through. Be sure that the driver knows the exact name that is in your Clearinghouse record.
WHAT IF I CAN’T FIND THE DRIVER’S RECORD?
If the driver tells you he/she has registered, and if the date of the violation was January 6 or after, then the violation should be on the Clearinghouse. If it was a drug test, and more than two days have passed since the MRO talked to the driver, you could call the MRO’s office and ask if they entered the violation. If they tell you it’s been entered, the driver might not have looked at his e-mail to see the instruction about inviting an SAP evaluation. If they tell you they haven’t entered the violation, you could ask when they will enter the violation information on the driver’s record.
Remember: There is a 2-day window for MROs and a 3-day window for employers. No wonder you can’t find it on his record. In that case, you won’t be able to enter the assessment completion date until the violation has been entered. Yes, this gets complicated.
NOT EVERY DRIVER MUST REGISTER ON THE CLEARINGHOUSE
FMCSA makes this statement frequently. It’s deceiving and confusing. But it’s not a loophole. If a driver never ever applies for a job with a new employer, and that same driver never has a violation, there’s no reason for the driver to be on the Clearinghouse, because no future employer would be checking to see if he has a violation. Also, when his current employer conducts an annual query on his record, it wouldn’t come up, because he doesn’t have a violation.
You can visit us at www.sapevaluation.org for an expedited appointment so we can get you back to work as soon as possible. Our direct contact is 800-683-7745.