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Commercial Driver License (CDL) Disqualifications

Individuals who hold a commercial driver license (CDL) may have their CDL disqualified for a specified amount of time if they are convicted of certain offenses. A list of the most common types of convictions with the disqualification period is provided in the table below.

NOTE: An individual may also be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle if the CDL holder has been convicted of certain types of moving violations in their personal vehicle. For more information on those types of violations and other CDL rules, please visit Texas Transportation Code 522.081.

Conviction Disqualification Period
Alcohol, leaving the scene of an accident or commission of a felony At least one year
Alcohol, leaving the scene of an accident or commission of a felony while operating a commercial motor vehicle placarded for hazardous materials At least three years for first offense; lifetime for second offense
Two serious traffic offenses (i.e. excessive speeding, reckless driving, improper or erratic lane changes, following too closely, etc.) within three years 60 days
Three serious traffic offenses (i.e. excessive speeding, reckless driving, improper or erratic lane changes, following too closely, etc.) within three years 120 days
Railroad-highway grade crossing violations 60 days for first offense; 120 days for second offense within 3 years; at least 1 year for third offense within 3 years
Using a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony Lifetime

Texas Hold’em Initiative

In an effort to improve border security, Texas has implemented the Texas Hold’em Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to reduce human and illegal contraband smuggling in commercial vehicles.

Any individual who knowingly transports an alien is subject to federal penalties, including a fine, imprisonment, and lifetime disqualification of commercial driving privileges.

Hearings

In certain circumstances, individuals may be eligible to request a hearing to contest the disqualification of their CDL. If the request is submitted within the required 20 days, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will send a letter to the individual to the address on record. The letter will provide the date, time and location of the hearing. Please allow up to 120 days for a hearing to be scheduled. Requests made after the required 20 days will be denied and the individual will be notified by mail.

Hearings are conducted in a municipal or justice court in the county where the individual lives. During the hearing, the individual is responsible for providing facts to the hearing officer who will determine if the grounds for the disqualification are valid.

NOTE: If you have already been through the administrative hearing process and the decision resulted in the suspension of your driver license, you may be eligible to appeal that decision.

CDL Reinstatement Requirements

If a CDL is disqualified due to the conviction of two or more serious traffic offenses then the individual will not have any reinstatement requirements. The CDL is automatically reinstated after the required disqualification period if there are not any other enforcement actions against the individual’s driving record.

NOTE: CDL holders are not eligible to take the driver safety course.

Occupational License

Individuals may be eligible to apply for an occupational license while their CDL is disqualified. If approved, the occupational license will be issued for noncommercial motor vehicle purposes only, and the individual must drop to a lower class of driver license.

To learn more about occupational licenses or to determine if you may be eligible to apply, please visit our Occupational License page.

Driver Eligibility Status

Individuals can check their driver eligibility status at the License Eligibility website.