Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Disqualifying Offenses

Disqualification for loss of driving privileges.

  • A driver is disqualified for the duration of the driver’s loss of his/her privilege to operate a commercial motor vehicle on public highways, either temporarily or permanently, by reason of the revocation, suspension, withdrawal, or denial of an operator’s license, permit, or privilege, until that operator’s license, permit, or privilege is restored by the authority that revoked, suspended, withdrew, or denied it.
  • A driver who receives a notice that his/her license, permit, or privilege to operate a commercial motor vehicle has been revoked, suspended, or withdrawn shall notify the motor carrier that employs him/her of the contents of the notice before the end of the business day following the day the driver received it.

Disqualification for criminal and other offenses.

General rule. A driver who is convicted of (or forfeits bond or collateral upon a charge of) a disqualifying offense specified in paragraph (c)(2) of 49 CFR 391.15 is disqualified for the period of time specified in paragraph (c)(3) of 49 CFR 391.15

Disqualifying offenses.

The following offenses are disqualifying offenses:

  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. This shall include:
  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle while the person’s alcohol concentration is 0.04% or more;
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol, as prescribed by State law; or
  • Refusal to undergo such testing as is required by any State or jurisdiction in the enforcement of 167;391.15(c)(2)(i)(A) or (B), or 167;392.5(a)(2).
  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle under the influence of a 21 CFR 1308.11 Schedule I identified controlled substance, an amphetamine, a narcotic drug, a formulation of an amphetamine or a derivative of a narcotic drug;
  • Transportation, possession, or unlawful use of a 21 CFR 1308.11 Schedule I identified controlled substance, amphetamines, narcotic drugs, formulations of an amphetamine, or derivatives of narcotic drugs while the driver is on duty, as the term on-duty time is defined in 167;395.2;
  • Leaving the scene of an accident while operating a commercial motor vehicle; or
  • A felony involving the use of a commercial motor vehicle.

Duration of disqualification

First offenders.

A driver is disqualified for 1 year after the date of conviction or forfeiture of bond or collateral if, during the 3 years preceding that date, the driver was not convicted of, or did not forfeit bond or collateral upon a charge of an offense that would disqualify the driver under the rules of this section. Exemption. The period of disqualification is 6 months if the conviction or forfeiture of bond or collateral solely concerned the transportation or possession of substances named in paragraph (c)(2)(iii) of 49 CFR 391.15.

Subsequent offenders.

A driver is disqualified for 3 years after the date of his/her conviction or forfeiture of bond or collateral if, during the 3 years preceding that date, he/she was convicted of, or forfeited bond or collateral upon a charge of, an offense that would disqualify him/her under the rules in 49 CFR 391.15.Disqualification for violation of out of service orders.General rule. A driver who is convicted of violating an out of service order is disqualified for the period of time specified in paragraph (d)(2) of 49 CFR 391.15.

Duration of disqualification for violation of out of service orders.

First violation.

A driver is disqualified for not less than 90 days nor more than one year if the driver is convicted of a first violation of an out of service order.

Second violation.

A driver is disqualified for not less than one year nor more than five years if, during any 10 year period, the driver is convicted of two violations of out of service orders in separate incidents.

Third or subsequent violation.

A driver is disqualified for not less than three years nor more than five years if, during any 10 year period, the driver is convicted of three or more violations of out of service orders in separate incidents.Special rule for hazardous materials and passenger offenses. A driver is disqualified for a period of not less than 180 days nor more than two years if the driver is convicted of a first violation of an out of service order while transporting hazardous materials required to be placarded under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (49 U.S.C. 5101 et seq), or while operating commercial motor vehicles designed to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver. A driver is disqualified for a period of not less than three years nor more than five years if, during any 10-year period, the driver is convicted of any subsequent violations of out of service orders, in separate incidents, while transporting hazardous materials required to be placarded under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act, or while operating commercial motor vehicles designed to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver.

Also Read 49 CFR 383.51

Sources: 49 CFR 391.15, 37 FR 24902, Nov. 23, 1972, as amended at 49 FR 44215, Nov. 5, 1984; 51 FR 8200, Mar. 10, 1986; 53 FR 18057, May 19, 1988; 53 FR 39051, Oct. 4, 1988; 54 FR 40788, Oct. 3, 1989; 59 FR 26028, May 18, 1994; 60 FR 38744, 38745, July 28, 1995; 63 FR 33277, June 18, 1998.

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