As a holder of a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you are held to a higher standard than the average motorist. For this reason, the fines and penalties for traffic violations, like speeding, are often more severe.
It’s important to understand how a speeding ticket can impact your CDL and your career.
Can You Get a CDL With a Speeding Ticket?
If you have a speeding ticket on your driving record, you may be wondering whether it can prevent you from getting a CDL.
Technically, you can still get your CDL even if you have a speeding ticket on your record.
Only serious offenses will prevent you from getting a CDL, such as:
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Driving with a BAC over the accepted limit
- Using a commercial vehicle to commit a felony
- Using a vehicle to commit manslaughter
The biggest concern will be finding employment. After all, your job as a trucker is to drive, and you’ll be hauling expensive cargo. Naturally, trucking companies want to hire safe drivers with few or no traffic violations.
Whether or not you can find employment will depend on the circumstances of the ticket. If this is your first speeding ticket in many years, you may not have an issue getting hired. Minor traffic violations shouldn’t be an issue if you only have a few on your record.
However, if the ticket was for driving 15+ miles per hour over the speed limit or you have multiple speeding tickets within the last few years, finding employment may be difficult or impossible. If you have a history of speeding, prospective employers may view you as a reckless driver and hiring you could be too high risk.
What Happens if You Get a CDL Speeding Ticket?
Every trucker on the road should lead by example and follow the speed limit. Nevertheless, more than 700,000 speeding tickets are issued to CDL drivers every single year. If you do receive a speeding ticket, you may be wondering how this will affect your driving privileges and career.
Commercial Vehicle Speeding Fines and Points
If you receive a speeding ticket while driving your truck, you will likely have to pay a fine. Each state has its own fines for speeding tickets, so the amount you have to pay will depend on where the ticket was issued and the circumstances of the incident.
For example, in North Carolina, there is a $250 minimum fine for commercial vehicles speeding in highway work zones in addition to standard fines and penalties for speeding.
In some states, CDL holders receive 1.5 times the points for speeding tickets than non-CMV drivers.
Speeding convictions for CDL drivers will also add CSA points. The number of CDL violation points will depend on how fast you were going and where you were traveling.
- 6-10 miles over the speed limit: 4 CSA points
- 11-14 miles over the speed limit: 7 CSA points
- 15+ miles over the speed limit or speeding while in an active construction area: 10 CSA points
CSA points are also time-weighted. If, for example, you receive another conviction within six months of a previous one, the points are multiplied by three. Subsequent convictions in 12-24 months will double the points.
Report to Your Employer
A CDL speeding ticket conviction can’t be expunged (or removed) by attending traffic school. You must report the ticket to your employer within 30 days, even if you’re appealing the ticket.
Can Your CDL Be Revoked Because of a Speeding Ticket?
It can be. If you were driving 15 mph or more over the speed limit, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) considers this a serious violation.
If you receive two or more serious violations within three years, you can have your CDL revoked for 60 days. Any subsequent conviction in the next three years can lead to a 120-day disqualification.
How Long Does a Speeding Ticket Stay on Your Record?
A speeding ticket or any other traffic violation will always be a part of your record. However, the points associated with the ticket will be reduced or eliminated over time.
It’s a common belief that points are removed after three years, but the length of time will depend on where the ticket was issued.
Points are really the most concerning thing – not necessarily the record of the ticket itself – because they will determine whether or not your license is suspended or if your insurance premiums will rise.
Can Your CDL be Revoked if You Get a Speeding Ticket in a Personal Vehicle?
If you were ticketed for speeding in a personal vehicle, you may be wondering whether that traffic ticket will affect your CDL privileges.
On the federal level, traffic violations can lead to CDL revocation, but only when operating a commercial vehicle. A speeding ticket in a personal vehicle won’t typically result in CDL revocation.
On the state level, however, it could be a different story. In Oregon, you could lose your CDL if you’re caught driving 30 miles over the speed limit or over 100 miles per hour.
In many states, a speeding ticket will add points to your license regardless of what type of vehicle you’re driving. If you accumulate too many points, you could lose both your personal and commercial driving privileges.
Also, keep in mind that any speeding ticket you receive in a personal vehicle will also affect your CSA score.