Massachusetts CDL Suspensions

Possessing a commercial driver’s license (CDL) places you above regular drivers because according to the law you have higher standards to maintain. If you commit an illegal offense, then you can easily lose your CDL. Even if the offense was not carried out while operating a commercial vehicle you may still suffer disqualification of your license.

Understanding CDL Disqualification in Massachusetts

CDL disqualifications are legally mandated.

Here are a few things to consider

  • If you have a CDL disqualification, then you cannot obtain a hardship license.
  • The Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) in Massachusetts does not have any discretion on CDL disqualification.
  • If you have a CDL disqualification, you can only request a hearing that disputes the accuracy of the RMV’s record. If an error has been made, then you must have present documentation that clearly shows you were not found guilty or responsible of the reported violation.

Major and Serious CDL Offenses

Offenses that cause a suspension of your CDL license are classified as either major or serious.

Major offenses:

  • Driving any vehicle under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.
  • Having a blood alcohol concentration of .04 percent or more while operating a commercial vehicle.
  • Refusal to take an alcohol test when requested by law enforcement.
  • Leaving the scene of an accident in any vehicle.
  • Causing a fatality as a result of negligent operation while driving a CMV
  • Using a vehicle to commit a felony
  • Operating a CMV while your CDL has been revoked, canceled, or suspended.

Any time any of these offenses are committed while you are operating a CMV with a placard for hazardous materials your license will be suspended for a minimum of three years.

If you use any vehicle, whether personal or commercial, to commit a felony that involves the dispersal, distribution, or manufacture of a controlled substance then you will lose your CDL for life.

Serious offenses:

  • Loss of CDL for 60 days if you have two serious traffic violations that occur within a three-year period.
  • Loss of CDL for 120 days if you have three serious traffic violations that occur within a three-year period.

Serious traffic violations are as follows:

  • Excessive speeding (driving 15 mph or more over the posted speed limit)
  • Reckless driving such as improper or erratic lane changes
  • Tailgating (following a vehicle too close)
  • Traffic offenses that occurred in connection with a fatal traffic accident
  • Driving a CMV with no CDL
  • Driving a CMV without a CDL license in your possession
  • Driving a CMV without having the proper class of CDL or endorsement

Related Information: What a DUI means for your commercial drivers license. 

Railroad Crossing CDL Offenses

If you experience conviction for driving a CMV in violation of federal, state, or local laws at a railroad crossing then your CDL will be suspended for 60 days. It will be suspended for 120 days for a second offense. The third offense will cause a one-year suspension.

Offenses include:

  • Failure to slow down and take the time to check that the tracks are clear of an approaching train.
  • Failure to stop before driving across the railroad tracks.
  • Failure to have adequate space to proceed completely through the railway crossing without stopping.
  • Failure to traverse a crossing because your CMV has insufficient undercarriage clearance.
  • Failure to heed the traffic control device or the directions of any enforcement official located at the crossing.

Suspension of CDL for Violating Out-of-Service Orders

Commercial vehicles have limitations for safety on the number of hours a driver with a CDL can drive with a mandated break/rest period. They call this period being out-of-service. If you operate a CMV that transports non-hazardous materials and you violate your out-of-service order, then you will suffer a suspension. The first offense is 90 days. The second offense is one to five years. The third offense is three to five years.

If you are operating a vehicle that transports 16 or more passengers and you are convicted of an out-of-service order, then your license will be suspended for 180 days to two years for the first offense. You also face three to five years for the second or third offense.

Reinstating Your CDL License

In order to reinstate your suspended CDL license, you must see what requirements are necessary because each case is different.  You will be required to pay a reinstatement fee which can vary depending on the violation Also, you might be required to pass one or more tests to reinstate your CDL.

  • CDL Road Test
  • CDL Learner’s Permit Exam

Please be aware that if your suspension has been in effect for two years or longer then you will need to take and pass the full exam (learners permit and road test) to reinstate the suspended/revoked license.

Oberhauser Law Will Fight For You

If you are facing a suspension of your CDL then it is imperative that you seek an attorney that is experienced with driver’s license issues. Attorney Gregory Oberhauser will fight to help you keep your license. Contact Oberhauser Law for a no-obligation review of your case to determine if we can help you keep your CDL.

Call Our Office Today: 978-452-1116


Attorney Gregory Oberhauser

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