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    Commercial Driver License (CDL) Disqualification

    A driver’s privilege to operate a commercial motor vehicle is disqualified when he or she is convicted of certain violations in a private passenger or commercial motor vehicle.

    No CDL driving privileges are permitted during the disqualification. The disqualification length is based on the offense(s) and may last from 60 days to life.

    CDL Disqualifications

    “CMV” means commercial motor vehicle. “Any MV” means any motor vehicle.

    Last updated: 7/9/2018. Not intended as legal advice. Consult with your attorney/legal representative.

    Alcohol / Drug Violations
    RC 4506.15, 4506.16, & 4506.17
    First Offense Second Offense
    Alcohol / Drug Test Refusal in Any MV One Year* Lifetime
    Alcohol Positive Test in Any MV Any Detectible Amount 24 Hours Out of Service 24 Hours Out of Service
    0.04 Breath Test or One Year* Lifetime
    0.048 Blood Test or
    0.056 Urine Test
    OVI Conviction in Any MV One Year* Lifetime
    Under Influence of a Controlled Substance in Any MV One Year* Lifetime
    Other Major Violations
    RC 4506.15 & 4506.16
    First Offense Second Offense
    DUS Driving Under Suspension / Disqualification / Revocation in CMV One Year* Lifetime
    Cause Fatality by Negligent Operation of a CMV One Year* Lifetime
    Failure To Stop After an Accident (Hit / Skip) in Any MV One Year* Lifetime
    Using Any MV in Commission of a Felony One Year* Lifetime

    *Hazardous Materials: Most one-year disqualifications are increased to three-year disqualifications if a CMV was transporting hazardous materials. Ohio Revised Code 4506.16(D)(3)

    Serious Traffic Violations**
    Any Two or Three in a Three-year Period (Mix or Match)
    RC 4506.01, 4506.15 & 4506.16
    First Offense Second Offense
    Driving CMV without a CDL
    Texting While Driving
    Using Hand-Held Mobile Phone
    Speed 15 MPH or More Over Posted
    Willful Disregard of Safety
    Traffic Violation Resulting in Fatality
    Violation of CDL Class Restrictions
    Driving CMV without CDL in possession
    Marked Lane Violation
    Following Too Close
    60 Days One Year
    Cause Fatality by Negligent Operation of a CMV One Year* Lifetime
    Failure To Stop After an Accident (Hit / Skip) in Any MV One Year* Lifetime
    Using Any MV in Commission of a Felony One Year* Lifetime

    **Serious Traffic Violations committed in noncommercial motor vehicles may have the same effect as if they were committed in a CMV if the violation resulted in a suspension. Ohio Revised Code 4506.16(D)(6)(a) and (b)

    Other Violations

    RR Crossing Violations
    RC 4506.16(D)(7),(8),(9)
    First in 3 Years Second in 3 Years Third in 3 Years
    Railroad Crossing Violations in CMV 60 Days 120 Days One Year
    Controlled Substance Felonies
    RC 4506.15(A)(13), 4506.16(D)(4)
    First Offense
    Conviction for the use of any motor vehicle in the commission of a felony involving the manufacture, distribution, or dispensing of a controlled substance or the possession with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled substance One Year
    Out-of-Service Violations
    RC 4506.16(A) & (B)
    First in 10 Years Second in 10 Years Third in 10 Years
    Out-of-Service Conviction in CMV 180 Days 2 Years 3 Years
    While Transporting Hazardous Materials 180 Days 2 Years 3 Years
    While Operating 16 or More Passenger MV 180 Days 2 Years 3 Years

    Definitions and Information

    “Conviction” means an unvacated adjudication of guilt or a determination that a person has violated or failed to comply with the law in a court of original jurisdiction or an authorized administrative tribunal, an unvacated forfeiture of bail or collateral deposited to secure the person’s appearance in court, a plea of guilty or nolo contendere accepted by the court, the payment of a fine or court cost, or violation of a condition of release without bail, regardless of whether or not the penalty is rebated, suspended, or probated.

    A conviction may be evidenced by any of the following:

    1. A judgment entry of a court of competent jurisdiction in this or any other state;
    2. An administrative order of a state agency of this or any other state having statutory jurisdiction over commercial drivers (this includes the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio – PUCO);
    3. A computer record obtained from or through the commercial driver license information system (CDLIS);
    4. A computer record obtained from or through a state agency of this or any other state having statutory jurisdiction over commercial drivers or the records of commercial drivers.

    Warning: If you pay a fine and sign a waiver without appearing in court or at an agency, the Ohio court or agency, or out-of-state court or agency, will report it as a conviction for the violation charged. If the charge is for a disqualifying violation, your CDL is subject to disqualification. The same is true of a “no contest” plea.

    Appeals of Disqualifications

    Appeals of CDL disqualifications must be made to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) by submitting a request for an administrative hearing within 30 days of the mailing date of the disqualification notice.

    Even in cases where a municipal court, county court, or mayor’s court has jurisdiction to decide administrative license suspension (ALS) appeals, they do not have jurisdiction to decide CDL disqualification appeals.

    Upon receipt of the request for hearing, the BMV will schedule a hearing before an attorney hearing examiner. The BMV will stay (postpone) the start of the disqualification until a final decision is issued. After the hearing, the hearing examiner will issue a Report and Recommendation.

    The driver has 10 days to file Objections to the Report and Recommendation. After the 10 days are up, the BMV will issue a final order. If the driver disagrees with the BMV’s final order, the driver may then file an appeal to the Court of Common Pleas in the county where the driver lives by filing Notices of Appeal with both the BMV and the Court of Common Pleas.

    Reinstatement Requirements

    • Serve the disqualification
    • Pay a reinstatement fee

    Ohio Revised Code: 4506.01(F) 4506.15 4506.16

    Out-of-Service Orders

    The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) work to ensure commercial motor vehicles are traveling safely in Ohio.

    Enforcement agents and inspectors conduct safety inspections on commercial motor vehicles. Each safety inspection follows a thorough process to make sure the driver and vehicle meet state and federal regulations.

    Vehicles and drivers that fail to meet regulations or that are considered an imminent hazard may be placed out-of-service and prohibited from operating until they are in compliance with regulations.

    Reinstatement Requirements

    • Serve the length of time ordered out-of-service
    • Comply with regulations

    Ohio Revised Code: 4506.15 4506.16

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