Frequently Asked Questions

Billing

Can I keep a credit card on file for all invoices?

Yes, your credit card information will be kept secure and used for all invoices generated by your company.

How does The Transportation Advisor determine the amount of my annual invoice?

The annual invoice is determined by the number of commercial drivers enrolled in the program on the anniversary of your company’s original enrollment.

How much is alcohol testing?

The cost of each alcohol test is determined by the cost associated with each collection site and varies by site.

Is it possible for The Transportation Advisor to email invoices?

Yes. Invoices can be emailed or mailed. 

Collection Sites

Can I go to my local medical facility for drug and alcohol testing?

In many cases we will have your local medical facility in our database of collection sites. If not, we may be able to set up your facility to use our paperwork and add the site to our database. 

Do I pay the collection site at the time of the drug or alcohol test?

No. We set-up the billing protocol with your facility. Occasionally the facility may make a mistake and bill your company directly. Fax the invoice to us and we will take care of it (413-284-0022). 

I have a driver in another state who needs a drug test. How do I get this driver tested?

Every commercial vehicle should have a Chain of Custody form stored in the glove box for post-accident or random tests. Having this form allows TA to locate a collection site convenient for your driver. We have thousands of collection sites across the country that can be utilized. 

Where do I go for drug testing?

The Transportation Advisor will find you a collection site with collectors certified in Part 40 of the regulation. We have an extensive database of medical facilities, occupational health centers and offices across the country. We locate your closest facility by zip code and in most cases are able to find a site within 20 miles of your location

Driver Qualification File (DQF)

Do I have to get a driving record on my drivers every year?

Yes

Does every driver need a DQF?

A DQF is required for every driver who operates a commercial vehicle over 10,000 pounds.

How long do I have to complete the Driver Qualification File?

The DQF should be completed within 30 days of hire.

I am an owner operator. Do I need a DQF on myself?

Yes

What if I do not receive a response from a previous employer regarding a Safety Performance History check?

Document all attempts to request the information and document that there was no response from the previous employer. 

Drug & Alcohol Testing

Do commercial drivers need a pre-employment alcohol test?

No

How do I receive drug test results?

Our Medical Review Officer's (MRO) staff sets up each client with secure web-based or email result reporting.  A password to retrieve results will be provided to the Designated Employer Representative (DER). For our clients without email, results can be faxed. 

How long does it take to receive a drug test result?

On average a DOT drug test result will be returned within 3 days of the collection date. There are several factors that can delay a drug screen result for a longer period of time. 

I am all out of Chain of Custody forms. How do I get more?

Call The Transportation Advisor at 800-608-8890.

I received a signed form requesting drug and alcohol testing information on a driver that no longer works for me. Must I release this information?

Yes. Under federal law a previous employer must release drug and alcohol testing information on a former employer to a new employer when they receive a signed request from the driver. If your company receives this request, fax it to The Transportation Advisor: 413-284-0022. 

Is the cost of random drug testing included in the cost of the program?

No. All drug testing is billed separately. 

My driver tested positive. Can I send him in for another test?

No. The federal regulations require an evaluation by a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) after any positive drug or alcohol test or a refusal to test. Only a qualified SAP can determine when a commercial driver may have a return-to-duty test. The SAP must also determine the number of follow-up tests required.

What do I need to give to my driver when he goes for a test?

You must provide your driver with a Medtox Laboratory Chain of Custody Form. The Transportation Advisor provides this form. 

What is a COC?

This is the carbon copy, multi-part Chain of Custody form that must be used by every driver for every drug test.

Will I pay a fee to add or delete drivers during the year?

No. There are no fees to add drivers to the program or to delete drivers from the program after your company is in full compliance. To add a driver to the program the only requirements are a federally mandated pre-employment drug test and a signed program participant agreement. 

Drug-Free Workplace

Can my company determine the rate of random testing in the Drug-Free Workplace program?

Yes. In a company-mandated program the company can establish the rate of random testing. 

Is a Drug-Free Workplace legal?

There are some states with limitations on the Drug Free Workplace program. Contact The Transportation Advisor for parameters in your state. 

Should my company include all employees in the Drug-Free Workplace Program?

All employees should be included in the Drug-Free Workplace program. Random testing should be reserved for those employees that are designated “safety sensitive”. 

FMCSA Compliance

Does The Transportation Advisor charge set-up fees?

No

How do I enroll in the compliance program offered by The Transportation Advisor?

Fill out an enrollment form and fax or email it back to us. Or call and we can enroll your company over the phone.

I have commercial drivers that operate vehicles between 10,000 and 26,000 pounds. Can I include these drivers in this program?

No. The FMCSA compliance program is for commercial drivers who:

  • operate a vehicle over 26,000 pounds GVWR; or
  • operate a vehicle with a combination weight over 26,000 pounds; or
  • operate a vehicle requiring placards; or
  • operate a vehicle designed to carry 16 or more passengers including the driver

I only travel within my home state. I never cross over state lines. Do I still need to comply?

Yes

Is it mandatory that my company uses The Transportation Advisor?

No. However, owner operators must use the services of a Third Party Administrator to comply. 

My vehicle weighs less than 26,001 pounds and is not placarded; do I need drug and alcohol testing?

No. This federal regulation only applies to commercial drivers who hold a CDL and operate a vehicle over 26,000 GVWR. 

Should my driver have a drug test when he updates his medical card?

No. There is no requirement for a drug test with the physical. If a drug test is performed it will not count toward any of the federal drug testing requirements.

Where can I find information about this federal law?

IFTA

Do I need to file IFTA if I did not operate in that quarter?

Yes. Your company must still file a report with zero miles. 

How often must I file IFTA?

IFTA is a quarterly report filed with your base state. The filing times are April, July, October and January.

Is a Power of Attorney required for The Transportation Advisor to file my IFTA report?

Yes. Most states require a notarized Power of Attorney form to be on file in order for The Transportation Advisor to file your IFTA report. 

Is the Kansas Property Tax related to IFTA?

No

Should I include reefer fuel on my IFTA report?

No. Reefer fuel should not be calculated into your IFTA report.

Should I send original trip sheets and fuel receipts to The Transportation Advisor?

No. Only copies of fuel receipts and trip sheets should be provided to The Transportation Advisor. Originals should be kept at your original place of business in the event of an IFTA audit. 

What information is required to file an IFTA report?

To file an IFTA report we need the total miles that your unit traveled in each state during the particular quarter. This information can be provided as total miles or we can calculate the miles using daily or monthly trip records. Copies of all fuel purchases in all states are also required. 

What states have additional highway use or weight distance taxes?

Kentucky, New York, New Mexico and Oregon all have additional reporting requirements

New Entrants & Owner Operators

Do I need a pre-employment drug test before I start driving under my own authority?

Yes. All drivers need a pre-employment drug test with a negative result before they begin driving. All drivers must be entered into the random pool as well.

How long do I have to get my pre-employment drug tests done?

All new hires should have a pre-employment drug test with a negative result before the driver is put into the truck. 

How long will it take to come into compliance?

That depends on you. Your compliance package will go out the same day that you enroll will the service. If you send all drivers in for a pre-employment drug test and return all paperwork quickly, full compliance should take no longer than a week or two.

I am an owner operator without any other drivers; does this law apply to me?

Yes. In fact, as an owner operator you must outsource to a Third Party for compliance with this law. 

I am the owner of the company and I only drive intrastate. Do I still need to comply with this law?

Yes. All states have adopted the federal regulation as state law.

Random Testing Pool

Can the same driver be selected for random testing more than once a year?

Yes

How can it be “random” if the same drivers from my company are selected?

Random selection by its very nature may result in some employees being tested in successive random selections or more than once in a calendar year. Alternatively, some employees may never be selected at all. 

How do I delete a driver from the program?

Any time a driver is terminated or quits you must inform The Transportation Advisor by email dortiz@transadvisor.com or fax to 413-284-6945. 

How many times will I be selected for testing?

There is no way to know. The selection process is statistically random. Selections are pulled quarterly and a minimum of 25% of all employees in the pool must be randomly tested for drug use. FMCSA also requires 10% randomly tested for alcohol use each year. 

I received notice that my driver was selected for random testing. How long do I have to get him tested?

Schedule the driver for testing as soon as possible. Keep the selection confidential. Provide the paperwork to the driver right before the testing time and remind the driver that they must report immediately to the testing site. If the driver is unavailable for a short period of time due to vacation or illness, ensure that the test is completed upon his return. The test must be completed within the quarter. 

If one of my drivers is selected for testing in the first quarter of the year will he be all set?

No. All drivers have the same probability of selection in each of the 4 quarters of each calendar year. 

There are drivers missing from my company’s list of drivers. Why?

There are two reasons why a driver is missing from your list. We do not have a negative pre-employment drug screen result; or we do not have a signed program participant agreement form (or both).

What if none of my drivers are selected for testing for over a year?

Your company is still in compliance. As long as the overall pool of drivers is testing at the appropriate rates and your drivers remain available for selection, your company is in compliance. 

What if the driver selected for random testing is on lay-off?

If a commercial driver is on lay-off for the entire quarter and will not be performing any safety-sensitive function during that quarter, notify The Transportation Advisor. That driver may be excused from the selection process. If the driver is due back to work before the end of the quarter, keep the selection confidential and send the driver in for testing upon his return to safety sensitive functions.

Upon Enrollment

How often should I update my company’s list of commercial drivers?

Any time there is a change in your driver list you should update us by fax or email. All driver lists should be reviewed and revised at least quarterly. Email is the preferred method to update your driver list.

I have enrolled in the compliance program. When will my company receive a certificate of compliance?

A certificate of compliance will be provided to your company when the compliance process is complete. All drivers must sign a program participant agreement form and complete a pre-employment drug screen and at least one supervisor must be trained in Reasonable Suspicion Awareness. 

I received notification that my company will have a compliance review/safety audit. What should I do?

Contact us immediately with the date and time of your audit. You will be asked a series of questions that will help us ensure that you have everything you need for the auditor. All compliance information will be faxed or emailed to you before your audit. Please give a 24-hour advance notice on all audits.