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How Long Does the DOT Return To Duty Process Take?

Written by Nick Webster

Published on Dec. 19, 2023, 4:27 p.m.


How Long Does the DOT Return To Duty Process Take I Want to Work Again?

“How long does the DOT return to duty process take?” is an excellent question. Once all the required follow-up tests are done, the truck driver will have officially gone through the whole DOT Return to Duty process. This process takes a minimum of 12.5 months, and any violation will stay on the FMCSA Clearinghouse record for up to 5 years. Read here about Starting a Trucking Company Correctly.

What Does “Return To Duty Process” Mean?

After failing or refusing to take a required DOT drug test or alcohol test, CDL drivers must go through the return to duty process to be able to drive a commercial motor vehicle again legally. What is the DOT SAP Program?

This process includes an evaluation by a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP), completion of a training and education program, as well as return-to-duty drug and alcohol testing. Finally, after successfully completing this procedure, follow-up tests will be conducted for quality assurance. Once these have been cleared, drivers are then qualified to perform safety-sensitive functions again. How To Request the DOT PIN Number?

How Much Will a Driver’s Return To Duty Process Cost?

On average, the RTD testing is about $50 per test. Your new trucking company usually covers this cost, although some may deduct it from your settlement. With Clearinghouse Return to Duty, however, there's no charge for participating in the process. Expect to spend over $1,000 on related expenses and fees. Be sure to check with your trucking company about costs beforehand so you know what to expect. You will need driver qualification files filed out by all employees who drive for you working.

The cost of engaging a SAP for return to duty can vary considerably, ranging from $500 to thousands of dollars. The final price will depend on the SAP selected, and the extent of their assessment and program services required. This expense is usually borne by the individual in need of assistance. Also, take a look at what IRP or Apportioned Registration is.

How Long Will It Take for an MRO To Report To the Clearinghouse?

If you fail a DOT drug or alcohol test, your trucking or bus company will notify you within 24 to 48 hours that you have been removed from a safety-sensitive function. According to the FMCSA regulations, medical review officers must report results within two business days of deciding or verifying such tests. It is essential for employers and employees alike to understand this timeline so that appropriate steps can be taken in the event of a failed drug test.

Your company won't let you drive until you've completed the return to duty process. This violation of the DOT regulations will likely lead to the termination of your working relationship. However, they can provide you with a list of qualified Substance Abuse Professionals in your area that can help get you back on the road. Must visit FMCSA Hours of Service Suspended topics.

What Is the Role of Each SAP?

If you fail a DOT drug or alcohol test, you must contact a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) to evaluate if there are any signs of a substance abuse disorder. Most SAPs will prefer a face-to-face meeting, but some may agree to do it virtually. Keep in mind that your trucking company is supposed to provide you with a list of certified SAPs, by the FMCSA Return-to-Duty Process regulations. If they have forgotten about this requirement, be sure to remind them! Importance of The FMCSA 30-Minute Break Rule.

A SAP is a mental health provider that specializes in helping individuals with substance abuse issues. The evaluation helps to determine if further treatment is recommended, and any related arrangements that need to be put in place. With expert guidance from an SAP, those struggling with addiction can get back on the right track. What is Unified Carrier Registration?

The SAP will assess the extent of your drug and alcohol use to create a personalized return-to-duty program. This program will outline the steps you must complete before returning to work safely and successfully. They'll also specify how many follow-up DOT drug tests you must complete in the coming year(s). IFTA Sticker Registration steps.

This long-term plan ensures that safety remains paramount while ensuring that appropriate measures are taken to help prevent future substance misuse. You'll be able to rely on an experienced professional to support and guide you through the process. Must visit Trucking Industry Expands Drug Testing Despite Driver Shortage.

What Happens After Being Notified About a Positive Drug Test Result?

You must arrange to meet with an SAP as soon as possible after receiving a failed drug or alcohol test. The sooner this happens, the better! What are the Top 3 DOT paper-appointedViolations?

The SAP will assess your drug and alcohol use, and determine the best course of action for you to take before they release you from their care. This could include enrolling in a program or educational courses. Taking these steps can help set you on the path towards making sure that it doesn't happen again. By meeting with an SAP right away, you can start the process of putting yourself back in control of your health and safety on the road. Also, take a look at the Drug and Alcohol Program policy.

How Long Will a SAP Program Last?

The length of the process and what it entails depends entirely on you and your SAP's evaluation. Some programs may only take a short time, while others may take several months and involve inpatient treatment at a rehabilitation facility. The exact timeline can only be determined between you and the SAP. However long it takes, rest assured that you will have all the help and resources you need throughout your journey. Read about Texas DOT Numbers and USDOT Numbers. Learn here How to Prepare for a Compliance DOT Audit.

What If I Refuse a Test?

Suppose a DOT-mandated safety-sensitive employee refuses to take a test, thus violating one of the department's substance abuse regulations. In that case, they will be immediately removed from any duties related to their job. They will then have to undergo an evaluation by a qualified SAP. What is DOT Clearinghouse Enforcement? Give us a call.

Depending on the SAP's suggestions following the initial assessment, they may need to complete an education or treatment program before returning to safety-sensitive responsibilities. Upon completing this program, they must take and pass a return-to-duty test to resume their original job functions. Check out The Basics of Farm Exemptions. You will then be able to maintain complete motor carrier authority or broker.

Key Points: The DOT Return to Duty Process

  • Failing a DOT drug or alcohol test is severe and could quickly end a truck driver’s career.
  • Drivers must be removed from all safety-sensitive functions (driving) following a failed test. Also, visit the link.
  • A Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) evaluation is necessary to determine if the driver can return to duty.
  • If cleared, the driver must complete an approved drug/alcohol abuse program before being eligible for RTD testing.
  • Once RTD tests are passed, truck drivers may resume driving duties according to FMCSA regulations.
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