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Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Suspension in Colorado
The Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles uses federal standards to guide their regulation of commercial drivers in the state.
Under state and federal law, your CDL can be disqualified for a number of reasons. CDL disqualifications can be devastating to anyone who relies on a CDL for work purposes.
Read more to learn all about CO CDL suspensions, hearings, and reinstatements.
Rules for commercial drivers tend to be stricter than those for drivers with standard, non-commercial licenses.
Offenses leading to Colorado CDL disqualification will be outlined below, but generally fall into the following categories:
- Major offenses.
- Serious traffic violations.
- Railroad highway grade crossing offenses.
- Violations of out-of-service orders.
Major offenses can lead to suspension of your license, whether you’re driving a CMVor non-CMV at the time. Major offenses include:
- Alcohol- and drug-related offenses, such as:
- Operating your vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) higher than 0.04%.
- Refusing a blood or breath test upon request.
- Fleeing from the scene of an accident.
- Using the commercial 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 without a valid CDL (i.e., one that is disqualified, suspended, or revoked).
Most major offenses will result in the following disqualification terms:
- 1st violation: Disqualification for 1 year.
- 3 years if transporting hazardous materials.
- 2nd violation: Lifetime disqualification.
A major violation involving conviction of a felony for transporting controlled substances in a CMV will result in disqualification for life.
Serious Traffic Violations
If you commit serious traffic violations, you face license suspension and CDL disqualification. Serious offense include:
- Excessive speeding or reckless driving.
- Making improper lane changes.
- Following other vehicles too closely.
- Violating any motor vehicle traffic control law and, in turn, causing a fatality.
- Does not apply to parking violations.
- Operating a CMV without a CDL, without a CDL on your person, or without the proper CDL endorsements.
Your CDL will be disqualified after your:
- 2nd violation in 3 years: 60 days.
- 3rd violation in 3 years: 120 days.
Railroad Crossing Violations
Railroad highway grade crossing violations involve offenses that happen as you cross a railroad while operating a CMV.
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 is not sufficient space for the CMV.
You face the following Colorado CDL disqualification penalties for railroad crossing violations:
- 1st violation: Minimum disqualification of 60 days.
- 2nd violation within 3 years: Minimum disqualification of 120 days.
- 3rd violation or more within 3 years: Minimum disqualification of 1 year.
If you violate an out-of-service order while transporting hazardous materials, you face the following disqualifications*:
- 90 days upon your 1st offense.
- 1 year upon your 2nd offense.
- 3 years upon your 3rd offense.
* Based on violations committed in a period of 10 years.
Check Your Colorado CDL Status
Because your CDL is so essential to your career, you should consider always being aware of what exactly is in your driving history by ordering your Colorado driving record.
Your driving record lists a history of your suspensions, traffic violations, and more.
The Colorado DMV will allow you to request a hearing to contest a CDL suspension for most cases.
However, for court convictions resulting in disqualifications, the DMV will only hear issues that involve incorrect reporting of a conviction.
To request a hearing, you must visit a Colorado DMV location.
The process for reinstating your CDL is specific to your driving history and the reason for your license suspension.
In most cases, you must wait until your disqualification period has terminated.
Early reinstatements and temporary licenses are not granted for CDL disqualifications.
To find out what steps you need to take to reinstate your license, you can request your reinstatement requirements:
- Online at the CO DMV website.
- By phone at (303) 205-5613.