COMMERCIAL DRIVER LICENSE (CDL) SUSPENSIONS IN MINNESOTA
CDL’s are suspended more easily than standard licenses. This is because commercial drivers are held to very high standards. The following offenses can lead to CDL disqualification. See below for the types of offenses and related penalties. This applies to all vehicles, including your own car or motorcycle. If you’ve committed any of the below offenses, you will receive a notice of proposed disqualification or disqualification. If you are not a Minnesota resident, your home state will receive notice, as well. NOTE: You are required to notify your employer within 30 days of any traffic conviction.
- Alcohol- and drug-related offenses: Such as having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04%, refusing a breath or blood test (violating implied consent laws) – will result in a 1 year suspension.
- Leaving the scene of an accident.
- Using a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) to commit a felony.
- Includes the manufacturing and distributing of a controlled substance.
- Negligent CMV operation causing a death.
- Acquiring out-of-state convictions.
- Operating a commercial vehicle while you have a disqualified, suspended, or revoked commercial driver’s license: If you drive without a valid CDL, you may be subject to a $5,000 fine and even jail time imposed by the court. Employers who allow or require drivers to drive a CMV without a valid CDL may also face these same consequences.
Major Offense Penalties:
- 1st violation: CDL disqualification for 1 year. (3 years if transporting hazardous materials.)
- 2nd violation: CDL disqualification for life – Might be eligible for CDL reinstatement after 10 years.
Serious Traffic Violations:
- Reckless driving or excessive speeding.
- Improper lane changes.
- Driving too closely behind other vehicles.
- Violating any motor vehicle traffic control law that results in a fatal accident.
- Operating a commercial vehicle without a CDL or the proper endorsements.
Serious Traffic Violation Penalties:
You will serve the following disqualifications consecutively:
- 1st violation: No disqualification.
- 2nd violation within 3 years: CDL disqualification for 60 days.
- 3rd violation and any subsequent violation within 3 years: CDL disqualification for 120 days.
Serious violations committed while driving in a non-commercial vehicle are not included UNLESS the violation leads to the suspension, revocation, or cancellation of your MN driver’s license or regular non-commercial driving privileges.
Railroad Highway Grade Crossing Violations:
Railroad Highway Grade Crossing violations, or RRHGC; refer to offenses that involve the improper crossing of a railroad in a commercial motor vehicle. Examples of such violations include:
- Failing to slow and ensure the tracks are clear.
- Failing to stop when required.
- Driving across the tracks when not enough space is available for the vehicle.
Railroad Highway Grade Crossing Violation Penalties:
- 1st violation: Minimum of 60 days.
- 2nd violation within 3 years: Minimum of 120 days.
- 3rd violation or subsequent violations within 3 years: At least 1 year.
Out-of-Service Order Violations:
OOSO violations are Out-of-Service Orders violations, and they are broken down by category:
- Category 1 – includes violations related to hazardous materials and vehicles designed to transport at least 16 passengers. The length of time your CDL is disqualified will be based on the number of offense:
- 1st violation: Between 180 days and 2 years.
- 2nd violation or any subsequent violations within 10 years: Between 3 years and 5 years.
- Category 2 – includes violations by drivers NOT in Category 1. The number of offenses determines the amount of time your MN commercial driver’s license will be disqualified:
- 1st violation: 180 days to 1 year.
- 2nd violation within 10 years: 2 to 5 years.
- 3rd violation or any subsequent violations: 3 to 5 years.
Out-of-Service Order Violation Penalties:
- 1st violation: $2,500 fine.
- 2nd violation: $5,000 fine.
For more detailed information on CDL penalties, you can refer to:
NOTE: By law, you are required to notify your employer within 30 days of receiving a traffic offense conviction or by the end of the next business day after receiving a CDL disqualification notice.