Does a Failed DOT Drug Test Go on Your Record?

Does a Failed DOT Drug Test Go on Your Record?


Since the early 1990s, the Department of Transportation has used drug and alcohol testing to monitor safety-sensitive transportation employees. This ensures that pilots, truck drivers, mass transit operators, and other professionals operate in a drug-free and alcohol-free environment. If you have recently gone through drug and alcohol testing, you may wonder, “Does a failed DOT drug test go on your record?” The short answer is yes, but that does not mean you are without options. Read on to learn how DOT positive test results are reported.

A failed DOT drug or alcohol test stays in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse until you successfully comply with the Return-to-Duty process with a DOT qualified Substance Abuse Professional (SAP).  As of January 6, 2020, FMCSA drug and alcohol violations are now reported to the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse by Employers or Medical Review Officers (MRO). If you failed or refused a DOT FMCSA drug and/or alcohol test that occurred on or after that date, the information will remain in the Clearinghouse until you successfully complete the Return-to-Duty process. After the driver successfully completes the process the employer will report negative follow up test results and successful completion of the driver’s follow up testing plan within the Clearinghouse. The record on that driver will then stay in the Clearinghouse for 5 years.

Your positive drug test results will be in the Clearinghouse whether you have an account or not. The information is linked to your commercial driver’s license number and issuing state. If you obtain a CDL in another state, the Clearinghouse will link your CDLs and the data connected to them. You may review your Clearinghouse record for free at any time by becoming an authorized user. Keep in mind, your prospective employer is required to check for violations with past employers as well. As a DOT safety sensitive covered employee, you also hold the responsibility to provide violations to your prospective employer.

Your Test Results Are Not Released without Your Written Consent

Your DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing results are not accessible to the public. Only authorized users are allowed to access information in the Clearinghouse. Furthermore, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will only share drug and alcohol violations with current or prospective employers, and/or their consortium/third-party administrator (C/TPA), after you provide consent. Drivers must register in the Clearinghouse to receive this full query consent from your current or prospective employer electronically, including pre-employment queries. For limited query consents, your current employer will provide you with a written consent. Failure to provide full or limited query consents will restrict current or prospective employers from allowing you to perform safety sensitive work. Drivers registered in the Clearinghouse can view their own record at any time.

How to Return to Work after a Failed DOT Drug Test

A failed DOT drug test does not have to mark the end of your career. By completing, the Return-to-Duty process through a DOT qualified Substance Abuse Professional (SAP), you would be eligible to return to safety sensitive work again. The Return-to-Duty process includes a one-on-one evaluation with a SAP, followed by treatment or education personalized (depending on your case). Upon completion, you will go through a follow-up evaluation with your SAP.


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ASAP offers a nationwide network of over 5,000 locations with DOT qualified SAPs. Our trained and knowledgeable team will assist you in understanding the process and signing up. It’s fast and easy to enroll with ASAP! 888.792.2727 x607

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