May 4, 2023

The Department of Transportation (DOT) recently published a final rule updating 49 CFR Part 40, Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs, to allow oral fluid testing as a drug testing methodology.

The agency said this new option will help prevent cheating on urine drug tests and provide a less invasive means of testing.

“NBAA welcomes these amendments to 49 CFR Part 40, which provide greater flexibility for employees subject to testing requirements,” said Brian Koester, CAM, NBAA’s director of flight operations and regulations. “This update is part of the DOT’s ongoing efforts to ensure safety in transportation by deterring illicit drug use in transportation employees.”

The rule goes into effect on June 1, however, the oral fluid method cannot be utilized until the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) approves at least two laboratories for oral fluid testing. At least two labs must be certified so a tested person has a valid opportunity to appeal a positive result.

The final rule also includes technical amendments to 49 CFR Part 40 and harmonizes the regulations with the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs using Oral Fluid established by HHS.

View the final rule.