FMCSA increases random drug test rate

The rate for random drug testing for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) increased from 25% to 50% for commercial drivers effective January 1, 2020.

Random drug testing and the Federal government

According to a notice in the Federal Register, “The FMCSA announces that it is increasing the minimum annual percentage rate for random controlled substances testing for drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) requiring a commercial driver’s license (CDL) from the current rate of 25% of the average number of driver positions to 50% of the average number of driver positions, effective in the calendar year 2020. The FMCSA Administrator must increase the minimum annual random testing percentage rate when the data received under the reporting requirements for any calendar year indicate that the reported positive rate is equal to or greater than 1.0%. Based on the results of the 2018 FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Testing Survey, the positive rate for controlled substances random testing increased to 1.0%. Therefore, the Agency will increase the controlled substances minimum annual percentage rate for random controlled substances testing to 50% of the average number of driver positions.”

Visit for a complete list of Federal random testing rates by US Department of Transportation (DOT) agency.

Random drug testing

Employers who perform random drug testing use a rigorous employee selection methodology when choosing individuals who are included in their substance abuse program. As a result, the process is repeatable, consistent, and ensures fairness in the selection process. As a result, random testing helps to deter drug use because it is conducted on an unannounced basis and employees cannot predict when they may be selected for testing. 

Random testing positivity data from the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ is cited in an article by EHS Daily Advisor. The latest report showed that workforce drug positivity continues to climb and, in 2018, hit a 14-year high. 

Read frequently asked questions about random drug testing.

To estimate your return on investment from a random drug testing program, use our Drug Testing Savings Calculator.

See a chart that outlines the annual minimum drug and alcohol random testing rates established within DOT Agencies and the USCG for 2020.

For more information about drug testing, visit our website or connect us online.