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Commercial Driver License (CDL) Suspension in Alabama
The Alabama Department of Public Safety (DPS) closely follows federal guidelines to enforce CDL-related laws. In Alabama you can lose your CDL privileges through disqualifications.
Because your CDL can be very important to your source of income, it is important to understand how and why your CDL may be disqualified.
Read more to learn about CDL disqualifications in Alabama, hearings to contest a disqualification, and how to reinstate your CDL.
Rules for CDL suspensions can differ from standard driver’s license rules, with most regulations being harsher for commercial drivers.
Offenses leading to CDL disqualifications are categorized as follows:
- Major offenses.
- Serious traffic violations.
- Railroad-highway grade crossing offenses.
- Violating out-of-service orders.
- Non-commercial license suspensions.
Alabama state and federal law lists the following as major offenses:
- 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).
- DUI conviction.
- Leaving the scene of an accident.
- Using the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) to commit a felony, including the manufacturing and distributing of a controlled substance.
- Causing a death due to negligent CMV operation.
- Operating a commercial vehicle while you have a disqualified, suspended, or revoked commercial driver’s license. *
Major offenses will result in the following disqualification terms:
- 1st violation: 1 year.
- 3 years if transporting hazardous materials.
- 2nd violation: Life.
* You will be given an out-of-service order for 24 hours if you test for any amount of alcohol, even if under the legal limit. You can have your license suspended if you drive during this time.
Serious Traffic Violations
Alabama lists the following as serious traffic violations:
- Excessive speeding or reckless driving.
- Making improper lane changes.
- Following vehicles too closely.
- Operating a CMV without a CDL, or without the proper CDL endorsements.
Your CDL will be disqualified after your:
- 2nd violation within 3 years: for 60 days.
- 3rd violation within 3 years: for 120 days.
Railroad Crossing Violations
Railroad Highway Grade Crossing violations relate to how you operate your CMV when crossing a railroad.
Railroad crossing violations include, but are not limited to:
- Failing to slow down and check that the tracks are clear.
- Failing to stop when required.
- Driving across the tracks when there isn’t sufficient space for the commercial vehicle.
You face the following CDL disqualification penalties for railroad crossing violations:
- 1st violation: Minimum of 60 days.
- 2nd violation within 3 years: Minimum of 120 days.
- 3rd violation and any subsequent violations within 3 years: Minimum of 1 year.
If you violate an out-of-service order, you face a minimum disqualification of 90 days.
If your privilege to drive non-commercial vehicles has been suspended, revoked, or canceled due to traffic violations (other than parking violations), your CDL will also be disqualified.
Because your CDL is essential for your job, you may want to consider contesting a disqualification of your CDL. The Alabama DPS will consider request for administrative hearings to contest any CDL disqualification.
You can request your hearing by mail to:
Driver License Division
P.O. Box 1471
Montgomery, AL 36102-1471
Be sure to include your:
- Full name.
- Date of birth.
- Driver’s license number.
For most cases, you must wait until your CDL disqualification period has terminated before you are able to reinstate your CDL.
For information about what requirements you might have to fulfill to regain your CDL driving privileges, you can contact the CDL headquarters at (334) 242-1789.