At one time, many years ago, a drug test performed in connection with a physical examination to renew a Commercial Driver’s License was considered a DOT test. However, DOT changed this requirement in the drug and alcohol testing regulations published in 1994. A drug test performed in conjunction with a physical to renew a Commercial Driver’s License was considered a “periodic” test. The preamble to the 1994 FHWA regulations states that “FHWA will not require or authorize periodic testing for alcohol or controlled substances. Of course, employers that wish to continue to perform periodic testing under their own authority may do so.”
A test that is conducted under the authority of FHWA / FMCSA is a DOT test. A test that is conducted under a company’s own authority is a non-DOT test. Therefore, a drug test that is performed in conjunction with a Commercial Driver’s License physical is a non-DOT test.
The only occasions for drug and alcohol testing for a DOT test are pre-employment (optional), random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion, return-to-duty, and follow-up. A drug test in conjunction with a CDL physical is none of these.