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Can you drive a noncommercial vehicle with a disqualified CDL?

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2024 | Traffic Violations |

If you receive a point on your license, the law may scrutinize your driving more closely. This means that any infractions, no matter how small, can catch the attention of law enforcement and potentially lead to further penalties. By law, you cannot operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) if your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is disqualified. Disqualification can result from specific offenses or violations.

However, it’s essential to understand that you have options. Despite a CDL disqualification, you may still be eligible to drive noncommercial vehicles.

What a disqualification means

Disqualification means you temporarily or permanently lose the right to drive a CMV. This can happen if you commit a major offense or have too many traffic violations. For example, operating a vehicle while intoxicated counts as a major offense. So, any reckless behavior on the road – such as driving too fast, operating a vehicle after consuming drugs or alcohol, or not obeying traffic rules – can cost you your CDL. This can cause problems, especially if your job involves driving commercial vehicles. Without your CDL, you can’t legally drive a CMV and may even lose your livelihood.

Driving a noncommercial vehicle

Despite this, there is some good news. If your CDL is disqualified, you might still be able to drive noncommercial vehicles, like cars or SUVs, that don’t require a CDL. To do this, you need to apply for a noncommercial Class C or M driver’s license. Doing so can allow you to continue driving and potentially pursue other work that doesn’t require a CDL during your disqualification period. For instance, you could consider delivery jobs, rideshare services, or any other job that requires a noncommercial vehicle.

Mind your application

Receiving a CDL disqualification is serious. But it doesn’t mean you can’t drive at all. You can still legally drive a vehicle, but it must be with a noncommercial driver’s license. You can do this until your disqualification period is over, as long as you follow the rules of your disqualification and avoid further penalties. If you find this process overwhelming or confusing, consulting with an attorney may be beneficial. They can help you work through the legal complexities and potentially assist in taking steps to regain your commercial driving privileges when possible.