Drug testing for employees is a requirement that spans industries. The truck transportation industry is no exception to this requirement, as the Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that truck drivers undergo regular drug testing. This requirement certainly applies to Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders, but do non-CDL drivers need drug testing? Read on to find out.
Not all drivers need a CDL to drive a truck. There are a few key differences between CDL and non-CDL drivers. A driver who will be operating a vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of over 26,000 lbs. must have a CDL. Drivers who will be operating vehicles that carry 16 or more people (including the driver) must also have a CDL, as must drivers who are operating a vehicle that requires a hazardous placard. If a driver is operating a vehicle that is under 26,000 lbs. and is carrying under 16 passengers, the driver is considered non-CDL.
The short answer to this question is no. While all CDL drivers are required by the DOT to undergo random drug and alcohol testing, the DOT does not require non-CDL drivers to be tested. However, employers are permitted to conduct drug and alcohol testing on their non-CDL drivers separately from the DOT, as long as it is stipulated in the company drug testing policy and the drivers have been properly informed per state and local laws. Non-CDL drivers’ tests must be placed in a pool separate from the pool for DOT-required CDL drivers’ tests. Also, depending on the state, there could be a discount on the company’s worker’s compensation insurance. Contact Labworks USA to see if your state offers these discounts.
Even though drug and alcohol tests are not required for non-CDL drivers by the DOT’s standards, it is still a good idea to test all employees, including non-CDL drivers. Most professions, including those in the trucking industry, require employees to pass a drug test as a condition for employment. Enforcing drug tests ensures the workplace remains a safe space and discourages employees from misusing drugs and alcohol. In industries like trucking and transportation that involve a lot of time on the road, substance abuse can be dangerous or even fatal to drivers, passengers, and other individuals on the road.
Whether you are a CDL driver or a non-CDL driver who is thinking about getting their CDL, it’s important to be aware of the DOT’s drug testing requirements. A DOT drug testing consortium like Labworks USA exists to make the drug and alcohol testing process easier for drivers and transportation companies, so consider joining today. We’ll work to keep drivers safe and ensure your drug and alcohol tests adhere to DOT legal requirements.Back to Blogs