Suspensions & Hearings: Commercial Driver License (CDL) Suspensions/Revocations

Effective June 21, 2006, Massachusetts adopted federally mandated regulations that pertain to the operation of Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs) through the amendment of MGL, Chapter 90F. Under these federal regulations, operators of commercial vehicles are held to a much higher standard. Previously, in order for your CDL to be revoked, all offenses had to occur while operating a CMV. Under the new regulations, your commercial driver's license may be revoked for offenses which you commit, even while operating a passenger vehicle.

In addition, all states are required to electronically exchange information regarding a commercial driver's driving history. If you transfer your commercial driver's license from one state to another, your driving history, along with any offenses you may have committed, will be transferred to your new license state. If you commit an offense in a state other than your home state, the other state will notify your home state of the offense.

Major Offenses

For any combination of the following, you will be disqualified from holding a commercial driver's license for at least one year for a first offense and life for a second offense:

  • If you drive any vehicle under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance (illegal drugs)
  • If, while driving a CMV, your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is .04% or more
  • If you refuse to take an alcohol test as required by law while driving any vehicle
  • If you leave the scene of an accident while driving any vehicle
  • If you use any vehicle to commit a felony
  • If you cause a fatality through negligent operation while operating a CMV
  • If you were driving a CMV when, as a result of a prior violation committed in a CMV, your CDL was suspended, revoked, or cancelled

If any of the above offenses occur while you are operating a CMV that is placarded for hazardous materials, you will lose your CDL for at least three years.

You will also lose your CDL for life if you use any vehicle to commit a felony involving the manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing of controlled substances.

Serious Traffic Violations

You will lose your commercial driver's license:

  • For at least 60 days if you have committed two serious traffic violations within a three year period
  • For at least 120 days for three serious traffic violations within a three year period

Serious traffic violations are:

  • Excessive speeding (15 mph or more above posted limit)
  • Reckless driving or improper or erratic lane changes
  • Following a vehicle too closely
  • Traffic offenses committed in connection with fatal traffic accidents
  • Driving a CMV without obtaining a CDL
  • Driving a CMV without a CDL in the driver's possession
  • Driving a CMV without the proper class of CDL and/or endorsement

Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing

If you are convicted of driving a CMV in violation of federal, state, or local law at a railroad crossing, you will lose your CDL for 60 days for a first offense, 120 days for a second offense, and one year for a third or subsequent offense for any combination of the following:

  • Failure to slow down and check that the tracks are clear of an approaching train
  • Failure to stop before reaching the crossing when the tracks are not clear
  • Failure to stop before driving onto the crossing
  • Failure to have sufficient space to drive completely through the crossing without stopping
  • Failure to obey a traffic control device or the directions of an enforcement official at the crossing
  • Failure to negotiate a crossing because of insufficient undercarriage clearance

Violating Out-Of-Service Orders

For safety reasons, certain commercial vehicles requiring a commercial driver's license have limitations on the number of hours you can drive before a mandated break/rest period. This period is referred to as being out-of-service.

If, while operating a CMV transporting non-hazardous materials, you are convicted of violating an out-of-service order, you will lose your commercial driver's license for 90 days to one year for a first offense, one year to five years for a second offense, and three years to five years for a third or subsequent offense.

If, while operating a CMV transporting hazardous materials required to be placarded or while operating a vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers, you are convicted of violating an out-of-service order, you will lose your CDL for 180 days to two years for a first offense, and three years to five years for a second, third or subsequent offense.


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Massachusetts Department of Transportation

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