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Suspensions & Reinstatements

CDL Suspensions

Commercial Driver License (CDL) Disqualification

A driver’s privilege to operate a CDL 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

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

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

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 CMV 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. RC 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. RC 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’s 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 and 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

All appeals of CDL disqualifications must be made to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), 1970 West Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43223, by submitting a request for an administrative hearing within thirty (30) days after the date the Notice of Disqualification was mailed by the BMV.  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 ten (10) days to file Objections to the Report and Recommendation. After the ten 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

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