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On October 7, 2021, the Federal Register, the Daily Journal of the United States Government, published FR Document 2021-21928 (86 FR 55718). This new federal rule known as: Controlled Substances and Alcohol Testing: State Driver's Licensing Agency Non-Issuance/Downgrade of Commercial Driver's License, has an effective date of November 8, 2021, and a compliance date of November 18, 2024.

This new rule sets forth requirements that State Driver’s Licensing Agencies (SDLA’s) must follow regarding access to and use of information contained in the FCMSA DACH (Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse).

The purpose of this new rule is to ensure that all SDLA’s access (query) an individual’s DACH record prior to issuance of a new CDL or CLP (known as ‘pulling’ information from DACH) and should a violation of 49 CFR § 382.501(a) be discovered, the SDLA MUST NOT issue a CDL/CLP to an individual. Further, should a current CDL/CLP holder violate 49 CFR § 382.501(a), DACH must ‘push’ that information to an SDLA. Then, the SDLA must ‘downgrade’ the CDL/CLP to a status of ‘eligible’ from a status of ‘licensed’.


The downgrade of a CDL/CLP will remove commercial driving privileges from an individual until such time as an individual has completed an RTD program, however, 86 FR 55718 does not require the revocation of a license entirely, though individual SDLA’s may choose such action at the SDLA’s discretion. When an SDLA has been pushed a notification of a CDL/CLP holder violation, that SDLA will have 60 days to issue a downgrade of the CDL/CLP.

Upon receipt of a completed RTD program, DACH must push a notification to the appropriate SDLA to upgrade the CDL/CLP status to ‘licensed’. The SDLA in question must then make the upgrade to the CDL/CLP status ‘as expeditiously as possible’.

Further, should it be discovered that the downgraded license status was due to erroneous information (such as an incorrect assertion of ‘actual knowledge’ regarding a violation of 49 CFR § 382.501(a), the SDLA in question must expunge the individual’s driving record of any reference to the prohibited/eligible status, and the DACH must add documentary evidence into the DACH record to demonstrate the downgrade in status was made in error.

    What do you need to KNOW?

  • What is 86 FR 55718?
    • 86 FR 55718 is a rule published by the FMCSA on October 7th, 2021.
    • This rule changes the procedure for how violations of 49 CFR § 382.501(a) are reported from DACH (Clearinghouse) to SDLAs (State Driver Licensing Agencies) and how SDLAs must respond.
  • When does 86 FR 55718 take effect?
    • The effective date for 86 FR 55718 is November 8th, 2021.
    • The final compliance date is November 18, 2024, for all SDLAs.
  • Who does 86 FR 55718 affect?
    • • 86 FR 55718 affects all CDL/CLP holders, as well as companies which hire CDL drivers. The impact of this new rule will ONLY affect those in violation of 49 CFR § 382.501(a).
    • • 86 FR 55718 impacts the DACH and SDLAs and how information sharing between the two entities is enacted.

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