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CDL drug test requirements begin prior to employment

Wisconsin Drug Testing Consortium conducts CDL drug tests as a C-TPA

Receiving a negative CDL drug test result before permitting a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle is only the first step employers must fulfill in meeting ongoing DOT drug testing requirements. Wisconsin Drug Testing Consortium (WDTC), which conducts testing services as a certified third party administrator (C-TPA), offers CDL drug test services for carriers as well as owner-operator consortiums.

In addition to conducting a pre-employment CDL drug test, employers are required to conduct a test each time a driver returns to work after a layoff period in which the driver was not subjected to random controlled substances testing for more than 30 days or was employed by another company.

There are few exceptions to the CDL drug test requirement

Passing a pre-employment CDL drug test is a condition of driving for any company that falls under Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. There are rare exceptions in which a pre-employment CDL drug test is not required:

  • The driver-applicant has participated in a controlled substances testing program that meets the requirements of 49 CFR part 382 and part 40 (or another DOT agency’s controlled substances testing program) within the previous 30 days, and
  • While participating in that program, the driver-applicant either was tested for controlled substances within the past six months or participated in a random testing program for the previous 12 months, and
  • The employer verifies that no prior employer of the driver-applicant has records of a violation of Part 382, subpart B or the controlled substance prohibited conduct rules of another DOT agency within the previous six months (§382.301(c)).

Employers must obtain enough information to show that the driver is qualified under the regulations. If you operate under either of the exceptions mentioned above, you must contact the previous testing program to verify the following:

  • Name(s) and address(es) of the program(s)
  • That the driver participates or participated in the program(s)
  • That the program is in compliance with 49 CFR part 40
  • That the driver has not refused to be tested for controlled substances
  • The date the driver was last tested for controlled substances, and
  • The results of any tests taken within the previous six months

Employers must obtain a release form signed by the driver-applicant authorizing the previous testing program to share this information and forward that release form to each of the driver’s previous employers.

Contact WDTC for assistance in meeting CDL drug test requirements.

About Wisconsin Drug Testing Consortium

Wisconsin Drug Testing Consortium is an accredited, Certified Third Party Administrator (C-TPA), and specializes in Consortium Management; 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 Appleton, Fond du Lac and Madison, Wisconsin. Call 888-784-8842 or visit for more information.

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