DOT Employee Screening Requirements

DOT Employee Screening Requirements: A Comprehensive Guide

The transportation industry shoulders a colossal responsibility in ensuring the safety of millions on the road. For businesses regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT), employee screening is a critical component of meeting safety standards and compliance. In this extensive guide, we peel back the layers of DOT employee screening requirements, from drug tests to supervisor training, ensuring your operations are not only compliant but secure.


Safety is paramount in the world of transportation, and one of the key methods for ensuring it is through rigorous employee screening processes. The Department of Transportation (DOT) sets forth certain requirements that must be adhered to by employers under its regulations. This includes detailed drug testing protocols, physical examinations, and continuous training, aiming to create a drug-free and healthy environment. If you’re a DOT employee, a safety compliance officer, or a fleet manager, understanding these requirements is vital for your career and the safety of your operations.

Drug Test

The first step in DOT screening is a drug test. DOT drug testing is conducted under stringent guidelines, mandated to be a 5 Panel Urine Test. This test looks for marijuana, cocaine, opiates, phencyclidine (PCP), and amphetamines/methamphetamines, including MDMA.  Today only urine testing is available, however, oral fluids will be available soon.  We will discuss oral fluids and the advantages it can offer later in the article.

Need to order a drug test today?  We have 20,000 electronically enabled collection sites near your workplace or your employee/applicant’s home.  This means you can order and test today.  Contact our knowledgeable support staff at 844-573-8378 or or press on link below to order now:

What our Customers Say about Workplace Screening Intelligence:

Carlie M. gave us a 5 Star Google Review and said, Brenda is amazing! Always so helpful and knowledgeable. Switching from our old provider to WSI has made my job SO much easier!!

Regulated Drug Testing vs. Non-Regulated Drug Testing

When it comes to maintaining a safe and productive work environment, drug testing plays a crucial role in many industries. To understand the application of drug testing, it’s important to differentiate between regulated and non-regulated drug testing, as each adheres to distinct standards and serves specific objectives.

Regulated drug testing, often mandated by government agencies, is primarily found in industries where safety is of utmost concern, such as transportation, healthcare, and those involving heavy machinery. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), for example, requires rigorous testing for employees in safety-sensitive positions, including pilots, truck drivers, and train engineers. These tests are conducted under strict adherence to procedures outlined by governmental organizations, such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). For businesses under such regulations, compliance is not optional but a legal obligation. Regulated drug tests are designed to enforce a uniform standard of workplace safety and to prevent accidents and injuries by ensuring that workers in critical roles are not impaired.

In contrast, non-regulated drug testing occurs in a broader range of workplace environments where no specific federal rules dictate the process. These tests are subject to the employer’s discretion and may target a variety of illicit substances based on corporate policy rather than federal guidelines. While a non-regulated test can measure for the same substances as a regulated test—such as marijuana, cocaine, and opiates—the procedures and thresholds can vary depending on the employer’s policy and the reasons for testing. For instance, companies not bound by federal regulations may implement more or less stringent testing standards, conduct random tests, or carry out tests as part of a pre-employment screening process. These tests serve to align with corporate culture, maintain productivity, and reduce liability risks associated with drug-related workplace issues.

The reliability and legal defensibility of test results differ significantly between these two forms of testing. Regulated testing requires certified laboratories and scrutinized procedures to ensure accuracy and fairness, which includes meticulous chain-of-custody documentation, the opportunity for employees to challenge results, and the confirmation of initial positive results via a second analytical method. Conversely, non-regulated testing may not necessarily follow these stringent measures, potentially leading to legal challenges if the rights of individuals are perceived as violated or if the testing methods are called into question. It is important that you utilize SAMSHA Certified laboratories such as Quest Diagnostics drug test, LabCorp Drug Test or Clinical Reference Lab Drug Test.

From a practical perspective, the distinction between these types of testing has significant implications. Regulated drug testing can result in serious consequences for non-compliance, including fines, revocation of licenses, and even criminal penalties. For employees, testing positive on a regulated test can lead to termination of employment and potential difficulties in finding work within the same field. For non-regulated testing, the implications are determined by company policy which might range from a warning system to immediate termination, and the consequences are not as far-reaching in terms of licensing and legal record.

DOT 5 Panel Urine Screen

The DOT 5 Panel Urine Test is the staple for DOT Drug Tests. Specimens are collected and analyzed for the five specific drug classes. Employers and employees should be aware that adulteration or substitution is heavily penalized.

Can DOT Employees be tested for non-regulated testing?

Employers may conduct non-regulated tests, but these must be clearly marked and separated from DOT-required tests to avoid any confusion or legal ramifications. Some instances mandate a non regulated test for DOT Employees.  Some employers require hair follicle test along with a DOT Urine Screen.  Other employers require a post-accident test for any accident.  You can only perform a FMCSA DOT test if the accident meets the guidelines.  Otherwise, the post accident test must be done on a non dot form.

Oral Fluid Drug Test

Though traditionally urine tests are the standard, DOT has passed guidelines for oral fluid drug testing, offering an alternative means of screening that could simplify the collection process. The benefits of oral fluids is every specimen is observed without the indignity of removing clothing as in directly observed urine specimen.  Also, a bathroom will not be needed to perform drug screen.  Although the rules have been passed, there will be some time before available to the public.  The following must still happen before DOT Oral Fluid testing is available:

1.FDA must approve oral fluid split specimen testing kit.

2. Two labs with the same testing device must be inspected and approved by SAMHSA for Oral Fluid Drug Testing.

3. DOT Oral Fluid Collectors must be trained and DOT Mock Collections to be certified to perform DOT Oral Fluid Tesitng.

Drug Screening Near Me

If you are seeking drug screening services that are close and convenient, you have come to the right place.  Workplace Screening Intelligence has over 20,000 plus electronically enabled sites that means you will be able to find a DOT Drug Screen Near Me without traveling very far.  Contact our knowledgeable Support Staff today at 844-573-8378 or or press on link to order now:

Drug Screening Locations

Would you like to see a list of drug screen locations near your workplace or home.  Press on link below and enter city and state or zip code in search box.  For instance, if you want an Orlando, FL Drug Test, enter Orlando, FL or the zip code.

Medical Review Officer (MRO)

An MRO is a licensed physician responsible for receiving and reviewing laboratory results. They play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of the DOT drug testing process. A Medical Review Officer must be used for all DOT and Federally Regulated Drug Testing.

FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

 The FMCSA Clearinghouse is a centralized database that retains records of violations of drug and alcohol testing for commercial drivers. It is a crucial aspect of maintaining safety on the roads. Every employer must do the following to be in compliance with the Clearinghouse FMCSA:

  • Register in the FMCSA Clearinghouse
  • Educate Employees and Supervisors on Rights and Responsibilities
  • Perform Pre-Employment Queries on each new hire
  • Perform Annual Queries on all drivers
  • Create FMCSA Clearinghouse Addendum for Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy
  • Report Positive Alcohols
  • Report Collection Site Refusals
  • Report Known Drug and Alcohol Use

A FMCSA employer may also appoint a CTPA like Workplace Screening Intelligence to perform Clearinghouse FMCSA duties on their behalf.  Need more information on FMCSA Clearinghouse Services?

Motor Vehicle Records

MVR checks are an integral part of the screening process and involve reviewing an employee’s driving history for any violations which might impact their suitability for the role.

DOT Physicals

DOT Physicals are mandatory examinations required to ensure drivers are physically capable of meeting the demands of the job and handling the stressors of the road. Every physical must be repeated before the expiration date on medical card.  Most healthy employees will repeat every 2 years.  Less healthier employees repeat every 90-365 days.

Need a DOT Physical near me?  Contact our knowledgeable support staff today at 844-573-8378 or or press on link to order now:

DOT Supervisor Training

Training for supervisors under DOT is a requirement to ensure critical figures within a company can identify signs of drug and alcohol use among employees. The training includes two hours of Supervisor Training to meet DOT Requirements.  For more information on DOT Supervisor Training:

Written DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy

Every company must have a clear, written policy outlining the drug and alcohol testing protocols as per DOT regulations. Do you need assistance with your DOT Policy.  Workplace Screening Intelligence can customize a DOT policy to meet your drug and alcohol testing needs.  Contact us today at 844-573-8378 for more information.


At Workplace Screening Intelligence we bring 30 years of experience and cutting-edge technology to provide peace of mind for DOT employees and employers alike. From ensuring your DOT screenings meet the rigorous standards, to guiding you through the complexities of the FMCSA Clearinghouse and other DOT mandates, we are here to ensure safety and compliance are at the forefront of your operation.

Need assistance with your DOT Screening Program or need to order a drug test, physical or other service today?  We have 20,000 electronically enabled collection sites near your workplace or your employee/applicant’s home.  This means you can order and test today.  Contact our knowledgeable support staff at 844-573-8378 or or press on link below to order now:

What our Customers Say about Workplace Screening Intelligence:

Carlie M. gave us a 5 Star Google Review and said, Brenda is amazing! Always so helpful and knowledgeable. Switching from our old provider to WSI has made my job SO much easier!!