Category Archives: FMCSA

What is a DER?

Professional businesswoman standing in officeWhat is a DER?  Are you a DER?

DER means Designated Employer Representative. Employers who are mandated to be in a drug and alcohol testing programs appoint someone to be the DER. The DER then receives test results and arranges testing. This is detailed in 49CFR Part 40.3.

Designated employer representative (DER). An employee authorized by the employer to take immediate action(s) to remove employees from safety-sensitive duties, or cause employees to be removed from these covered duties, and to make required decisions in the testing and evaluation processes. The DER also receives test results and other communications for the employer, consistent with the requirements of this part. Service agents cannot act as DERs.

The DER must receive training according to regulation  382.603. because the DER is authorized to take immediate action to remove employees from safety-sensitive duties in the case of drug or alcohol issues.

Each employer shall ensure that all persons designated to supervise drivers receive at least 60 minutes of training on alcohol misuse and receive at least an additional 60 minutes of training on controlled substances use. The training will be used by the supervisors to determine whether reasonable suspicion exists to require a driver to undergo testing under § 382.307. The training shall include the physical, behavioral, speech, and performance indicators of probable alcohol misuse and use of controlled substances. Recurrent training for supervisory personnel is not required.

Compliance Associates, Inc. as a consortium services provider, has a great deal of contact with the DER. We send them random test notices, test results, discuss employee issuers regarding drug and alcohol use and keep them informed of any changes to drug and alcohol regulations

If you or your DER needs training, contact us through this website to register for our next class.

Is It A Commercial Motor Vehicle?

Weight is always a hot topic!

Not what you weigh, but what does your vehicle weigh? The magic number is 10,001 pounds. That is when your company vehicle becomes a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV). Also any weight vehicle if it is hauling placardable hazardous materials is considered a Commercial Motor Vehicle.

For example, your company pick-up weighs 5,000 pounds. You attached a small trailer to the pick-up that weighs 1,500 pounds. Now you load that trailer with the tools of your trade, say 3,625 pounds. You, my friend, now have a Commercial Motor Vehicle that weighs 10,125 pounds and is subject to all the FMCSA regulations.

These regulations include having a USDOT number on the each side of the truck and being in compliance with vehicle inspection and maintenance rules according to  § 396.13 and  § 392.7.

Now lets talk about the driver. The driver must be qualified under Part 391 and comply with the hours -of -service regulations. If the driver does not fall in to the short haul exceptions in § 395.1(e), then the driver is regulated by all the log book rules.

pickup with trailer Commercial Motor Vehiclea

Much to consider when you own or manage a business!


CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

Update: 9/9/2015

The FMCSA is projecting the publication date for the CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse to be January 20, 2016. 


For 20 years FMCSA has been working on a CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. The plan is to have a government run central database of CDL holders who have tested positive for controlled substances or alcohol. The database would also have drug or alcohol refusals.(According to the Part 40 regulations, a driver that refuses to test is considered positive)

Employers looking to hire, would get a signed release from the job applicant to access any records on that driver in the CDL drug and alcohol clearinghouse. The regulation’s intent is to increase highway safety by making sure drivers are compliant with the drug and alcohol regulations. A driver that does test positive, but fulfills the return-to-duty requirements would have that information entered as well.

Under the proposed rule, FMCSA regulated truck and bus companies, Medical Review Officers (MRO), Substance Abuse Professionals (SAP), and third party DOT drug and alcohol testing laboratories as well as third party providers (Consortiums)  would be required to send information to the Clearinghouse.

The new projected publication date for the final rule is December 14, 2015 but that can still be changed. There are still issues to be worked out, mainly privacy issues, accuracy and who will be paying for the CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.

Click on this link If you would like to read the Federal Register of the proposed

We will continue to update you on any progress with the CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse formation.