Becoming a CDL driver can help you get a lot of truck career opportunities in the transportation industry. However, if you hold a CDL disqualifications mean that you can not do your job for a period. In this article, we provide you with a list of CDL disqualifications as well as proper reinstatement information.  


cdl disqualifications
What are the CDL disqualifications?


1. What are CDL Disqualifications?

Overall, CDL disqualifications is the action of removing the commercial driver’s license because the operator is committed to certain breaches. Thus, truck drivers should be careful while you are on the road to make sure that there will be no violation of the law.

Specifically, there are four types of CDL disqualifications, which are:


1.1. CDL disqualifications for major offenses

This qualification is divided into 8 categories, the penalties will depend on the offense type. However, you should notice that there are two major issues that can lead to CDL lifetime disqualification, which are delivering a controlled substance and human trafficking. The table below demonstrates eight categories of CDL disqualification for major offenses and the duration of each type:


Disqualification description Length of Disqualification for 1st offense
Driving under alcohol and drug influence 1 year
3 years for Hazmat drivers
Rejecting the chemical testing 1 year
3 years for Hazmat drivers
Escaping from the accident’s scene 1 year
3 years for Hazmat drivers
Using a vehicle to commit a felony 1 year
3 years for Hazmat drivers
Carrying, storing, and distributing the controlled drug  Lifetime
Using a vehicle to serve human trafficking Lifetime
Continuing to operate a canceled vehicle   1 year
3 years for Hazmat drivers
Making mortality a result of careless operation. ​1 year
3 years for Hazmat drivers


1.2. CDL disqualifications for serious traffic violations

Serious traffic offenses can lead you to 2 to 3 years of disqualification. If you are convicted of 2 categories in serious traffic violations, your CDL cards will be removed in 60 days. The more errors you make, the longer duration you will be suffered. Moreover, if you get 3 errors, your CDL card will be taken for 120 days. We listed the disqualifications here to help you understand what can be on the blacklist:

  • Driving beyond the maximum speed (15 mph)
  • Hazardous grades
  • Driving without concentration
  • Changing the wrong lane
  • Driving without safety space with the vehicle ahead
  • Making a fatal accident while violating the traffic law
  • Operating a vehicle without a CDL
  • Using a mobile phone while driving 


1.3. CDL disqualifications for railroad-highway grade crossing offenses

CDL disqualification for railroad-highway is a compilation of railroad-highway errors that all CDL drivers should avoid:

  • Fails to slow down and check for the approaching train
  • Fails to stop before coming to the crossing if the tracks are not clear
  • Fails to stop before moving to the crossing
  • Fails to have sufficient space to drive completely through the crossing without stopping
  • Fails to follow the traffic control device 
  • Fails to cross because of the undercarriage clearance

Railroad crossing violations all receive similar CDL disqualifications consequences for first, second, and subsequent offenses.

  • First violation: At least 60 days disqualification
  • Second violation within 3 years: At least 120 days disqualification.
  • Third and subsequent convictions: At least one-year disqualification.


1.4. CDL disqualifications for violating out-of-service orders

An out-of-service order requires a CDL holder to not drive a commercial vehicle for a set amount of time or until they are reinstated into service. In addition, drivers who disobey out-of-service orders will face a civil penalty of at least $2,500 for the first violation and $5,000 for any subsequent crimes. Depending on what type of vehicle you are driving, the CDL disqualification duration will be different: 

  • If you are driving a non-HAZMAT: 1 year for the first time and 3 years for the second.
  • If you are driving a HAZMAT and Passenger: 2 years for the first violation and 5 years for the next time. 


cdl diaqualification
Make sure you follow all the CDL service orders


2. Can you make the CDL disqualifications reinstatement?

In general, your CDL will be automatically reinstated after the disqualification time. However, if you are disqualified from violating two or more serious traffic offenses, you will not have any reinstatement requirements. Thus, be careful while driving your CDL vehicle.

For the CDL lifetime disqualification, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may reinstate your CDL after 10 years if you are willing to join and complete the appropriate program.

Importantly, you are not allowed to apply for CDL reinstatement if you have violated human trafficking or are involved in drug manufacturing and consumption. 


3. How to apply for the CDL disqualifications reinstatement?

In brief, to request for the CDL reinstatement, you should submit the CDL Disqualification Reinstatement form and send it to your DMV local office. After that, you should wait for the eligibility review process. If you are approved, you will be notified by mail and your CDL will be reinstated and sent to you in a week. However, if your disqualification is more than a year, you are required to take all the relevant skills and knowledge tests. Thus, you should spend time practicing in our CDL Practice test. We provide a thousand questions divided into topics to help you gain a high score successfully.


4. How much is the CDL disqualifications reinstatement fee?

Shortly, you must pay a reinstatement fee of $125.00. Payment must be made by cashier’s check or money order made payable to the Department of Motor Vehicles, or online. In addition, remember to include identifying details when sending payment by mail (i.e. name, date of birth, license or social security number, and current mailing address). Payments made by personal or corporate checks, or payments in excess of the specified amount, will be refunded.


disqualification cdl
The reinstatement fee for CDL disqualifications is $125


5. What are the FAQs about the CDL Disqualifications?


5.1. What disqualifies you from getting a CDL in South Carolina?

You will not be able to hold a CDL if you have committed any of the following violations: Operated a commercial vehicle with a revoked, suspended, or canceled CDL. Caused a death through the negligent or criminal operation of a commercial vehicle. Operated a commercial vehicle without a CDL.


5.2. Can a felon get a passport?

Most convicted felons and ex-felons can get a passport. However, even if you are issued a passport, it does not mean that you will be able to travel anywhere you wish. Many countries refuse to let convicted felons enter their borders, both for public safety and political reasons.


5.3. Can you get a CDL with 2 DUI in Washington State?

If you have been convicted of two or more DUIs, you will be banned from requalifying. However, you can request an administrative review to appeal this decision.


5.4. Can you get a CDL if you have a DUI in WS? 

Commercial drivers have unique considerations when arrested for DUI. A DUI arrest can result in CDL disqualifications from 1 year to life. This is true even if the incident occurred in a personal, non-commercial vehicle.


In conclusion, receiving CDL disqualifications is not a good thing to expect. Thus, the CDL driver should operate your truck carefully as much as possible. However, if you made mistake, stay calm and wait after the disqualification duration to drive your vehicle. In addition, if you are newer and want to obtain a CDL, you can start with CDL Practice Test here to score high on your exam.