The DOT Return-To-Duty Process

Did you or a loved one violate a DOT regulation?

Before you can be considered for returning to a DOT safety-sensitive position, DOT requires that you must successfully complete a DOT return-to-duty process.

A Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is required to:

  • Conduct a thorough face-to-face assessment
  • Recommend a required plan of treatment and/or education

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What happens after the substance abuse evaluation?

Your SAP will make recommendations for treatment, follow-up testing and your ability to return to your DOT-regulated position. Next, your SAP will:

  • Conduct a clinical follow-up evaluation to determine if you have complied with the recommendations
  • Send a report of compliance to your employer

Your employer then decides if they want to offer you a return-to-duty test. Depending on the company’s written policy, they may decide to terminate you, either before or after the return-to-duty test. DOT drug testing is designed to identify safety risks. In your employer’s eyes, you may still pose a risk.

If your employer decides to take you back, and if you have a negative return-to-duty DOT drug screen, you will be subject to follow-up testing as required by your SAP. There must be at least 6 unannounced follow-up tests in the first year. However, your SAP can require any number of tests, and the testing period can last up to 5 years.

How much will it cost to see a SAP?

The cost of a SAP evaluation and follow-up varies. Our website policy does not allow SAPs to list their fees. To find out a SAP’s fees, contact the SAP directly. In some cases, your workplace’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) may cover SAP fees. In other cases, you will need to pay. Ask your employer for more information. SAP services are usually not covered by health insurance.

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Have more questions about the return-to-duty process?

FAQs for Employees

FAQs for Employers

FAQs for SAPs