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Commercial Driver's License Tickets

Do you have a Commercial Driver’s License and need legal help with a traffic ticket or speeding ticket?

If you received a speeding ticket or traffic ticket in Ohio and have a commercial driver’s license, submit your information to Luxenburg & Levin now for a free CDL Ticket Consultation. Your CDL is a valuable investment, the traffic ticket lawyers of Luxenburg & Levin, LLC could help protect your CDL and save you points, insurance costs and most importantly, YOUR JOB. You don’t have to go to court and deal with the ticket on your own, submit your traffic or speeding ticket information now and find out how we can assist in protecting your commercial driver’s license and saving you money and aggravation.

A commercial driver's license (CDL) is required in the United States to operate any type of vehicle with a gross weight of 26,001 lb (11,793 kg) or over including (but not limited to) tow trucks, tractor trailers and buses.

The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 was signed into law on October 27, 1986. The main purpose for the Act was to improve highway safety by making sure truck drivers and drivers of tractor trailers and buses have passed a written and driving test to become qualified to drive Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs), and to remove drivers that are unsafe and unqualified from the highways. The Act continued to give states the right to issue CDLs, but the national government established minimum requirements that must be met when issuing a CDL.

The Act corrects the problems that existed before 1986 by making it illegal to hold more than one license and by requiring States to adopt testing and licensing standards for truck and bus drivers.

Pre-1986

Driving commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), or tractor-trailers requires advanced skills and knowledge beyond that of driving a car or light truck. Before implementation of the Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Program requirements for driving larger vehicles and busses varied from state to state and in many states and the District of Columbia anyone licensed to drive an automobile could also legally drive a tractor trailer or a bus. As the trucking industry grew there were many drivers that had a legal license from a state but not the necessary training or skills to drive a large truck or bus on highways. This lack of training resulted in a large increase in traffic deaths and accidents caused because of the poor quality of driver training. [2] Many drivers were able to obtain driver's licenses from more than one State and hide or spread convictions among several driving records and continue to drive unaffected. Public outcry and the trucking industry itself saw this needed to be changed thus Commercial Motor Vehicle of 1986 legislation passed and became law.

Class definitions

Since April 1, 1992, when this Act became law, all drivers have been required to have a CDL in order to drive a Commercial Motor Vehicle. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has developed testing standards for licensing drivers. States are able to issue CDLs only after a written and driving test have been given by the State or approved testing facility. A driver will need a CDL if the vehicle meets one of the following definitions of a CMV: [3]

  • Class A - Any combination of vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds (11,793 kg) provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds (4536 kg).
  • Class B - Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds (11,793 kg), or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds (4536 kg) GVWR.
  • Class C - Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that does not meet the definition of Class A or Class B, but is either designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, or is placarded for hazardous materials.

States may require drivers of additional vehicles to have CDLs. For examples:

  1. New Jersey requires a driver to have a CDL to drive any bus, limousine or van used for hire and designed to transport 8 to 15 passengers.[4]
  2. New York State requires drivers to have CDLs to transport passengers in vehicles defined as under Article 19-A of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, such as school buses.[5]

The minimum age to apply for a CDL is usually 21, as required by the Department of Transportation, although some states may allow drivers who are 18-20 to apply for a CDL that is valid only within the driver's state of residence. 18-20 year olds additionally cannot obtain HazMat or School Bus endorsements and in some states, such as New York, cannot apply for a Class A license. A single state CDL only restricts driving of CMVs within the holder's state (not non-commercial vehicles), and automatically converts to a 50 state CDL at the age of 21.

Endorsements

Additional tests to obtain any of the following endorsements on their CDL have to be passed as well. These are only obtained after a CDL has been issued to the driver.

  • T Semi trailer Double or Triple (Written Test)
    • (Certain states prohibit triple trailers statewide, such as California[6] and New York[5].)
  • P Passenger Vehicle (Written and Driving Tests)
  • S School Bus (Written and Driving Test, Background Check, Sex Offender Registry Check and P endorsement)
  • N Tank Truck (Written Test)
  • H Hazardous materials (Written Test and Background Check through the Transportation Security Administration)
  • X Combination of Tank Vehicle and Hazardous Materials (Written Test)

Test requirements

Schooling is not mandatory to obtain a CDL. A prospective driver must pass a written test on highway safety and a test about different parts of a truck with a minimum of 30 questions on the test. To pass this knowledge tests student drivers must answer at least 80 percent of the questions correctly. To pass the driving skills test the student driver must successfully perform all the required driving maneuvers this portion of the test requires. The driving skill test must be taken in a vehicle that the driver operates or expects to operate.

Testing facilities

Employers, training facilities, States, governmental departments, and private institutions can administer knowledge and driving test for the State. The test must be the same as those given by the State issuing the CDL and the instructors must meet the same professional certification as State instructors.

States are required to conduct an inspection of the testing facility and evaluate the programs by taking an actual test as if they were testing driver at least once a year, or by taking a sample of drivers tested by the third party and then comparing pass/fail rates.

In addition, the State's agreement with the third party testing centers must allow the FHWA and the State to conduct random examinations, inspections, and audits without notice.

Contents

A CDL must contain the following information:

  • The words Commercial Driver's License or CDL.
  • Driver's full name, signature, and address.
  • Date of birth, sex, and height.
  • A color photograph or digitized image of the driver.
  • Driver's State license number, issuing State name, date issued, and expiration date of the license
  • The class(es) and endorsements that the driver is authorized.
  • Learner's permits for a driver training on public highways accompanied by another driver with a valid CDL appropriate for that vehicle.
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