Last Updated: December 18, 2023
The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) has approved oral fluid drug testing for DOT-regulated employers. Oral fluid testing will not begin until two laboratories are certified by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This is not expected until late 2023 or early 2024.
The new oral fluid testing rules will affect all DOT agency drug and alcohol testing programs, including:
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) will also adopt the new DOT rules for oral fluid drug testing.
Oral fluid testing has existed for many years for non-DOT drug testing programs. It is an accurate method of testing for drugs and, in fact, typically picks up more positive results. The main difference between urine and oral testing is the detection time. For urine testing, it’s usually six to eight hours after drug use, and for oral fluid testing, it’s almost immediate, especially for marijuana.
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Urine drug testing is not going away in the DOT drug testing program. Oral fluid is an alternative specimen that can be used as authorized by the employer. Only the employer can authorize the use of either urine or oral fluid or switch to the other when there might be a problem collection such as:
Applicants and employees cannot choose for themselves between urine and oral fluid testing. Collectors cannot make the decision to perform urine or oral fluid testing. The choice as the regulation stipulates is always an employer decision.
There is one situation where oral fluid will be required. Oral fluid testing must be available for directly observed collections for transgender and nonbinary individuals.
Employers are encouraged to have standing orders so that the collectors know what specimen they need to collect for regular collections and for direct observation, shy bladder, and dry mouth collections. The standing orders should include information on when to switch from urine to oral fluid or oral fluid to urine.
US Drug Test Centers is an industry leader in DOT drug testing, and this will now include oral fluid drug testing. Our new and existing clients will have full services available with urine drug testing, oral fluid drug testing, and/or a combination of urine and oral.
US Drug Test Centers will assist new and existing clients with setting up accounts for oral fluid testing. Assistance will be provided for employers to develop standing orders from the employer so that collectors know what specimen they need to collect for regular collections and for dry mouth, direct observation, and shy bladder situations. This will provide maximum efficiency for DOT drug and alcohol testing programs.
Contact Us for more information on oral fluid testing.
Learn more on our US Drug Test Centers web page: DOT Approves Oral Fluid Drug Testing
Additional steps for the oral fluid collection including a potential 10 minute period are outlined in DOT Rule 49 CFR Part 40 Section 40.72.
Use oral fluid specimen collection:
Many other questions can be answered on our US Drug Test Centers web page providing the Facts On DOT Oral Fluid Drug Testing.