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DOT Publishes Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Electronic Signatures, Forms, and Storage for Drug and Alcohol Testing Records

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On August 5, 2022, The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), Federal Register Vol. 87, No. 150 (pages 47951-47956).    The ANPRM requests comments from the public, specifically DOT-regulated employers and their service agents who implement and administer drug and alcohol testing programs required by DOT agency (e.g. FAA, FRA, FMCSA, FTA, PHMSA) regulations.  The subject of the ANPRM is the use of electronic forms and the electronic storage of forms and data required in the DOT’s drug and alcohol testing procedures rule, 49 CFR Part 40.

This ANPRM is issued because of a statutory mandate° placed on the DOT to amend its regulations to authorize, to the extent practicable, the use of electronic signatures or digital signatures executed to electronic forms instead of traditional handwritten signatures executed on paper forms.  The DOT is required to issue such amendments to 49 CFR Part 40 no later than Feb 28, 2025.  The DOT issued this ANPRM now to facilitate the timely proposal and adoption of the necessary Part 40 amendments to meet the statutory deadlines.  Comments to the ANPRM are to be submitted by October 4, 2022. 

The forms and records the DOT is considering for electronic signature, storage and data are:

  • Drug and alcohol background checks (40.25—prior drug/alcohol violations)
  • MRO reports of verified drug test results
  • Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) reports
  • DOT Alcohol Testing  Form (ATF)

The DOT has previously approved and authorized the use of electronic custody and control forms (eCCF) for documentation of DOT drug tests and is continuing to coordinate with DHHS to attain “totally paperless” eCCF systems at the HHS certified drug testing laboratories.  The authorization of additional electronic forms and reports for DOT drug and alcohol testing would continue to allow the use of traditional paper or hard copy documents with wet signatures for maximum employer and service agent flexibility.

° For statutory authority see footnote¹,  Federal Register page 47952.  This provision was enacted as Section 8108 of the Fighting Opioids in Transportation Act of 2018, part of the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act. Public Law 115-271. 

The full text of the DOT ANPRM can be found at: