Return to Duty Process

Send SAP request

Once a driver with a verified drug and alcohol program violation is prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions, the employer provides the driver with a list of DOT-qualified SAPs.

SAP Designated

Once a driver makes contact with a DOT-qualified SAP and agrees to participate in their program, their request is accepted, and their SAP has officially been designated. Your designated SAP should support you through the process.

Initial SAP Assessment Completed

The next step requires the driver to meet with their SAP provider for a face-to-face clinical SAP evaluation. Once the assessment is complete, the SAP will update and complete

Driver Determined Eligible for RTD test

Your SAP will make recommendations to you for treatment and education. You must comply with the treatment(s) and educational requests given to you to receive a Return to Duty Letter and become eligible for RTD testing.

RTD Test with Negative Results

You will then be sent for an RTD test by your current or prospective employer. Once the driver can produce a negative RTD test result, they are no longer prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions.

Follow-Up Testing Plan Completed

Once a driver has returned to work, any employer that employs this driver during the prescribed time will be responsible for completing the testing plan created by the SAP.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What laboratories may be used for DOT drug testing?

Only drug testing laboratories located in the U.S., certified by HHS under the National Laboratory Certification Program, are permitted to participate in DOT drug testing.

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As an MRO, you have the following essential responsibilities:

  • Acting as an independent and impartial "gatekeeper" and advocate for the accuracy and integrity of the drug testing process.
  • Providing a quality assurance review of the drug testing process for the specimens being reviewed

Congress passed the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 because they recognized the safety need for ensuring drug- and alcohol-free transportation employees. The "Act" required DOT Agencies to implement drug testing of safety-sensitive transportation employees in the aviation, trucking (including school bus drivers and particular limousine and van drivers), railroads, mass transit, and pipelines industries.

1-Pre-employment testing: Occurs before hire or transfer into a safety-sensitive function.

Random testing: Unannounced on an ongoing basis, spread reasonably throughout the calendar year

Post-accident testing - Occurs following the modes qualifying accident.

Reasonable Cause/Suspicion testing - Occurs when a company official or supervisor believes the employee shows signs of drug use and alcohol misuse.

Return-to-duty and Follow-up testing: Occurs after an employee has a verified positive drug test, positive alcohol test result, or refusal to test. The employee must take a return-to-duty test before returning to safety-sensitive functions

You will be tested for the following drugs:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Opioids (Codeine, morphine, heroin, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, oxymorphone)
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Amphetamines, Methamphetamines, and Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)

Refusals include, but are not limited to:

  • No-show (failure to appear at the test collection site at the designated time)
  • Failure to remain at the testing site until the collection is completed
  • Adulteration (urine specimen containing a substance or a concentration of a substance inconsistent with human urine)
  • Substitution (urine specimen containing creatinine and specific gravity levels inconsistent with human urine)
  • Failure to cooperate with any part of the testing process