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If you drive a truck then you know all too well that your CDL is the most important thing you have in your job. Losing your CDL means that you lose your source of income and your family’s livelihood. That is why it is so important for you to be aware of the requirements and responsibilities of having and keeping your license valid.

If your CDL was suspended you will need to check with the state that issued your commercial driver’s license if you are suspended or disqualified and what the reinstatement requirements are. 

In the state of Ohio the following is true:

Your CDL might have been suspended for the following reasons:

  • DUI – Driving under the influence
  • Refusing to submit a blood alcohol concentration test when pulled over for suspicion of DUI
  • Felonies involving a vehicle
  • Violating out-of-service orders
  • Multiple serious traffic offenses


CDL Suspension

The length of your CDL suspension and reinstatement requirement will depend on the offense. Refer to your BMV suspension notice or check with your state BMV website to find out more specific as it relates to your specific circumstance. It is also possible that you may face criminal court convictions, fines, and penalties as well as a suspension of your non-commercial driving privileges.


State and Federal Regulations

State and federal regulations are in place and your CDL and privilege to drive are subject to the following regulations:

  • 1 year – 1st violation for major offense
    • DWI/DUI or drug-related offenses
    • Refusing a BAC test
    • Hit and runs
    • Using vehicle in a felony
  • 3 years – 1st violation for major offense during transport of hazardous materials
  • Lifetime – 2nd violation for major offense
  • 60-120 days – Multiple serious traffic violations in 3 years like:
    • Speeding
    • Reckless driving
    • Driving without required endorsements
  • 60 -120 days – Railroad-highway grade crossing violations, this depends on the number of previous violations you have
  • 180 days -3 ears – Violating out-of-service orders

Please note, that your CDL can be disqualified if you have  BAC of 0.04% or higher while driving a commercial vehicle. If there is any amount of alcohol in your system then you can be placed out of service for 24 hours.


Your non-commercial privileges can also be suspended depending on your offense. Please consult the Suspended License page for your state BMV.


Suspended CDL Hearings

In the state of Ohio, if you want to contest a suspension/disqualification you must request a BMV administrative hearing within 30 days of receiving your disqualification notice. If your hearing request is accepted then your disqualification will be placed on hold. However, administrative hearings have no effect on court convictions so if you want to contest a suspension caused by a court conviction you will need to contact the court


Reinstate Your CDL

The reinstatement requirements vary and will depend on the reason your CDL was suspended and whether or not your non-commercial privileges are suspended as well. To prevent delays, the BMV recommends that you mail suspension requirements and pay any fees at least 20 days before the end of your suspension.


Depending on the situation you may need to do one or all of the following:

  • Wait for the duration of the suspension or disqualification
  • Complete a remedial driving course
  • Satisfy any court requirements and fines
  • File and maintain SR22 insurance for 3-5 years on non-compliance suspensions
  • Pay reinstatement fees
  • Retake and pass the commercial driving knowledge and skills tests
  • You must retake CDL knowledge and skills tests if your license class was downgraded or your license has expired for more than 6 months during the suspension


To see specific reinstatement fees please refer to your suspension notice or view your records on the Ohio BMV site or the state where your license was issued.


Of course, avoiding a suspension is best, but if you are in a situation where it has already occurred, the best course of action is to educate yourself on the reinstatement requirements for your state. Be prepared to pay the fines and take the correct course of action to handle everything as quickly as possible and be back on the road supporting your loved ones.