Express to Lab Testing

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Definition - What does Express to Lab Testing mean?

Express to lab testing is a drug test method used to collect urine or oral fluid specimens on-site with a quick turnaround based on a negative or non-negative test result. A laboratory will use cut-off threshold ranges that coincide with the drug test panel to rule out a positive test result to promote accuracy.

SureHire explains Express to Lab Testing

An express-to-lab test goes off a loosely designed format where a collector must interpret test results at a fraction of the cost it would take to relay the specimen type to a lab for a drug clearance case. The downside of using an express to lab testing procedure reflects the collector's inferred belief that residual drugs could exist in the system backed by further testing to compare the findings. An employer may be more likely to opt for express-to-lab testing based on its conservative approach, though margins of error can obstruct a legal suit.


The US Department of Transportation (DOT) does not recognize express to lab drug testing, which translates to a party being unable to hold a safety-sensitive position aligned with a company's drug testing policy. For this reason, employers may prefer to use express to lab drug screens where a lack of transparency does not pose a health risk based on the nature of the job.

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