Small Trucking and Bus Companies
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulate trucking company background checks, truck driver pre-employment screening, and drug testing requirements for holders of commercial drivers’ licenses (CDL).
In almost all cases, these rules apply to owners of, and drivers for, small trucking and bus companies. Failure to follow FMCSA drug and alcohol policy regulations can create public safety issues and result in costly fines.
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Drug Testing Info for Small Trucking and Bus Companies
DOT (FMCSA) Drug Testing Regulations for Small Trucking and Bus Companies
CDL background check requirements and drug testing rules are covered under 49 CFR Part 391 and 49 CFR Part 382. These rules outline requirements for owners of small trucking and bus companies. Specifically, regarding substance testing, they must have a written drug and alcohol policy in place and provide educational materials that explain the testing regulations.
Use of the FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is also required. This online database holds a five-year history of any CDL drivers who have failed a drug or alcohol test. Small truck and bus company employers must check this database before hiring a new employee and once a year. They must also report any employee with a failed drug test to the clearinghouse.
Drug and Alcohol Testing Frequency
All CDL drivers who do not meet one of the DOL exemptions must submit to FMCSA drug tests at certain points in their careers. This includes the following:
Special School Bus Driver Rules and Regulations
Due to the seasonal nature of driving school buses, there are specific FMCSA school bus regulations regarding drug testing. Unlike other CDL drivers, school bus drivers do not have to submit to pre-employment drug testing after a 30-day absence as long as they remain in the random selection pool over the summer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do small trucking or bus companies drug test/background check?
Yes. All small trucking and bus companies whose drivers operate commercial vehicles must follow FMCSA regulations. This includes conducting the required drug testing and background checks.
Are trucking companies federally regulated?
Trucking companies are regulated by local and state governments as well as by the federal government under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
Do all trucking companies drug test?
Yes. Every trucking company is legally required to conduct pre-employment drug testing and may only hire drivers who pass. CDL drivers must also submit to random, reasonable suspicion, and post-accident drug testing.
What do trucking companies look for in a background check?
Background checks typically check an applicant’s driving history, criminal history, and employment history. They also include a 5-panel drug test, and the employer will check the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse for records of a failed test.
This Information Is Not Intended for Legal Purposes
The information provided on this page is intended for your own knowledge, and should not be used for legal matters. Please seek the advice of a legal expert regarding legal advice for drug testing laws in your state.