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    CDL Suspension in Massachusetts

    If you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you face stricter regulations and harsher penalties for traffic violations and other offenses.

    In some cases, these regulations and penalties apply no matter what kind of vehicle you are driving.

    In addition to serious traffic violations like reckless driving and speeding, CDL holders can also face suspensions for violating out-of-service orders and railroad crossing violations.

    About Your Suspended CDL in MA

    CDL holders are subject to different rules and penalties than non-commercial drivers. Read below to learn more about the violations that result in suspension.

    NOTE: Commercial drivers are required to notify their employers within 30 days of any traffic conviction.

    Types of CDL Suspensions

    Your CDL will be disqualified by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) if you commit:

    • Major offenses, which include:
      • DUI offenses, such as:
        • Driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04% or higher.
        • Driving under the influence of illegal drugs.
        • Violating implied consent laws by refusing to take a test for BAC.
      • Leaving an accident scene.
      • Committing a felony using any vehicle.
      • Causing a fatality due to negligent operation of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).
      • Driving a CMV with a suspended, revoked, or cancelled license.
    • Multiple serious traffic violations, such as:
      • Speeding 15 mph or more over the speed limit.
      • Reckless driving.
      • Following too closely.
      • Involvement in an accident that resulted in a fatality.
      • Driving without having obtained a CDL or without having your valid CDL in your possession.
      • Driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) without the correct CDL class or endorsement.
    • Railroad crossing violations:
      • Failing to slow down and check that tracks are clear.
      • Failing to stop when required.
      • Crossing a railroad when there isn’t enough space.
      • Failing to cross appropriately due to insufficient undercarriage clearance.
    • Out-of-service order violations; specifically, failing to take required breaks or rest periods.

    Length of CDL Suspensions

    The length of time you’ll be disqualified from holding a CDL varies based on the reason for disqualification and the number of prior offenses you have:

    • Major offenses:
      • 1st offense: At least 1 year.
        • Minimum 3 years if transporting hazardous materials at the time.
      • 2nd offense: Lifetime disqualification.
      • Felony involving the manufacturing or distributing of illegal drugs: Life.
    • Multiple serious traffic violations:
      • 2 violations in 3 years: At least 60 days.
      • 3 violations in 3 years: At least 120 days.
    • A railroad crossing violation:
      • 1st offense: 60 days.
      • 2nd offense: 120 days.
      • 3rd offense, and additional offenses: 1 year.
    • An out-of-service order violation:
      • 1st offense: 90 days to 1 year.
        • If transporting hazardous materials or carrying 16 passengers or more: 180 days to 2 years.
      • 2nd offense: 1 – 5 years.
        • If transporting hazardous materials or carrying 16 passengers or ore: 3 – 5 years.
      • 3rd offense, and additional offenses: 3 – 5 years.

    NOTE: In addition to an RMV suspension, you may be sentenced to additional penalties by the court.

    Check Your License Status

    Are you concerned about the status of your CDL? If you have any questions about your license status, tickets, or violations, you can check your MA driving record.

    Your driving record tells the story of your driving history in the state. You can monitor it to see any tickets, points, accidents and even check whether your license is suspended.

    Driving with a Suspended CDL

    If your CDL has been disqualified and you are caught driving a CMV, you will face a second disqualification lasting:

    • At least 1 year.
      OR
    • For life IF this is your second conviction for a major offense. (See “About Your CDL Suspension” above.)

    NOTE: You may face additional fines and criminal penalties for driving without a valid CDL, such as hefty fines or jail time. Also note that your employer cannot allow or require you to drive without a valid CDL.

    OUI/DUI CDL Suspensions in MA

    Operating under the influence (OUI), also called driving under the influence (DUI), results in harsh suspensions and other penalties for CDL holders.

    OUI violations in Massachusetts include:

    • Driving a CMV with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04% or higher.
    • Driving any vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
    • Refusing to take a BAC test while driving any vehicle.

    The disqualification periods imposed for these violations are:

    • 1st offense: at least 1 year.
      • At least 3 years if the vehicle has a hazardous materials placard.
    • 2nd offense: Lifetime suspension.

    In addition, if you are caught driving a CMV in MA with any detectable amount of BAC (but your BAC is less than 0.04%), you will be have to go out of service for 24 hours.

    Remember, even if you’re driving a non-commercial vehicle, OUI convictions can lead to Massachusetts CDL suspension.

    NOTE: Additional criminal penalties may apply.

    Reinstate Your MA Commercial License

    Typically, to reinstate your commercial driver’s license through the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, you’ll need to:

    • Wait until you are eligible to reinstate, i.e., waiting out your full suspension period.
    • Meet any special requirements, such as any required hearings, alcohol treatment programs, etc.
    • Pay any applicable reinstatement fees and other related fines/costs.

    For questions about your specific suspension, contact your local MA RMV office.

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