Driving as a profession is a serious vocation. There are some pretty strict rules to help better ensure the roadways are safe and these are often tied to the commercial drivers’ license (CDL). Many of these penalties go into effect after you get a ticket. The penalties are impacted by two things:
- The ticket. The first question to help determine how the ticket would affect your CDL is why you got the ticket. A ticket for a parking violation will have less penalties than one for driving while under the influence of alcohol (DUI) or reckless driving.
- Driver history. The next question is whether or not you have other tickets on record. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) notes it will disqualify any commercial driver who has two excessive speeding tickets within three years.
It is also important to note that some states have specific CDL requirements in addition to federal rules.
How long is the disqualification period for my ticket?
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) two serious traffic offenses like excessive speeding or reckless driving within a span of three years will result in a 60-day disqualification. Those who have three offenses within this same time span will get a 120-day disqualification.
There are offenses that result in disqualification for life. These include some driving under the influence convictions, leaving the scene of an accident and causing a fatality as a result of the negligent operation of a commercial motor vehicle. The DPS may reinstate the CDL in these situations after 10 years if the applicant has completed a program approved by the DPS.
Can I just pay the ticket and move on?
Unfortunately not. Paying the ticket is basically an admission of guilt. This can have a negative impact on your CDL.
There are options that can help. It is important to review the situation and look into possible grounds for dismissal or a plea deal that would result in a reduction of charges and maybe even keep the citation off your record.
If you have already experienced negative ramifications, you still have options to fight back. You can reach out to the Texas DPS to request a hearing to challenge the disqualification of your CDL, but there is a time limit. You must generally request the hearing within 20 days of the disqualification. If granted, the DPS should schedule the hearing within 120 days of the request. During the hearing, you can provide information to help fight the disqualification. The hearing officer will then determine whether or not the disqualification remains. If this fails, it is possible to appeal the decision.