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What happens to my CDL when I get a traffic ticket?


For most people, a traffic ticket is not a very serious matter. You pay a fine, maybe complete some traffic classes, and hopefully get court supervision.

For those who have a commercial driver's license (CDL), it is a much different scenario, as two traffic tickets can possibly be enough to suspend your CDL; and if this is how you earn a living, that is a very serious consequence.

Typically, court supervision for a traffic ticket is one of the best outcomes for your standard driver, as supervision is not considered a conviction for purposes of your driving record. However, for a CDL holder, supervision is considered a conviction for CDL purposes (it still is not considered a conviction for your personal driving privileges). Therefore it is important for the CDL holder to consider this before pleading guilty to a traffic ticket.

Furthermore, if a CDL holder receives two "serious moving violations" in a three year period, their CDL will be suspended for a minimum of two months. Your CDL will be suspended for a minimum of four months for a third serious moving violation. What is considered a serious moving violation? The relevant statute lists the following for a CDL holder:

1. Speeding 15 mph or more over the limit

2. Reckless driving

3. Any moving violation in connection with a fatal traffic accident

4. Having multiple driver's licenses

5. Not having a valid CDL

6. Improper lane usage

7. Following too closely

8. Using your cell phone / texting while driving

If you are a CDL holder and have been cited for any offenses on that list, it is very important that you consult an attorney to discuss options, otherwise you could be putting your CDL at risk; even if you get court supervision.

Disclaimer: This article is made available by the publisher for educational purposes only, as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the publisher’s interpretation of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. This information may not reflect the law in your jurisdiction. By using this site you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the publisher. All information in this article is the opinion of the publisher and may not reflect future developments in this field. This website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.