Suspended CDL in Montana

Commercial Driver License Suspension in Montana

When it comes to commercial driver laws, the Montana Motor Vehicle Division uses federal standards to guide its enforcement of CDL standards.

Federal law outlines a number of violations that can lead to the disqualification of your CDL.

Read more to learn about CDL suspension, reinstatement, and fees in Montana.

About Your Montana CDL Suspension

Your CDL privileges are most commonly disqualified due to violations in the following categories:

  • Major offenses.
  • Serious offenses.
  • Railroad crossing violations.
  • Out-of-service offenses.

NOTE: You must notify your employer within 30 days if you’re convicted of any traffic violation (with the exception of parking), regardless of the vehicle you were driving.

You must also notify your employer within 2 business days if your license is suspended, revoked, cancelled, or you are disqualified from driving.

Major Offenses

Major offenses will result in CDL disqualification in Montana, whether the offense took place in a commercial vehicle (CMV) or personal vehicle. These offenses include:

  • DUI offenses:
    • Driving while over the limit for blood alcohol concentration (0.04% in a CMV).
    • Refusal to test for blood alcohol concentration.
  • Leaving the scene of an accident.
  • Causing a fatality because you operated the CMV negligently.
  • Felony for use of a CMV for the transportation of controlled substances.
    • This is an automatic and irreversible lifetime disqualification.
  • Driving a commercial vehicle while your CDL is suspended.
    • If you drive when your CDL is invalid, you face hefty fines and even jail time. Employers who allow drivers to operate a CMV without a valid CDL face the same penalties.

For most of these offenses, your Montana CDL will be disqualified for the following terms:

  • 1st violation: 1 year.
    • 3 years if transporting hazardous materials.
  • 2nd violation: Lifetime disqualification.

NOTE: Any detectable amount of alcohol in your blood leads to consequences if you’re driving a CMV. If your blood alcohol concentration tests for any alcohol below the legal limit, you will receive an out-of-service order for 24 hours.

Serious Violations

Committing a serious violation in a commercial vehicle will result in your Montana CDL disqualification. These offenses include:

  • Excessive speeding.
  • Reckless driving.
  • Illegal passing.
  • Improper or erratic lane changing.
  • Following too closely.
  • Causing a fatality by ignoring traffic control laws (with the exception of parking laws).
  • Driving a CMV without a CDL, without a CDL on you, or without having obtained the proper endorsements.

You face the following disqualification terms for serious offenses accumulated within 3 years:

  • 60 days upon your 2nd offense.
  • 120 days upon your 3rd offense.

Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing Offenses

The following railroad crossing violations will lead to suspension of your CDL privileges:

  • Failure to slow down to ensure that tracks are clear.
  • Failure to stop when tracks are not clear.
  • Failure to stop before driving onto crossing.
  • Failure to obey a traffic control device or officer.
  • Failure to ensure undercarriage clearance.

You face the following CDL disqualification penalties for RRHGC 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.

Out-of-Service Offenses

Your CDL will be disqualified for the following time periods of violating an out-of-service order within a period of 10 years:

  • 90 days upon your 1st offense.
  • 2 years upon your 2nd offense.
  • 3 years upon your 3rd offense.

Violations in Your Personal Vehicle

If your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked due to traffic violations in your personal vehicle (other than parking violations), your CDL will also be disqualified.

Check Your Commerical License Status

If you drive a CMV for a living, it is a good idea to keep up with your license status. You can do so by ordering and checking your Montana driving record.

Your driving record is a history that includes your license status, traffic violations, accidents, and more.

Reinstate Your Montana CDL

In order to reinstate your CDL, you may have to fulfill requirements given to you by the Montana MVD and/or court. Common reinstatement requirements for suspensions include:

  • Waiting until you are eligible for reinstatement.
  • Payments of all reinstatement fees.
  • Payment of all fines related to your offense.
  • Providing proof of MT auto insurance.
  • Completion of any court-ordered treatment programs.
  • Installation of ignition interlock device.
  • Application for a new CDL.

To learn more about your specific requirements, contact the MVD customer service at (406) 444-3933.

Fees for Suspended MT CDLs

Your CDL reinstatement may require you to pay a fee that is separate from any fines or penalties associated with your violation.

For more information about your reinstatement fee, contact the MVD customer service at (406) 444-3933.

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