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FAQ Topics:

  -Commercial Drivers Licences

  -Hours of Service

  -Inspection, Repair & Maintenance

  -Medical Drug & Alcohol

 Commercial Drivers Licences (CDLs)

Do mechanics, shop help, and other occasional drivers need a CDL if they are operating a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) or if they are only test driving the vehicle?

  • Yes, if the vehicle is operated or test-driven on a public highway.

    Do drivers of ready-mix concrete mixers need a tank vehicle endorsement ("N") on their CDL?

  • No.

    At what age may a person operate a CMV in interstate commerce?

  • 21 years of age.

    Are employers still required to administer road tests since all States have implemented CDL skills testing?

    The employer may either accept a CDL in lieu of a road test or can elect to do the road test.

  •  Hours of Service

    Do the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) allow a driver to deduct delays or downtime due to loading and unloading from his/her daily driving time?

  • No. The driver must include all "on-duty" hours in the time records.

    What constitutes the 100-air-mile radius?

  • 100 air miles are equivalent to 115.8 statute miles extending in a 360 degree circle from the point of origin.

    May a motor carrier return a driver's completed record of duty statusto the driverfor correction of inaccurate or incomplete entries?

  • Yes.

  •  Inspection, Repair & Maintenance

    Must a driver prepare a written report of a pre-trip vehicle inspection?

  • No. The driver must prepare a written post-trip inspection report.

    Is it a requirement to inspect both the power unit and the trailer?

  • Yes.

    Is Computerized record-keeping of CMV inspection and maintenance information permissible under the FMCSR's?

  • Yes.

  •  Medical Drug & Alcohol

    Which drivers must DOT-regulated employers drug and alcohol test?

    • Commercial Driver Licence (CDL) holders under Part 383
    • Drivers licensed under Licencia Federal de Conductor (Mexico) requirements
    • Drivers licensed under the Canadian National Safety Code
    • Owner operators with a CDL under Part 383

    Do DOT-regulated employers have to do pre-employment drug tests on every driver?

  • The DOT requires drivers to be tested prior to road test and/or first dispatch for safety sensitive functions unless the employer chooses to utilize the pre-employment exemption in Part 382. However, the employer must meet all documentation requirements if s/he elects to use the exemption.

    Does a DOT-regulated employer have to have a written drug and alcohol policy?

  • Yes. In addition to distributing educational materials an employer must also distribute materials the DOT specifies in Part 382. The employer must obtain a signed receipt from each driver for these materials.

    If a part-time driver is in a random testing pool with another employer, does s/he have to be in the random testing pool of other employers for which s/he drives?

  • Yes. The driver must be in the pool of all employers for which s/he drives or performs safety-sensitive duties.

    Can a driver be selected for random testing more than once in a year?

  • Yes. The regulations state that all drivers must have an equal chance of being selected for testing each time a selection is conducted.

    What are the requirements for post-accident testing?

    • In the event of an accidentinvolving a fatality all surviving commercial vehicle operators must be drug and alcohol tested regardless of fault.
    • If the driver receives a citation for a moving violation, and either
      1. There was a bodily injury with immediate medical treatment from the scene or
      2. There is disabling damage to any motor vehicle requiring the vehicle to be towed away, the driver must undergo drug and alcohol testing.

    If a driver refuses to take a test, has a positive, adulterated or substituted drug test, or an alcohol test 0.04 or greater, when can s/he return to driving or safety sensitive duties?

  • The driver must be avaluated by a qualified substance abuse professional (SAP) and undergo either education or treatment and have a follow-up evaluation by the SAP. the SAP then issues a report to the employer. If the SAP and employer are satisfied, the driver must undergo return-to-duty testing. Following a negative drug test and/or an alcohol test less than 0.02 the driver may return to work. The driver must then undergo follow-up tests in the first year after returning to work.

    Does an employer have too release the results of a driver's drug and alcohol test to a subsequent (future) employer?

  • Yes. If the previous employer receives a proper request from the prospective employer, the previous employer must release records of positive drug tests, alcohol tests greater than 0.04, refusals to test, adulterated or substituted tests, and any information relative to evaluations by a substance abuse professional (SAP). If the previous employer does not send the information withing 30 days the prospective employer must notify FMCSA of the violation.

    Is the employer responsibly for paying for drug and alcohol tests or DOT physical examinations?

  • No. The DOT is silent on these issues. Each employer can establish can establish its own policies on who pays for the tests or examinations.

    Who chooses the person who performs the DOT physical exam- the employer or the driver?

  • The choice of medical examiners is subject to the employer's policy. The DOT requires only that the medical examiner be knowledgeable of the medical requirements and be familiar with the driver's duties. The examiner must examine the driver and determine whether s/he meets the federal medical requirements. Employers are responsible for ensuring the examineris knowledgable and that drivers are medically qualified.