Do Commercial Truck Drivers Need a Clean Driving Record?


Quick Answer

Not all violations disqualify drivers from earning a CDL, but federal requirements for commercial driver's licenses are stringent with regard to many past driving offenses, so a violation-free driving record is an asset to any commercial truck driver. However, individual states set their own policies based on the federal minimum.

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Full Answer

Federal guidelines indicate that commercial driver's licenses are to be suspended for railroad-highway grade crossing offenses, major criminal offenses and serious traffic infractions on the second offense. Operating a vehicle with a suspended commercial driver's license is also deemed worthy of suspension, as is operating a vehicle with a license from a state that has been decertified by the Federal government. Commercial truck drivers are also held to a more stringent standard for driving under the influence of alcohol; a blood alcohol content of 0.4 percent is sufficient for a violation when operating a commercial truck.

As commercial driving licenses are granted by the states themselves, federal requirements serve as a baseline requirement for state policies. The specific nature of infractions that disqualify a driver vary from state to state. For example, Michigan prevents any driver convicted of a six-point violation or operating a motor vehicle under the influence within the previous 24 months from obtaining a commercial driver's license.

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