Department of Transportation Substance Abuse Professional

What is a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP)?

An SAP is someone who evaluates employees who have violated a Department of Transportation drug and alcohol program regulation. Per the DOT, “As a SAP you represent the major decision point (and in some cases the only decision point) an employer may have in choosing whether or not to place an employee behind the steering wheel of a school bus, in the cockpit of a plane, at the helm of an oil tanker, at the throttle of a train, in the engineer compartment of a subway car, or at the emergency control valves of a natural gas pipeline.”

a photo of over the road trucks stopped at a location in the sunset

In order to qualify as a SAP, individuals must meet the following requirements. Check one of the following required current licenses or certifications you hold:

  • You are a licensed physician (Doctor of Medicine or Osteopathy).
  • You are a licensed or certified social worker.
  • You are a licensed or certified psychologist.
  • You are a licensed or certified employee assistance professional.
  • You are a state-licensed or certified marriage and family therapist.
  • You are a drug and alcohol counselor certified by one of the following:
    • the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors Certification Commission (NAADAC),
    • the International Certification Reciprocity Consortium/Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (ICRC), or
    • the National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. (NBCC) and Affiliates/Master Addictions Counselor.

Applicants must also adhere to the following procedures:

  • Take the Substance Abuse Professional’s U.S. DOT Alcohol and Drug Testing Regulation Qualification Course
  • Complete the examination and receive a passing grade. (Requalification participants are not required to take the examination.)

Requalification Information

To keep your SAP current, you must attend the 12-hour training every three years.

This continuing education must include materials including new technologies, interpretations, recent guidelines, rule changes, and other information about developments in SAP practice, pertaining to the DOT program, since the time you met the qualification training requirements of this section.

This training qualifies this requirement.


A national membership association that provides education and advocacy for those in the behavioral health and addiction treatment industries.

We are the leading and unifying voice of addiction-focused treatment programs.

Join Now

Contact Us

Monday - Friday
8:30 am - 4:30 pm Pacific
(closed major holidays)