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5-panel drug test requirements differ between DOT and non-DOT

DOT-regulated employees must follow federal rules for drug and alcohol testing

A 5-panel drug test is the most common test required by the Department of Transportation (DOT) as well as employers that have drug testing policies in place for non-DOT employees. Wisconsin Drug Testing Consortium (WDTC) provides ease of testing through access to a nationwide network of 17,000 drug testing centers.

The DOT requires employers and owner-operators to ensure their safety-sensitive employees are drug-free as confirmed by pre-employment and random tests. These tests are known as 5-panel drug tests because they look for drugs in five specific classifications:

  • Amphetamines
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana (THC)
  • Opioids
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)

The 5-panel drug test further divides the amphetamines and opioids categories into specific drugs including methamphetamine, codeine, morphine, heroin, oxycodone and others. While oral drug testing may become an option in the near future for DOT tests, the current standard for a 5-panel drug test remains urine tests.

Non-DOT 5-panel drug test results can include more substances

Employers who wish to test their non-DOT employees for the presence of drugs are not bound by the same regulations as DOT employees, also referred to as covered employees. Testing can include the same five drug classifications as well as additional or substituted substances from those included on the DOT 5-panel drug test.

Use of the 5-panel drug test is not a requirement for non-DOT employees, but is considered best practice. Other best practices for non-DOT employees include random testing, referral to an employee assistance program (EAP), a return to duty program and follow-up testing, and use of a qualified specimen collection service.

DOT testing regulations are standard across the USA, while employers may be subject to differing laws in states in which they operate for non-DOT employees. Employers must retain DOT test records separately from those for non-DOT employees. Schedule your 5-panel drug test with WDTC today.

About Wisconsin Drug Testing Consortium

Wisconsin Drug Testing Consortium is an accredited, Certified Third Party Administrator (C-TPA), and specializes in DOT consortium management and Clearinghouse compliance; 100% electronic from your desktop portal; a variety of drug testing methods, including urine, hair and fingernails; post-accident testing; pre-employment drug tests; criminal background checks; supervisor training programs to keep employees compliant with DOT regulations; pre-employment DOT physicals; and paternity DNA testing.

Headquartered in Green Bay, WDTC also has offices in Oshkosh and Appleton, Wisconsin. Call 920-393-4168 or visit for more information.

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