I Gave Up My CDL Can I Get It Back?

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The trucking industry standards are set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. These standards determine what disqualifies drivers from getting a CDL.

They also set out the reasons for CDL suspensions and reinstatement. If you chose to downgrade your CDL and now want it back, here is a guide on how to go about it. Read general requirement here!

CDL Suspension or Ban

Before we dive into the voluntary downgrade of your CDL, let us look at some of the reasons for a suspension. You can lose your CDL for life if you are convicted of at least two of these offenses.

  • DWI
  • Leaving an accident scene
  • Committing a felony using a motor vehicle
  • Driving a commercial vehicle with a revoked or suspended license
  • Driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol
  • Causing the death of a person due to negligent or criminal operation

Some of the reasons that may lead to a suspension of at least one year include:

  • Driving with a B.A.C of 0.04% or driving a commercial vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% leads to a one-year suspension
  • Refusing to take a chemical test
  • Driving when intoxicated

While the exact reason and suspension period depend on the individual state, a second conviction will lead to a lifetime ban.

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Voluntarily Giving Up Your License

If you have voluntarily relinquished or surrendered your CDL and intend to reapply, you are supposed to get the Commercial Learners Permit (CLP).

You will also be required to pass all the written and CDL skills examinations. Unless you had already filed for the MEC and MER and they are still valid, you will be required to file them.

If your CDL had been voluntarily surrendered, expired, revoked, canceled, disqualified, or invalidated for more than a year, you need to pass all the written tests as well as skills examination before you can be issued with the license.

However, some states do not require you to take the test to upgrade again.

Requirements For Getting A CLP

In order to obtain a CLP, you should:

  • Be at least the age of 18 for drivers who will be ferrying cargo within the state lines and at least the age of 21 for those transporting people or interstate cargo.
  • Have held a driver’s license for at least one year
  • You should provide a valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate or Medical Examination Report.
  • You should pass a written exam.

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Validity of CLP Exam

After passing the knowledge examination, the results will be valid for 180 days. In two years, you may only get 3 CLPS. As long as you hold a valid CLP together with a valid commercial driver’s license, you can operate a commercial driver’s license. However, you will also need the necessary endorsements.

FAQs On Getting Back Your CDL

How do I get my CDL back after a DUI?

You will need to wait for the period that you will be legible for the reinstatement of your DUI. You should then attend an alcohol or drug rehabilitation program.

You should then complete the requirements of the courts and pay any outstanding fines. After that, you should complete the CDL certification test. Finally, you should pay the reinstatement fees.

What happens if I let my CDL expires?

You should renew with the FMCSA. You may be required to take a test again and to pay additional fees to get the CDL privileges.

How long do you have to renew your CDL license after it expires?

A CDL is usually valid for 5 years. You can renew it up to one year before its expiration date.

How do I know if my CDL is still valid?

A CDL can be valid for a period of five to eight years depending on the state your live in. In order to maintain it, you should undergo a physical examination every year.

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Can I change CDL to a regular license?

Yes, you can downgrade your license to a regular license.

Can I get my CDL back after a downgrade in Florida?

Once you have downgraded your CDL in Florida to a non-commercial license and later need to upgrade to the commercial license, you can do so without the need for additional testing. View what it cost in Florida here!

Does a DUI disqualify you from a CDL?

If there is a DUI on your driving record, this may not prevent you from getting a CDL. But it can hinder you from getting a job.

Can I get a CDL after 2 DUIs?

If you get a second DUI, you will disqualify for life from getting a CDL.

Can you get a CDL with 2 DUIs in California?

What Happens If I Let My CDL Expires?Any commercial driver who has two DUI convictions in Florida will be barred from life from driving a commercial vehicle. This applies even if the driver was driving a non-commercial vehicle.

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If you voluntarily downgraded your CDL, it’s possible to get it back. The regulation on whether you will need to take a testy or not will depend on your state.

Generally, you will need to really for the commercial driver’s privilege after a year or get the commercial learners permit.