U.S. DOT Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) FAQs
The U.S. DOT is allowing SAPs to provide remote assessments at their discretion during the COVID crisis. These remote evaluations will only be allowed as long as the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) determines there is a public health emergency or until December 31, 2021, whichever is sooner. Read the full statement.
Below are answers to many of the frequently asked questions we receive regarding the U.S. DOT Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) Qualification credential and training. If you still have questions, please contact Richard Goodman, SAP Administrator, at [email protected].
U.S. DOT SAP Eligibility FAQs
Anyone who wants to do evaluations and provide treatment recommendations to a U.S. DOT-covered services member must be qualified through education and testing to be a SAP.
To qualify to be a DOT SAP, you must have one of the following credentials:
- Nationally certified* alcohol/drug abuse counselor through:
- NAADAC/NCC AP - NCAC I, NCAC II, or MAC national credentials only; or
- International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC) - ICADC or ICAADC national credentials only; or
- National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) – MAC national credential only.
Please note that state alcohol/drug abuse counselor credentials and licenses, and general counselor credentials and licenses (such as a LPc) are not accepted.
- Licensed physician (Doctor of Medicine or Osteopathy)
- Licensed or certified psychologist
- Licensed or certified social worker
- Licensed or certified employee assistance professional
- Licensed or certified marriage and family therapist
You cannot be a SAP unless you have knowledge of and clinical experience in the diagnosis and treatment of substance abuse-related disorders. You cannot be a SAP without understanding how the SAP role relates to the special responsibilities employers have for ensuring the safety of the traveling public. Nor can you be a SAP unless you are well informed about Part 40, pertinent DOT agency regulations, these SAP guidelines, and any significant changes to them. It is important to note that your degrees and certificates alone do not confer to you these knowledge requirements.
Following completion of your training, you must pass an examination given by a nationally recognized professional or training organization that comprehensively covers all the elements required for the qualification training.
NAADAC provides a 100-question initial SAP Qualification examination and a 25-question renewal SAP Qualification examination.
NAADAC SAP & SAP Processing FAQS
No. Only persons who have completed the NAADAC DOT SAP training and pass the qualification or requalification test can be added to the NAADAC SAP Provider Directory.
U.S. DOT SAP Practice FAQS
The Clearinghouse, a web-based system found at https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov, will provide Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and employers of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers with the necessary tools to identify drivers who are prohibited from operating CMVs due to DOT drug and alcohol program violations.
All SAPs who work with or plan to work with covered employees under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration must register with the Clearinghouse.
Click here to learn more about the Clearinghouse and how to sign up.
The SAP is a qualification and not a certification. You can only list yourself as a SAP and cannot list yourself as a DOT/SAP, as the DOT did not certify or qualify you.
No. A new evaluation will need to be initiated.
No. Covered DOT employees may not shop around for a SAP. Once they start an evaluation with a SAP, they cannot transfer to another SAP.
No. All SAP evaluations must be done in person (face-to-face), per DOT rules.
No, the DOT will not allow any covered employees to use any form of marijuana. Please read the following DOT notices regarding marijuana:
No, an employee cannot come to you without paperwork showing who the DRS is. The DRS is your employer contact person. The DRS is the person receiving updates and return-to-duty status from you.
The SAPs evaluations and treatment recommendations stand. The reports and recommendations will be sent to the new DRS as they will have to make sure the covered employee completes the SAP recommendations prior to putting the employee into a safety-sensitive position.