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DOT FMCSA Owner Operator Consortium

05 Mar 2016

If you own and operate your own trucking business, you are required to have a DOT drug and alcohol testing program including a pre-employment drug test and enrollment into a DOT random testing consortium.  At National Drug Screening (NDS) we can make compliance very simple and with same day service.  NDS can immediately arrange for your pre-employment drug test and immediately enroll you into our FMCSA Owner Operator consortium.  Your certificate of compliance for enrollment into the FMCSA Owner Operator consortium can be provided immediately upon compliance.

Programs for owner operators from National Drug Screening also include the required educational materials containing the elements in Part 382.601.  For owner operators the FMCSA does not exempt owner-operators from this recordkeeping requirement.  We strongly advise that owner operators document the review of these educational materials.  Supervisor training is not required for the owner operator.  It is fairly obvious that you as the owner operator are not going to observe and send yourself for a reasonable suspicion test.

It is likely though that an owner operator could be required to take a reasonable suspicion drug or alcohol test.  The owner operator is not exempt from reasonable suspicion testing while working under some other carrier’s authority.  The other carrier for whom you are working with a trained supervisor, could document and send an owner-operator for a reasonable suspicion test under its testing program.  This is a required test and a refusal or non-negative test results would result in the owner operator being required to stop driving with referral to a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP).

How do I know if I am supposed be in compliance for the DOT drug and alcohol testing program?

Here is the criteria, do you have a CDL and operate a commercial motor vehicle that:

(1) Has a gross combination weight rating or gross combination weight of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more), whichever is greater, inclusive of a towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds), whichever is greater; or

(2) Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of 11,794 or more kilograms (26,001 pounds or more), whichever is greater; or

(3) Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or

(4) Is of any size and is used in the transportation of hazardous materials as defined in this section.

So basically if you have purchased a large truck as a for hire driver, you are needed to be in compliance. You need immediately a pre-employment drug test and you need to be enrolled into a DOT random drug and alcohol testing consortium.  National Drug Screening makes it very simple for the small business trucker to quickly get into compliance.  National Drug Screening is a third party administrator (TPA) or Consortium/Third Party Administrator (C/TPA) and can assist the owner operator with a fast easy solution with same day service.

National Drug Screening helps owner operators with the recordkeeping requirements set forth in Part 382 and present the alcohol and drug testing program documents, including test results, to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in the event of an audit.  Our service includes audit assistance, if you are notified of an audit or new entrant safety audit then give us a call immediately for expert assistance. 

An owner operator can lose their business if they violate the DOT regulations. The consequences of testing positive on or refusing a DOT-required test are the same whether you are your own boss or not. You must immediately cease from operating your commercial motor vehicle.

What happens if I am leased out and working under some other carrier’s operating authority?

In this case you are defined as an employee and expected to participate in the leasing carrier’s random testing program.  If you also continue to work for your-self, then you also need to still be in the owner operator consortium.  Technically as an owner operator you could be enrolled in several random testing pools plus the owner operator consortium.  The FMCSA requires drivers to be in the random testing pools for each carrier for which they are employees.

I keep hearing about the New Entrant Exam – what is this?

When you obtain your USDOT number or your MC number, you become what FMCSA calls a new entrant.  As a new entrant you are monitored for 18 months and will receive a New Entrant Safety Audit (NESA).  This could occur anytime in the 18 months but typically within the first few months.  You will get written notice of this audit, call National Drug Screening as soon as you receive it.  The audit can be an on-site audit at your business, an off-site audit at a central location or an on-line audit requiring you to upload documents.

As an owner operator, you will fail your audit if you do not have the FMCSA drug alcohol education, a pre-employment test and/or enrolled into a random testing consortium.  You will be given a chance to correct the violation; you must correct the deficiencies or your new entrant registration will be revoked.  What you need immediately is a negative pre-employment test, the education program and enrollment into the random drug and alcohol testing consortium.  National Drug Screening can assist you get into compliance within one day, call now.