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.
- 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.
RELATED: Is it Hard to Pass Your CDL Test?
What is CDL license suspension and why is it important?
You need a CDL (a Commercial Driver’s License) to drive any vehicle weighing over 26,000 pounds, any vehicle carrying more than 14 passengers, and any vehicle used to transport hazardous materials.
Without a CDL, no trucking company will hire you to drive for them.
When you get a commercial driver’s license, you need to follow all traffic rules.
Because any serious traffic violations could lead to the suspension of your CDL.
Examples of traffic violations that could lead to CDL license suspension include speeding, safety regulations violations, logbook violations, habitual traffic violations, driving without insurance, and carrying excess weight.
A license suspension is important because it means you can no longer drive a commercial vehicle. You need to contact a law firm to help you correct the situation.
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.
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
Change CDL to regular license
A CDL is simply an endorsement on your driving license.
The fact that it allows you to drive various commercial vehicles does not mean you cannot use it to drive regular cars.
What this means is that you have no reason to change your CDL to a regular license to drive a regular car.
I lost my drivers license – can I replace it quickly?
Yes, you can. If you have lost your driver’s license or you believe it has been stolen, you should report to the police quickly and seek a duplicate or a replacement from the DMV where you got it.
You just need two alternative forms of identification to get the replacement.
Of course, you also need to pay a small fee. In most cases, you can get a duplicate or replacement license very quickly. In some states, you can even get the replacement online.
What is medical examination report dmv?
To become a CDL holder and to renew your CDL after its expiry, you need to submit a medical examination report to your state’s DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles).
The reason why every state department of motor vehicles requires a medical examination report is to ensure that every commercial vehicle driver is healthy and well enough to drive a commercial vehicle.
Commercial vehicles are heavy and complex machines. They can only be safely driven by fairly healthy individuals.
How to transfer a license to Florida?
Once you establish residency in Florida, you need to transfer your driving license to Florida within a month.
The documents you need typically include your regular driving license, an out of state driving license, a proof of address, a proof of social security number, and a proof of identity.
Once you have gathered these together, you should visit the nearest Florida DHSMV office. DHSMV stands for Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
It is the Florida DMV and it has locations across the state. Visit one and ask to transfer a license and the entire process will start immediately.
Rent a truck for CDL test
Anybody training for a CDL license can easily rent a truck for the CDL test.
There are hundreds of companies across the USA that offer trucks for the CDL test.
A good example is TTS (Truck Testing Services) in Pulaski, Pennsylvania.
This company has trucks for both Class A and Class B tests. The vehicles are manual transmission and have full air brakes as required.
How to get a CLP?
It depends on the state. For example, to get a CLP in Texas, you will have to complete the CDL 1 application form and to pay the required fee of $25.
You will then need to pass knowledge examinations covering general knowledge, air brakes, and commercial rules.
How does CDL self-certification Florida work?
CDL self-certification in Florida allows individuals with a valid Florida Commercial Driver License to virtually meet the updated federal government DOT (Department of Transport) requirements for commercial drivers.
In other words, if you have a valid Florida CDL, you do not need to visit any Florida DMV office.
You simply need to go online to the Florida DHSMV website to meet the DOT requirements and get the certificate.
Can I get a CDL with 2 DUI?
You need a valid regular driving license to get a CDL.
If you recently got your second DUI then your license is most probably suspended so you will not be able to get a CDL.
If you have two DUI in your driving license history but you have your license with you, you will most probably still be able to get a driving license.
However, most employers will find it difficult to employ you. In other words, you will most likely get the license but you will probably not get the job.
Can you get a CDL with a DUI in Florida?
Yes, you can. As is the case in many states across the USA, the Florida DMV (known as DHSMV) will not deny you a CDL because you have a DUI in your driving license history.
However, getting convicted of any serious traffic violation such as DUI after getting a CDL can result in the suspension of your CDL.
Can I get my CDL with a DUI?
It is often possible to get a CDL with a DUI on your record.
Nevertheless, most trucking companies and transport businesses will not want to hire you with a DUI on your record.
However, if this is something you are seriously thinking about, it is better to try and get a CDL and to try and get a job instead of doing nothing at all.
How long does it take to get a CDL in Florida
It generally takes about two months to get a CDL in the sunshine state.
However, keep in mind that the actual length of time it will take will depend on various factors.
For example, if you do not have a regular driving license yet, you will need to train and get one first before training and applying for a CDL.
What is CDL test truck rentals?
CDL test truck rentals are important businesses for individuals who are self-training to drive trucks.
These businesses have trucks with all the requirements for the different class CDLs.
You have to pay between $100 and $150 to rent a CDL test truck.
Retesting, in case you fail, also costs money. There are CDL test truck rental businesses all across the USA.
More about expired CDL license
You are supposed to renew your CDL license before it expires.
This is because driving with an expired CDL license is illegal and it could result in a heavy fine.
In most cases, you have to pay some money to renew a CDL license that has expired.
You also have to submit a medical report. If your CDL license has expired for some time, you will most likely need to take a road test to renew it.
What is out of state CDL training?
Out of state CDL training is simply CDL training that one has undertaken outside their home state.
So if your home state is Texas and you take CDL training in Pennsylvania, you will have undertaken out of state CDL training.
Out of state CDL training is perfectly legal and it doesn’t make you any less likely to be employed.
However, it is often not as straightforward as in-state CDL training.
Can I get a CDL with a suspended license
No, you cannot. To get a CDL, you need a regular driving license that is valid.
A suspended license is not valid and, therefore, you will not be allowed to get a commercial DL if your current one is suspended.
If you need a CDL quickly and your license is suspended, you should contact a lawyer to have your license reinstated.
If they succeed, you can then apply for a license.
How does Florida CDL renewal works?
To renew your Florida CDL, you will need to visit the nearest Florida DHSMV location.
You will most likely be asked to provide your current CDL, a medical examination report, a proof of lawful US presence, a proof of social security number, a proof of residency in Florida, and a proof of insurance.
Of course, for the renewal to be processed, you will need to pay the required fee.
Can I renew my CDL license online?
It depends on the state. In some states such as Florida and Texas, you cannot renew your CDL online.
You need to visit the nearest DMV office in your state to renew your CDL license.
In other states such as Massachusetts and California, you can renew your CDL license online. You just need to visit your state’s official DMV website.
Is my CDL valid?
In most states, the commercial DL is valid for about 5 years.
If you have one, you are supposed to start making plans to renew it a few months to its expiry.
The expiry date is often indicated just below the date of birth, the driving license number, or the issuance date on most CDLs.
If for some reason you cannot see it, ask a relative or a friend to help you. It is always indicated somewhere on your CDL.
What is a downgrade in driving?
A downgrade or a hill is a warning road sign. It is often yellow with a black truck shown going downhill.
The purpose of this warning road sign is to make you slow down your truck and control your speed better to handle the descent coming up.
What is CDL reinstatement fee and average fees in Texas, Florida?
The CDL reinstatement fee generally depends on the state you are in and the reason why your CDL was suspended.
It costs between $10 and $100 to reinstate a CDL in most states across the country including the southern states of Texas and Florida.
Can you be a truck driver with a felony?
In most cases, you can especially if the felony was not violent.
But while being a felon will not prevent you from getting a CDL to drive a truck, it will most likely make it quite difficult for you to get employment.
Nevertheless, you can still find employers who are willing to help out ex-convicts like yourself to get trucking jobs.
Can you get a CDL with a DUI in Florida
Yes, you can. As is the case in many states, you can get a CDL with a DUI in Florida.
Even with two DUIs you can still get a CDL.
However, while getting CDL will most likely not be a problem, getting employment will definitely be a challenge.
Nobody will be eager to employ you to drive trucks with a DUI on your record.
Nevertheless, you can still find employment no matter how challenging the situation is.
Trucking companies that hire with DUI
Most trucking companies avoid drivers who have previously been convicted for driving under the influence of alcohol (drink driving).
However, there are trucking companies across the United States that are willing to ignore the DUI on your record.
Examples of such trucking companies include P and S Transportation, Oak Harbor Freight Lines, Midwest Motor Express, and AAA Cooper.
Can you get a CDL with 3 DUI?
It will most likely be very difficult for you to get a CDL with three DUI.
Your license will probably be suspended so you won’t be able to complete a CDL application anywhere in the country.
Furthermore, in many states you will not meet the eligibility requirements for a CDL license.
Can you rent a U-Haul with a suspended license?
While you may do this in some U-Haul locations because they do not do an MVR, it is not the right thing to do.
You are not supposed to rent a U-Haul with a suspended license even if you have the card.
If your license is suspended and you want to move, you should hire a moving helper to help you out.
What happens if your DOT physical expires?
DOT medical cards are typically valid for 2 years.
When your DOT physical or medical card expires before you renew it, you will get a notification that you are no longer medically fit to operate a commercial vehicle.
And, you will automatically not be able to operate a commercial vehicle even if your CDL is valid. Therefore, you should never let your DOT physical to expire.
Trucking companies that will hire anyone?
There are many trucking companies that hire drivers regardless of a DUI or a conviction they got years ago.
There are some that also hire drivers without any experience.
Some of the best companies that hire drivers without any experience include Roehl Transport, Schneider, Stevens Transport, Maverick Transportation, Swift Transportation, TransAm, and Pam Transport.
Can I get a CDL if my license was suspended?
You will find it very difficult to get a CDL with a suspended license anywhere in the USA.
You need to first get your license reinstated before you even think about training and applying for a CDL.
All DMVs across the country require you to have a valid DL to get a CDL.
How long after a DUI can I get a CDL?
There is no minimum waiting period for you to get a CDL after being convicted of drunk driving.
Nevertheless, if your license is suspended, you will need to wait for it to get unsuspended to be able to get a CDL.
If you already had a CDL and it was suspended, you will most likely need to wait for a year before applying for a valid one.
How long is a CDL license good for in California?
The CLP is good for 180 days or six months in California. It can be renewed under certain conditions.
As in many states, a CDL is good for five years in California.
You can renew your CDL a bit earlier than the expiry date if you want to travel out of California.
What’s more, you do not even need to be in California to renew a California CDL.
Requirement to getting your Class A CDL?
To get a class A CDL, you need to be 21 years or older, you need to submit a CDL application, you need to provide proof of identity and residency.
You need to provide a medical examiner’s certificate and a medical examination report, you need to pass the set vision test, and you need to pass the set knowledge exam.
Are free class b license training really possible?
Yes, you can get free class B CDL training online if you look really hard.
However, the free training probably won’t be as good as paid training in a really good school.
Good things are usually expensive. So pay for quality to be a good truck driver. Don’t just wait for free stuff.
Can I get a CDL with a DWI in texas?
You can lose a CDL with a DWI conviction.
Two DWI convictions will most likely mean your CDL is suspended forever.
So avoid DWI if you already have a CDL license. If you don’t, you can get a CDL with a DWI conviction as long as it doesn’t suspend your license.
How to get my CDL for free?
The only way to get a CDL for free is to get recruited by companies like Schneider that hire drivers and train them and then pay for their CDL.
There are dozens of such companies across the United States.
You just have to find them and to present yourself when they are recruiting to get the training you need and the job after the training.
What happens if my California CDL medical card expires?
When your medical card expires, you will receive a notification that you are no longer medically fit to drive a commercial vehicle.
This will mean that you will be in trouble if you do not get a new medical card as quickly as possible.
Surrender driving license non medical reasons
In most places in the United States, you are allowed to voluntarily surrender your DL for several reasons.
The surrender of a license is required if you are moving to another state, you have a medical condition, or your parent withdraws consent if you are under 17 or 18 depending on the state.
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 license or cdl reinstatement fee.
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.
RELATED: Why Most Box Trucks Don’t Require A CDL?
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?
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.
RELATED: Can I Get My CDL Test Online Legally?
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.