Fact Sheets: Disqualifications and Traffic Offenses

Pub 7216 FS (10-03)

Q: What is a disqualification?

A: A disqualification is the temporary or permanent withdrawal of a person’s privilege to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).


Q: How long can a disqualification last?

A: A disqualification can be for a minimum of 60 days or for a lifetime.


Q: How does a Commercial Driver become disqualified?

A: A disqualification can result from either an accumulation of certain offenses defined as SERIOUS TRAFFIC OFFENSES or as a result of a single conviction for a MAJOR OFFENSE or for a RAILROAD-HIGHWAY GRADE CROSSING OFFENSE that occurs while the driver is operating a CMV or is transporting hazardous materials that is required to be placarded.


Q: What is a serious traffic offense?

A: A serious traffic offense is a violation of the Vehicle Code that may result in the disqualification of your privilege to drive a CMV. If you are convicted of 2 serious traffic offenses within a 3 year period, you will be disqualified from driving a CMV for 60 days. If you are convicted of 3 serious traffic offenses within a 3 year period, you will be disqualified from driving a CMV for 120 days.

Serious Traffic Offenses are listed below with the appropriate Section of the Vehicle Code:

DESCRIPTION SECTION

Improper passing on the right……………………………………………………………………3304**

Improper passing on the left……………………………………………………………………..3305**

Improper passing on a hill ………………………………………………………………………..3306(1)(1)**

Improper passing at a railroad crossing or intersection ………………………………..3306(a)(2)**

Improper passing at a bridge or tunnel ………………………………………………………3306(1)(3)**

Driving roadways laned for traffic ……………………………………………………………..3309

Following too closely……………………………………………………………………………….3310**

Failure to yield in construction and maintenance areas…………………………………3326

Exceeding maximum speed limit 15 mph or more………………………………………..3362**

Exceeding special speed limit for trucks on downgrades………………………………3365(c)**

Reckless driving …………………………………………………………………………………….3736***

** These offenses will also result in points being assessed to your driving record if committed in Pennsylvania.

*** This violation will also result in the suspension of your driving privilege if committed in Pennsylvania.


Q: What is a major offense?

A: A major offense is a violation of the Vehicle Code that, upon conviction will result in the automatic disqualification of your privilege to operate a CMV. A disqualification of a major offense could be for a minimum of 6 months or for a lifetime for a single offense.

Major Offenses are listed below with the appropriate Section of the Vehicle Code:

DESCRIPTION SECTION

Driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance……………………………3731(i)**

Accidents involving death or personal injury……………………………………………………3742**

Accidents involving damages to attended vehicles or property……………………………..3743**

Accidents involving damages to unattended vehicles or property…………………………3745***

Requirements for a commercial driver’s license ……………………………………………1606(c)(1)

Driving a commercial motor vehicle without a valid CDL………………………………………1606(a)

Refusal to submit to chemical testing………………………………………………………………1613

Any misdemeanor or felony offense in which a CMV was used involving the manufacture, distribution or dispensing of a controlled substance……………………….

The commission of a misdemeanor or felony offense in which a court determines a CMV was essentially involved.

Pennsylvania Crimes Code **

** These offenses will also result in the suspension of your driving privilege.

*** This offense will also result in points being assessed to your driving record if committed in Pennsylvania.


Q: What is a Railroad-highway grade crossing offense?

A: A railroad-highway grade offense is a violation of the Vehicle Code that, upon conviction will result in the automatic disqualification of your privilege to operate a CMV. If convicted of a 1st offense, you will be disqualified from driving a CMV for 60 days. If you are convicted of a 2nd offense within a 3 year period, you will be disqualified from driving a CMV for 120 days. If you are convicted of a 3rd or subsequent offense within a 3 year period, you will be disqualified from driving a CMV for 1 year. Railroad-highway grade crossing offenses are listed below with the appropriate Section of the Vehicle Code:

Description Section

Failure to obey signal indicating approach of train 3341(a)**

Failure to comply with crossing gate or barrier 3341(b)***

Crossing RR when safe to do so 3342(a)

Failure to stop at railroad crossings 3342(b)**

Failure to negotiate RR crossing 3343(a)

** These offenses will also result in points being assessed to your driving record if committed in Pennsylvania.

*** This violation will also result in points and suspension of your driving privilege for 30 days if committed

in Pennsylvania.


Q: Can a disqualified CDL driver operate a non-commercial vehicle?

A: Yes. If a driver holds a valid CDL license or permit and is only disqualified from operating a CMV, the person is eligible to apply for a non-commercial Class C or M driver’s license to drive a non-commercial motor vehicle during the period of disqualification. An application to apply for a non-commercial Class C and/or M license will be enclosed with the disqualification notice.


Q: How do I get my CDL privilege restored?

A: In addition to serving the time required for the disqualification, the person will have to pay a restoration fee to PENNDOT before their CDL will be returned to them.

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