Reg vs Non-Reg Testing

The Intricacies of Drug Testing: Regulated vs. Non-Regulated

For many employers, HR professionals, and safety compliance officers, navigating the complex world of drug testing can be a daunting task. Whether you’re an owner-operator looking to maintain compliance or a company working towards creating a safe workplace, understanding the differences between regulated and non-regulated drug testing is crucial. Given how these processes impact hiring, regulatory adherence, and workplace safety, it’s important to stay informed. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover the key distinctions and procedures for both types of drug tests, explore the requirements for DOT and non-DOT physicals, and discuss the implications of the FMCSA Clearinghouse.


In this detailed blog post, we will examine the differences between regulated and non-regulated drug tests, what they entail, and how they fit into the larger context of employment screening. With our 30 years of experience in the field and modern technology, we will provide you with the peace of mind needed to maneuver through these important aspects of workforce compliance and safety.

Understanding Drug Tests

Drug tests have become a standard part of the hiring process in many industries, serving as a key component in ensuring a safe and productive work environment. But not all drug tests are created equal. We will decode the terms “drug test,” “regulated drug test,” “non-regulated drug test,” and discuss their significance within different contexts.

The Basics of Drug Testing

  • Importance of Drug Testing in the Workplace
  • Types of Drugs Commonly Tested for across Industries
  • Best Practices for Implementing a Drug Testing Program

Regulated Drug Test

A regulated drug test is governed by strict federal guidelines. We will explore what sectors require these types of testings, such as the Department of Transportation (DOT), and how they affect employers and employees.

What Constitutes a Regulated Drug Test

  • Requirements and Procedures
  • Role of DOT Physicals in Regulated Testing
  • Impact of the FMCSA Clearinghouse on Record-Keeping and Compliance

Non Regulated Drug Test

Non-regulated drug tests are not governed by federal guidelines but can be just as important for companies. They offer flexibility and can be tailored to fit a company’s specific needs.

Differences from Regulated Testing

Situational Use for Non-regulated Drug Tests

Non Regulated Employers can utilize non-reg testing for their non-dot employees. Non-regulated testing includes urine drug testing, saliva testing and Hair Follicle Testing.  As long as there is a written drug and alcohol testing policy, these test can be utilized for all of your employee testing need for your non-regulated employees.

Is there ever a time that DOT employees can have a non-regulated test.  Yes, please see below examples:

  1. Company has a must test for a post-accident drug test after every accident whether it qualifies under the DOT or not.  In this instance if it qualifies under the DOT post-accident guidelines, then the test is done on a DOT form.  If the post-accident qualifies under the DOT guidelines, then it is done on a DOT form.
  2. Employer wishes to do additional testing.  For example, many transportation companies prefer to do a Hair Follicle Test in addition to the urine screen.  Many do this because they want their employees to be 100% drug free and they enjoy the benefits of employing safer drivers.  They can perform the Hair Follicle test in addition to the DOT Pre-Employment test.

Industry Types and Their Approach to Non-Regulated Tests

Every industry and every individual company can choose the appropriate test.  For example, car dealership testing may include saliva drug testing for their post-accident testing due to recent use and use urine for their random testing due to lowest cost and use Hair Follicle Testing for pre-employment testing due to 90 days detection to keep drugs out of their workplace.

Considerations for Policy Development and Implementation

You must have a drug and alcohol testing policy if you plan to have a drug and alcohol testing program.  In today’s competitive and fast-paced work environment, implementing a drug and alcohol testing policy is not just a precaution; it’s a critical step towards safeguarding workplace safety and maintaining high productivity standards. Such a policy is crucial in removing drug users from the workplace, thus mitigating the risk of accidents, injuries, and errors that could result from impaired judgment or delayed response times. A strict and clear policy ensures that all employees are operating in an environment where safety is a top priority, which can significantly decrease the probability of work-related incidents. Furthermore, this practice ensures a level playing field, where employees and employers alike understand the serious repercussions associated with drug and alcohol use in the workplace. Fairness is established through uniform testing procedures, and penalties are clearly communicated, preventing any ambiguity about the company’s stance on substance abuse. By affirming a firm commitment to this policy, companies proactively foster a safer, more productive, and professionally motivated workforce. The return on such investment is immeasurable – it encompasses not only the reduced liability and healthcare costs for the employer but also a healthier, more reliable, and fully engaged team of professionals.

Need assistance with your drug and alcohol testing policy?  We can quickly and affordably create a new customizable drug policy for your organization. Contact our knowledgeable support staff at 844-573-8378 or

Drug Testing Near You

Finding reliable and compliant drug testing services can be challenging. Learn where to find a qualified drug testing center and what to look for in a provider.  If you are looking for a reliable drug screen collection site, you have come to the right place.  At Workplace Screening Intelligence, we offer 20,000 electronically enabled drug screening sites near your workplace or your employee’s home. This is very important for your hiring process and testing current employees.  When you ask a candidate to drive 10 miles to a drug testing site, they may decide to go with an employer’s offer who offers a closer site.  Additionally, you have better productivity when the site is closer for post-accident and random testing.

Seeking Quality Drug Screening Services Locally

  • Make sure your sites are certified to perform DOT testing.  If certified like Workplace Screening Intelligence sites, they will perform at a high competency rate vs. non-certified sites.
  • The Importance of SAMHSA Certification.  At WSI, we only utilize SAMHSA certified sites so quality is assured in every aspect of testing.

DOT Physicals and NON-DOT Physical

Whether your employees must pass DOT or NON-DOT physicals impacts significantly how you manage their health assessments.

What Is a DOT Physical?

  • Requirements for Passing a DOT Physical
  • Validity Period and Importance for Safety-sensitive Positions

Understanding NON-DOT Physicals

  • Why They’re Performed and Who Requires Them
  • Differences Between DOT and NON-DOT Physical Requirements

If you have questions about physicals, we have knowledgeable support staff available to answer your questions.  Contact our knowledgeable support staff at 844-573-8378 or or press on link to order now:

Finding a Physical Examination Near You

Secure the health of your employees and the safety of others by ensuring access to comprehensive physical examinations. At Workplace Screening Intelligence, we have access to 5,000 Physical Examination locations close to your workplace or your employee’s home.

Navigating the FMCSA Clearinghouse

A look into how the FMCSA Clearinghouse affects the tracking and reporting of safety-sensitive employees’ drug and alcohol violations. The Clearinghouse FMCSA is a repository of drug and alcohol testing violations.  It easily allows employers to check each pre-employment driver’s drug and alcohol testing violations without having to contact each past employer.

Purpose and Goals of the FMCSA Clearinghouse

  • Employer Responsibilities and Reporting Requirements. Every FMCSA Employer must register and perform pre-employment driver and annual queries on every driver.  Additionally, employers must report positive alcohols, known drug use and collection site refusals as well as provide employee and supervisor training. Do not be concerned or overwhelmed with the requirements as the FMCSA allows you to appoint a CTPA to report and query on your behalf.  For more information on FMCSA Clearinghouse Assistance, press link below:

Role of a Medical Review Officer

Understanding the role of a Medical Review Officer (MRO) is important in interpreting drug test results and maintaining federal compliance.

Duties and Responsibilities of an MRO

  • How to Choose an MRO for Your Drug Testing Program.  Make sure your MRO has the experience to understand the role they play in your drug testing program.  Choosing a MRO that is either AAMRO or MROCC certified is a great starting point.  Workplace Screening Intelligence only employs MROs that meet this stringent requirement.
  • MRO’s Role in Ensuring Accurate and Fair Drug Testing.  The MRO assures fairness in the drug testing program.  They overturn positives that have a legal prescription as well as include the balance between safety sensitive functions as well as legal prescriptions as you wouldn’t want to have someone driving a fork lift while they had a prescription for Oxycodone.

Bringing It All Together

Leverage the assurance that comes from three decades of proficiency, innovation, and reliability. At the forefront of our services lies a pioneering specimen tracking system, tailored to keep you informed at every stage of the hiring process. From the moment your applicant steps into the collection site to the instant the specimen arrives at our state-of-the-art laboratory—our technology defines accuracy and transparency. With each sample meticulously monitored through the Medical Review Officer (MRO) process, we promise an experience that places real-time data, efficiency, and peace of mind at your fingertips. Trust in our seasoned expertise to elevate your procedural precision to new heights and you will know where in the process your candidate is.

If you need assistance with your drug testing program or wish to order a drug screen or physical today, please contact our knowledgeable support staff at 844-573-8378 (TEST) or Let Our 30 Years of Experience and Technology Be your Peace of Mind.