FMCSA publishes guidance on DOT testing for temporary drivers

How long driver is assigned makes a difference

Posted December 23, 2016

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has offered Enforcement Guidance on the use of drivers provided by staffing services in regards to DOT drug and alcohol testing.

Less than 30 consecutive days

According to the FMCSA notice, a staffing service is the “employer” for DOT drug and alcohol testing when the driver is assigned to a motor carrier for a period of less than 30 consecutive days. The staffing service may create its own USDOT testing program to include these casual, intermittent, and occasional drivers.

More than 30 consecutive days

If a leased driver operates or is expected to operate for a motor carrier for a period of more than 30 consecutive days, the driver should be included in the motor carrier’s random testing pool, and the motor carrier should assume full responsibility for the driver under its DOT testing program.

The driver staffing service, according to the Guidance, may remove the driver from its DOT random testing pool or allow the driver to remain in it based on its reasonable expectation on whether the driver will or will not return to its employment as a temporary leased driver.

Motor carrier’s responsibility when using exception

When a casual driver is assigned to a motor carrier by a staffing service and the exception is being utilized, the motor carrier must ensure the driver is participating in a compliant DOT drug and alcohol testing program.

The motor carrier is responsible for ensuring the staffing service complies with all the testing rules. In other words, the motor carrier is making the third party’s testing program its own by way of contract, consortium agreement, or other arrangement. As a result, the staffing services records must be made available to the motor carrier in the event it is investigated by the FMCSA.

Motor carrier’s responsibility when not using exception

If the staffing service does not conduct required testing, the motor carrier must treat the temporary driver as it would any other new hire in a safety-sensitive position, including the DOT pre-employment drug screen, issuance of educational materials and company policy, required background inquiries, and placement in the random pool.

Alcohol & Drugs DOT Compliance ManualJ. J. Keller's Alcohol & Drugs DOT Compliance Manual can help you understand and comply with DOT's Alcohol & Drug Testing requirements, including 49 CFR Parts 382 and 40.


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