What screening is required for the transportation industry?

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requires certain background checks and drug tests be performed by regulated employers of individuals working in safety sensitive positions. All DOT-regulated employers also are required to perform drug and alcohol testing, as well as verify that the candidate did not violate the drug and alcohol testing regulations during any previous safety sensitive employment.

Every regulated transportation employee must take, and pass, a pre-hire (or pre-assignment) drug test before being permitted to perform any regulated safety-sensitive work. DOT regulations require transportation employers to administer random drug and/or alcohol testing programs that ensure the testing of a certain percentage of workers each year. And, all transportation employers are required to conduct reasonable suspicion drug and alcohol tests when warranted.

There are also other employment screening requirements specific to the various transportation modes (i.e., airlines, railroads, municipal transit, pipeline, etc.).

For example, for covered truck and bus operations, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) also requires a three-year driving history on all commercial driver candidates, which means that these employers must review motor vehicle records from every state in which a driver has held a license during the past three years.

FMCSA also requires at least three years of employment history, as well as three years of drug and alcohol violation test history, be verified with previous employers.

Additional requirements related to drug and alcohol testing and physical qualifications are mandated. Post hire FMCSA regulations require an annual review of each driver’s motor vehicle records and every two years the commercial driver must renew their physical examination.