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What do you need to know about return to duty process?

The Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations require individuals who fail their drug or alcohol test to undergo an approved rehabilitation program before becoming certified again.

Return to Duty Process Frequently Asked Question

What is RTD process?

A Commercial driver who fails to submit to a federally mandated DOT drug or alcohol test must go through the return to duty process so that they are again eligible to operate a commercial motor vehicle.

What are the 4 Steps of the Return to Duty Process?

  • Ask a professional in substance abuse to evaluate you
  • Finish the SAP Indicated Treatment/Education Plan.
  • Complete the follow-up SAP assessment.
  • Follow-up Drug & Alcohol Test

Who are applicable for Return to Duty process?

Employees who tested positive, refused a drug test, or violated the drug policy of the company they are working in should observe RTD process to continue their work.

How much time is required for Return to Duty?

It means that truckers must exercise additional care when it comes to complying with laws and regulations for a minimum of one year, and up to five years, depending on the severity of the violation.

Who will pay for the Return to duty process?

It depends on the employer’s policy, if it says that the company will pay for the return to duty process then employers are obligated to pay for it otherwise employee has to bear the expense. Lack of payment falls under the category of refusing the drug test.

Employees, who use prescribed medications also have to go through the Return to Duty process?

Keep this in mind that if a healthcare professional recommended a medication and advised your driver it was secure to use while being on a safety-sensitive job then there is neither a drug violation nor the driver is required to undertake the return to duty process.

Return to duty test vs. Pre-employment test

The most significant distinction between a Return-to-duty test and a pre-employment test is that the RTD must be performed directly under observation.

To avoid falsification, an individual of the same sex should be evident while the samples are being collected

Who is Substance Abuse Professional and their role in Return-to-Duty process?

SAP (substance abuse professional) is a person who evaluates employees for violations of the DOT drug and alcohol program and makes recommendations for teaching, management, follow-up testing, and rehabilitation. SAP assesses drivers after explaining their circumstances and recommends the type of recovery they need. For your CDL drivers to be put back into good standup and documented in the clearinghouse, drivers must completethe return-to-duty process according to the guidelines of SAP.


If the employee returns to safety-sensitive duties, the Substance Abuser Professional's responsibility is to safeguard public safety


Positive or failed DOT drug and alcohol drug brings unfavorable results for both the transportation company itself and the driver as well. The CDL drivers are immediately removed from their safety-sensitive work field. To resume efficient work the employee who is tested positive must complete the Return to duty process regulated by DOT and FMSCA.

The return to duty process is a lengthy procedure to be followed by you and your diver all alone. goMDnow provides the best RTD services in a very cost-effective manner.

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