Recent News & Updates

Consortium/Third-Party Administrator (CTPA)

Health and Safety

Nationwide Testing Association, Inc., is a Consortium/Third-Party Administrator. Being a C/TPA means that we manage all, or part, of our client’s DOT drug and alcohol testing program. Our goal as a C/TPA is to guide our clients in safety and regulatory compliance.

As a DOT Consortium, we play a unique service agent role for our owner operator and single driver clients. While 40.355 (K) prohibits service agents from serving as “designated employer representatives” (DER), the consortium is authorized to perform a number of employer functions for you. Larger DOT-Regulated employers may choose to be part of our consortium, or request a stand-alone DOT random testing program.

Would you like to learn more about our programs? Learn More!

We are the industry leader for DOT, Department of Transportation, compliant drug and alcohol testing programs, as well as our program administration, and customer service!  Would you like to learn why?

Contact us for more information!

Medical & Recreational Marijuana in a DOT Regulated Workplace

Marijuana & CBD Oil

As more and more states enact laws authorizing the use of medical and recreational marijuana, it is increasingly important for employers to stay informed. We have had several inquires about whether the Department of Transportation would change its longstanding regulation about the use of marijuana by safety-sensitive transportation employees. The Department of Transportation’s regulations impact pilots, school bus drivers, truck drivers, train engineers, subway operators, aircraft maintenance personnel, transit fire-armed security personnel, ship captains, and pipeline emergency response personnel, among others.

 

The Department of Transportation’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulations – 49 CFR Part 40 at 40.151(e) – does not authorize “medical marijuana” under state law to be a valid medical explanation for a transportation employee’s positive drug test result.

 

“40.151 (e) – You must not verify a test negative based on information that a physician recommended that the employee use a drug listed in schedule I of the Controlled Substance Act. (e.g., under a state law that purports to authorize such recommendations, such as the “medical marijuana” laws that some states have adopted.) “

 

Marijuana remains a drug listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substance Act. It remains unacceptable for any safety-sensitive employee subject to drug testing under the Department of Transportation’s drug testing regulations to use marijuana.

 

The purpose of these regulations is to assure the traveling public that our transportation system is the safest it can possibly be. It continues to be important to educate all of your safety-sensitive employees on the regulations and ensure that you are operating safely.

 

If you would like our help or are interested in talking to us, then contact us. We have been helping companies promote safety for over 38 years!

Understanding The FMCSA Clearinghouse!

In preparation for the upcoming FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse effective January 6, 2020, NTA offers:

  • Updated FMCSA Substance Abuse Policies and Driver Educational Materials to add the new component of FMCSR Part 382.601 (#12). These updates are included in the Annual Management Fee for existing clients.
    • Policies and Educational material can be purchased by non-clients for $50.00.
  • Important: Owner-operators are required to designate a Third Party Administrator (TPA) to manage their clearinghouse processes. Nationwide Testing Association Inc is your Third Party Administrator. If you need help registering and designating us as your TPA, please call our office.
    • Managing the clearinghouse process for owner-operators will be included in your annual management fee.

 

Our clients may choose to add the following package of services to their program. This package may be billed as a monthly, quarterly, or yearly subscription.

  • Full Queries run automatically after the completion of a pre-employment DOT drug test.
  • Annual Limited Queries run automatically on all drivers, either based on a predetermined date or scheduled with your annual MVR with Nationwide Testing Association.
  • Coordination, evaluation, and assistance with all required reporting.
  • Assistance in understanding and interpreting clearinghouse data.

Contact us today for more information!

FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse Services

18-Wheeler on Highway

In preparation for the upcoming FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse effective January 6, 2020, NTA offers:

  • Updated FMCSA Substance Abuse Policies and Driver Educational Materials to add the new component of FMCSR Part 382.601 (#12). These updates are included in the Annual Management Fee for existing clients.
    • Policies and Educational material can be purchased by non-clients for $50.00.
  • Important: Owner-operators are required to designate a Third Party Administrator (TPA) to manage their clearinghouse processes. Nationwide Testing Association is your Third Party Administrator. If you need help registering and designating us as your TPA, please call our office.
    • Managing the clearinghouse process for owner-operators will be included in your annual management fee.

 

Our clients may choose to add the following package of services to their program. This package may be billed as a monthly, quarterly, or yearly subscription.

  • Full Queries run automatically after the completion of a pre-employment DOT drug test.
  • Annual Limited Queries run automatically on all drivers, either based on a predetermined date or scheduled with your annual MVR with Nationwide Testing Association.
  • Coordination, evaluation, and assistance with all required reporting.
  • Assistance in understanding and interpreting clearinghouse data.

 

Contact us for a quote!

My Driver Failed A Drug Test, What Now?

Trucking

When a driver has a verified positive drug test or refuses to test, the driver must be removed from a safety-sensitive function immediately per 49 CFR 382.501. No employer shall permit any driver to perform safety-sensitive functions; including driving a commercial motor vehicle, if the driver has engaged in conduct prohibited by Subpart B of this part or any alcohol or controlled substance rule of another DOT agency. The employer must present the driver with a list of Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs) per 40.287. The list must be provided to the driver (or driver applicant) whether or not the carrier retains the driver in their employment. Retention of the driver would be based on the company policy.

In order to resume a safety-sensitive function, the driver must complete the Return-to-Duty Process of Subpart O of Part 40. The driver cannot perform a safety-sensitive function again until all the necessary steps are completed:

  1. The driver must seek a face-to-face evaluation from a SAP. (Payment of the evaluation is based on management-labor agreements and healthcare benefits and is not required of the employer under the FMCSRs.)
  2. The SAP will refer the driver to an appropriate treatment and education program.
  3. The driver must complete the required treatment and education and return to the SAP for another face-to-face evaluation.
  4. If the SAP is satisfied that the driver is able to return to driving, he/she will issue a report on his/her findings to the Designated Employer Representative.
  5. This report will list any continuing treatment and education, if required, and the number of DOT follow-up drug and/or alcohol tests required in a given time frame. The driver will be required to have a minimum of six unannounced follow-up tests in the first 12 months following the employee’s return to a safety-sensitive function. The SAP may require follow-up testing for up to five years.
  6. The driver now can go, and not prior to this point, for a return-to-duty drug and/or alcohol test. The employer must wait for the go ahead from the SAP before sending the driver in for the return-to-duty test. A negative result must be received before the driver can return to a safety-sensitive function.

After the driver returns to a safety-sensitive function, the employer must send the driver for the required number of unannounced follow-up tests making sure that they do not have any discernible pattern.

All records relating to a DOT-drug and alcohol violation must be retained for five years per 382.401. If the driver leaves the motor carrier’s employment prior to the completion of the very last follow up test, this information must be supplied to the prospective employer per 40.25, and the next employer(s) must pick up where the process left off.

*Please note that follow up and return-to-duty tests are always directly observed.

If you have any questions about this process, please contact us!

Reviewing the Annual MVR

Magnifying Glass Reviewing Documents

(FMCSR Part 383.51)

When reviewing the annual MVR of a driver holding a CDL, the manager should be looking at any convictions for “Serious Traffic Violations”.  The manager should be assessing how many have occurred, was the conviction in a commercial motor vehicle or personal vehicle, and when the convictions occurred.  CDL holders are penalized if they accrue too many violations within a certain period.

How many convictions of a serious traffic violation should you look for?

If a driver has 2 convictions of a serious traffic violation that occurred in the commercial motor vehicle within a 3 year period, his CDL is automatically suspended for 60 days.

If a driver has 3 convictions of a serious traffic violation that occurred in the commercial motor vehicle within a 3 year period, his CDL is automatically suspended for 120 days.

Do convictions of serious traffic violations that occurred in a non-commercial motor vehicle count?

Yes, IF the conviction resulted in the revocation, cancellation, or suspension of the CDL holder’s license or non-CMV driving privileges.

If a driver is convicted of serious traffic violation in a non-commercial motor vehicle that doesn’t result in revocation, cancellation, or suspension of the CDL holder’s license or non-CMV driving privileges, the offense will not be considered.

When reviewing and evaluating the MVR, what red flags does the manager look for?

He/she should be looking for convictions of serious traffic violations as outlined above within the time periods as outlined above.  For example, if a driver has 1 conviction of a serious traffic violation, the manager should point this out to the driver and remind him that just 1 more conviction could result in the suspension of the CDL for 60-120 days.

If excessive points are on the MVR, the manager should evaluate what the points consist of, particularly if they have accumulated in the commercial motor vehicle.  He/she should then counsel the driver accordingly.  A consultation with the company liability insurance agent would be appropriate in the case of excessive points.

Is the driver required to notify the motor carrier of convictions and/or suspensions of license?

Yes, FMCSR Part 383.31 clearly states that the driver must notify the employer when convicted of any traffic violation (other than parking) within 30 days after the date of conviction.  In addition, a driver must notify his resident state of any convictions of a traffic violation (other than parking) that occurred in another state within 30 days of the conviction.

The notification to the state and the employer must be made in writing and contain the following information:  Full name, license number, date of conviction, the specific offense, indicate whether the conviction was in a commercial motor vehicle, location offense and driver’s signature.

FMCSR Part 383.33 clearly states that any driver who has a driver’s license suspended, cancelled, or revoked or loses the right to operate a commercial motor vehicle due to disqualifying offenses for any period of time, must notify the employer before the end of the business day following the day of the suspension, revocation, cancellation, lost privilege, or disqualification.

*Definition of Serious Traffic Violation

(FMCSR Part 383.5)

  1. Excessive speeding, involving any single offense for any speed of 15 miles per hours or more above the posted speed limit
  2. Reckless driving, as defined by State or local law or regulation, including but not limited to offenses of driving a CMV in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property
  3. Improper or erratic traffic lane changes
  4. Following the vehicle ahead too closely
  5. A violation, arising in connection with a fatal accident, of State or local law relating to a motor vehicle traffic control
  6. Driving a CMV without obtaining a CDL
  7. Driving a CMV without a CDL in the driver’s possession. (If the driver can provide proof that he/she held a valid CDL by the date the driver must appear in court, he/she shall not be guilty of this offense)
  8. Driving a CMV without the proper class of CDL and/or endorsements for the specific vehicle group being operated or the type of cargo being transported Contact us today to get set up for background checks and motor vehicle reports! We are proud to be your one-stop-shop for DOT compliance!