Commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders are subject to special rules and restrictions while operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). However, these rules and restrictions usually don’t apply when a CDL holder is driving a non-commercial, personal vehicle. This article explains when a personal-vehicle traffic ticket can affect CDL privileges.
Lots of traffic violations can lead to CDL revocation if committed in a CMV. These offenses are called “serious” and “major” violations. For example, excessive speeding in a CMV is a “serious traffic violation” and can lead to CDL revocation. But this designation applies only to speeding while operating commercial motor vehicles. A speeding ticket in a non-commercial vehicle is generally not considered a serious violation and won’t result in a federally-mandated CDL revocation.
With most traffic violations, it works the same way as it does with speeding: A violation that will lead to CDL revocation if committed in a CMV doesn’t have the same effect if committed in a personal vehicle.
Even though federal rules might not require CDL revocation for a traffic offense committed in personal vehicles, the laws of some states are less forgiving. In Oregon, for instance, driving over 100 miles per hour or speeding 30 miles per hour over the limit in a personal vehicle can lead to CDL revocation.
And, for certain more serious offenses like driving under the influence (DUI), a conviction will result in CDL revocation regardless of whether the driver was in a personal vehicle when the violation occurred.
Additionally, many states use a license demerit point system. In these states, many traffic violations (committed in either a CMV or personal vehicle) will result in the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) assessing license demerit points against the driver’s record. Too many accumulated points will result in the suspension of both commercial and personal driving privileges.