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What to Know: Ways You Could Lose Your CDL License

man driving with woman in passenger seat

A CDL is a commercial driver’s license. A person must obtain a CDL license to become a professional truck driver. This license has to be renewed every three years and is often issued for a specific time, depending on the type of vehicles the license holder is permitted to operate.

CDL holders are also required to follow some particular rules and regulations and adhere to a set of procedures while operating a vehicle. If you lose your CDL license, you might be required to pay a fine and face some legal repercussions.

According to Canada’s Motor Vehicle Safety Act, a CDL holder is not only required to obtain a license to drive a commercial vehicle but also must obtain a “domestic” license to drive “non-commercial” vehicles. 

Today, let’s explore some possible reasons a CDL license might be revoked. Here’s what you need to know:

Driving Under the Influence

A driver might have their CDL revoked if they were found to have been driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the offence. According to federal law, it is illegal for a person to drive a commercial vehicle within eight hours after the consumption of alcohol.

If you are found to have been driving a commercial vehicle under the influence at the time of the offence, your CDL may be revoked for one year. However, if you were driving within two hours after consuming alcohol, then your CDL will be revoked for two years.

Driving Under Suspension or Revocation

There are two types of suspensions – administrative and executive. The government issues an administrative suspension. An executive suspension is issued by an individual or company who has hired you.

The duration of the suspension depends on the reason for the suspension. The most common reason for a suspension is a violation of a motor vehicle law.

If the government issues the suspension, you will be notified by the Department of Transportation. If the employer issues the suspension, then you will be notified by the employer.

Violating Certain Traffic Rules

Various types of traffic violations might result in a CDL license being revoked. Some of the most common violations are driving under the influence, following too closely, unsafe lane changes, and using a mobile phone while driving.

If you have a CDL license, you must make sure that you follow all the guidelines set by the law. Flouting traffic rules might lead to serious consequences, including your license being revoked.

Problems with the Company

If the employer feels that the driver’s actions will reflect poorly on the company, the company has the right to revoke the driver’s CDL license.

A CDL license can be revoked even if the driver does not own the vehicle. If an employer owns the car, the employer can revoke the license if the driver is found driving under the influence or violating traffic laws.

The Bottom Line

A CDL license is a valuable document that confers the right to operate a commercial vehicle on behalf of an employer. However, if you do not follow the traffic rules and are found to be driving under the influence, you might lose your CDL license. In addition to losing your license, the Department of Transportation can also revoke your commercial driving privileges.

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