Commercial Driver FAQs in Indiana
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CDL Information Sources
An excellent overall source of information is your trusty CDL Test Booklet. Besides containing the basic information required to help pass your tests, it also has material on physical examinations and waivers, safety regulations, alcohol testing and endorsements.
For additional information, a wide variety of CDL-related forms, publications, checklists, and manuals are available through the Bureau of Motor Vehicles website.
All CDL holders who have or want to have a Hazardous Materials endorsement need to be fingerprinted. A number of license agencies throughout the state offer this service in conjunction with the TSA. It costs $86.50.
CDL Not Required
A CDL is not needed to legally operate farm, emergency, firefighting, and military vehicles.
Your CDL is valid for 4 years. Be sure to renew your license at least within 2 years of the expiration date.
Failing to do so will cause you to take all necessary knowledge and skills test again. The same holds true for those who have had their license canceled, revoked, invalidated or disqualified for more than 1 year.
CDL Violations and Penalties
Having a CDL is a serious responsibility, with safety being at the forefront. That's why the punishment for a safety violation is so severe.
You should note that anyone with a CDL is considered to be legally drunk with a blood alcohol content of 0.04%, half of the limit for non-CDL holders.
The first time you're found guilty of drunk driving, you'll lose your license for 1 year (or 3 years if you're driving a hazardous materials vehicle). If it happens again, you'll lose it for life.
You'll also lose your CDL for at least 60 days if you're found guilty (while driving a commercial motor vehicle) of 2 serious offenses that include excessive speeding, reckless driving and any traffic offense in connection with a fatal accident, within a period of 3 years.
You'll lose it for at least 120 days if 3 serious offenses occur within a period of 3 years.
In addition, you'll have your license suspended for 1 year if you leave the scene of an accident that involved your CMV, or if you use your CMV in the act of a felony. The penalty is 3 years if you're driving a hazardous materials vehicle.
Also, by having a CDL, you give your implied consent for alcohol testing for any of the above infractions.
Safety Act Rules
You should also be aware of the following rules and regulations:
- You may only have one CDL. The states are on a computerized link that tracks this information. If you happen to have more than one license, keep your Indiana license and return the other. You could be fined $5,000 or face jail time if you don't comply.
- You must have a CDL to operate a commercial motor vehicle. The same possible penalties apply as listed above.
- If you have a suspended or revoked CDL, your employer may not permit you to drive. If they do, the same penalties apply.
- Along those lines, if your license has been canceled, revoked or suspended, you must let your employer know about it on a timely basis.
- If you are found guilty of any sort of traffic violation (besides parking) while driving any type of vehicle, you must tell your employer within 30 days of the conviction.
- When you are applying for a commercial driving job, you must tell the potential employer of all the driving jobs you've had in the previous 10 years.
Here are the costs of some common CDL fees:
- CDL: $35.
- CDL learner's permit: $17.