TruckingTruth logo

1.12 CDL Reporting Requirements

Reporting requirements under the CDL program have been in effect since 1988. Commercial drivers must notify the Secretary of State of the following:

  • Any out-of-state traffic violation within 30 days of conviction.
  • Any out-of-state suspension, revocation or cancellation of driving privileges, as well as disqualification or out-of-service actions, within 30 days of the effective date.
  • Change of name or address within 10 days. The driver has 30 days to obtain a corrected CDL.

Commercial drivers also must notify their employer of the following:

  • Any traffic violation within 30 days of the date of conviction.
  • Any suspension, revocation or cancellation of their driving privileges, as well as any disqualification or out-of-service action, within one day of notification of action.
  • Complete employment and driving record for the previous 10 years.

1.13 Alcohol Provisions

Law requires drivers operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) or a non-commercial motor vehicle (nonCMV) on highways to automatically give their consent to submit to certain tests to determine blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). A CDL holder may not operate a commercial vehicle with a BAC of .04 or more or a noncommercial vehicle with a BAC of .08 or more.

  • Any driver operating a CMV or non-CMV who refuses to submit to chemical testing or submits to a test with results in excess of the legal limit is disqualified for a minimum 12 months.
  • Any driver convicted of DUI (regardless of BAC) is disqualified for a minimum 12 months.
  • If either violation above takes place while transporting placarded hazardous materials, the driver is disqualified for a minimum three years.
  • A driver who commits two of the above violations, arising from two or more incidents, is disqualified for life.
  • A CDL holder operating a CMV found to have any alcohol in his or her system is placed out of service for at least 24 hours.
  • Anyone convicted of driving a commercial motor vehicle with any amount of drug, substance or compound resulting from unlawful use or consumption of cannabis listed in the Cannabis Control Act or controlled substance listed in the Controlled Substance Act is disqualified for a minimum 12 months.

1.14 Other Offenses Leading to Disqualification

The following offenses also will lead to disqualification:

  • Knowingly and willfully leaving the scene of an accident while operating a CMV or non-CMV results in disqualification for a minimum 12 months.
  • Committing a felony while operating a CMV or non-CMV results in disqualification for a minimum 12 months.
  • A conviction for either offense above while carrying placarded hazardous materials results in disqualification for a minimum three years.
  • A conviction for violation of an out-of-service order results in disqualification for a minimum six months.
  • The use of a CMV or non-CMV in the commission of any felony involving manufacturing, distributing or dispensing a controlled substance, or possession with intent to manufacture, distribute or disperse a controlled substance, results in a lifetime disqualification.
  • Operating a commercial motor vehicle in violation of regulations pertaining to railroad-highway grade crossings: first conviction - 60 day disqualification; second conviction within a three-year period —120-day disqualification; third and subsequent conviction within a three-year period — one year disqualification.

Excessive Speeding

Excessive speeding involving any single offense for any speed of 15 mph or more above the posted speed limit.

  • Failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.
  • Driving too fast for conditions.
  • Exceeding the speed limit in a school zone.

Reckless Driving

Operating a CMV or non-CMV in a manner that exhibits a willful, wanton or reckless disregard of the safety of persons or property.

  • Passing a vehicle stopped for a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
  • Driving on a sidewalk.
  • Passing a school bus receiving or discharging passengers or displaying a warning not to pass.

No Valid CDL

Operating a CMV without a valid CDL.

  • Operating a CMV with an improper classification or restriction.
  • Violation of an instruction permit.

Following Too Closely

Following the vehicle ahead too closely.

  • Failure of a truck to leave sufficient distance for being overtaken by another vehicle.

Improper Lane Usage

Improper or erratic traffic lane changes.

  • Improper lane changing, lane usage and/or center lane usage.
  • Improper passing.
  • Passing on a hill or curve or when prohibited.
  • Passing on wrong side of the road.
  • Improper passing on shoulder, left or right.
  • Driving wrong way on a one-way street or highway.
  • Driving on the left side of the roadway.
  • Passing in a school zone.

Conviction Involving a Fatal Accident

A violation of any state law or local ordinance relating to motor vehicle traffic control (other than parking violations) arising in connection with a fatal traffic accident.

Multiple Licenses

A violation relating to a CMV driver having multiple driverʼs licenses.

Traffic Violations

Two serious traffic violations within a three-year period results in a two-month disqualification. Three serious traffic violations in the same period results in a four-month disqualification.

Questions about alcohol are very common on the written exam. Be familiar with these bullet points and memorize that a .04 BAC is the legal limit for commercial drivers. Also understand that any amount of alcohol in a drivers system will put him/her out of service for a minimum of 24 hours.
While you probably don't need to memorize all offenses leading to disqualification, be familiar with the below offenses and make note of the duration of disqualification for each offense.
Memorize that excessive speeding is 15mph or more over the speed limit. Excessive speeding is also considered a serious traffic violation.
A Serious Traffic Violation includes:
  • Excessive speeding
  • Reckless driving
  • No valid CDL
  • Following too closely
  • Improper lane usage
  • Any conviction of a traffic violation involving a fatal accident
  • Possessing multiple licenses
While most states have the same reporting requirements, you should check your state specific CDL manual for the specific requirements in your state. A question about reporting requirements will sometimes be on the written exam.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Commercial Motor Vehicle:

A commercial motor vehicle is any vehicle used in commerce to transport passengers or property with either:

  • A gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more
  • A gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more which includes a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds
  • CMV:

    Commercial Motor Vehicle

    A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

    • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
    • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
    • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
    • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
    • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

    BMI:

    Body mass index (BMI)

    BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

    • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
    • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

    It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

    DUI:

    Driving Under the Influence

    OWI:

    Operating While Intoxicated

    Out-of-Service:

    When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Review Questions - Click On The Picture To Begin...

Reckless driving is considered a serious traffic violation. All of the following are grounds for reckless driving except:
  • Driving on a sidewalk
  • Performing an illegal U-Turn
  • Passing a school bus receiving or discharging passengers or displaying a warning not to pass
  • Passing a vehicle stopped for a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Quote From The CDL Manual:

Reckless Driving Operating a CMV or non-CMV in a manner that exhibits a willful, wanton or reckless disregard of the safety of persons or property.

  • Passing a vehicle stopped for a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
  • Driving on a sidewalk.
  • Passing a school bus receiving or discharging passengers or displaying a warning not to pass.

TruckingTruth's Advice:

Reckless driving is a serious traffic violation which carries additional consequences. Two serious traffic violations within a three-year period results in a two-month disqualification. Three serious traffic violations in the same period results in a four-month disqualification.

Next
Traffic violations which are deemed "serious" by the DOT carry additional consequences. What is an example of a serious traffic violation?
  • Excessive Speeding
  • Improper Lane Usage
  • Following Too Closely
  • All of these are serious traffic violations

Quote From The CDL Manual:

The following are listed as serious traffic violations:

  • Excessive Speeding
  • Reckless Driving
  • No Valid CDL
  • Following Too Closely
  • Improper Lane Usage
  • Conviction Involving a Fatal Accident
  • Multiple Licenses
Prev
Next
Commercial drivers must notify their employer about the following, except:
  • Any suspension, revocation or cancellation of their driving privileges, as well as any disqualification or out-of-service action, within one day of notification of action
  • Complete employment and driving record for the previous 10 years
  • Any traffic violation within 30 days of the date of conviction
  • Current marital status

Quote From The CDL Manual:

Commercial drivers also must notify their employer of the following:

  • Any traffic violation within 30 days of the date of conviction.
  • Any suspension, revocation or cancellation of their driving privileges, as well as any disqualification or out-of-service action, within one day of notification of action.
  • Complete employment and driving record for the previous 10 years.
Prev
Next
Knowingly and willfully leaving the scene of an accident while operating a CMV or non-CMV results in disqualification for how long?
  • Minimum of 24 months
  • Minimum of 12 months
  • Minimum of 18 months
  • Minimum of 6 months

Quote From The CDL Manual:

The following offenses also will lead to disqualification:

  • Knowingly and willfully leaving the scene of an accident while operating a CMV or non-CMV results in disqualification for a minimum 12 months.
  • Committing a felony while operating a CMV or non-CMV results in disqualification for a minimum 12 months.
  • A conviction for either offense above while carrying placarded hazardous materials results in disqualification for a minimum three years.
  • A conviction for violation of an out-of-service order results in disqualification for a minimum six months.
  • The use of a CMV or non-CMV in the commission of any felony involving manufacturing, distributing or dispensing a controlled substance, or possession with intent to manufacture, distribute or disperse a controlled substance,results in a lifetime disqualification.

Operating a commercial motor vehicle in violation of regulations pertaining to railroad-highway grade crossings:

  • First conviction 60-day disqualification
  • Second conviction within a three-year period -120-day disqualification
  • Third and subsequent conviction within a three year period - one year disqualification.
Prev
Next
Which of the following will disqualify a CDL holder from operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for a minimum of 12 months:
  • Any driver convicted of DUI (regardless of BAC)
  • Any driver operating a CMV or non-CMV who refuses to submit to chemical testing or submits to a test with results in excess of the legal limit
  • Anyone convicted of driving a commercial motor vehicle with any amount of drug, substance or compound resulting from unlawful use or consumption of cannabis listed in the Cannabis Control Act or controlled substance listed in the Controlled Substance Act
  • All of these will disqualify a CDL holder for 12 months

Quote From The CDL Manual:

Law requires drivers operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) or a non-commercial motor vehicle (nonCMV) on highways to automatically give their consent to submit to certain tests to determine blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). A CDL holder may not operate a commercial vehicle with a BAC of .04 or more or a noncommercial vehicle with a BAC of .08 or more.

  • Any driver operating a CMV or non-CMV who refuses to submit to chemical testing or submits to a test with results in excess of the legal limit is disqualified for a minimum 12 months.
  • Any driver convicted of DUI (regardless of BAC) is disqualified for a minimum 12 months.
  • If either violation above takes place while transporting placarded hazardous materials, the driver is disqualified for a minimum three years.
  • A driver who commits two of the above violations, arising from two or more incidents, is disqualified for life.
  • A CDL holder operating a CMV found to have any alcohol in his or her system is placed out of service for at least 24 hours.
  • Anyone convicted of driving a commercial motor vehicle with any amount of drug, substance or compound resulting from unlawful use or consumption of cannabis listed in the Cannabis Control Act or controlled substance listed in the Controlled Substance Act is disqualified for a minimum 12 months.

TruckingTruth's Advice:

Please note the limit to be criminally charged for DUI when operating a commercial vehicle is a BAC of .04. However, anyone caught operating a commercial vehicle with any amount of alcohol will be placed out of service for a minimum of 24hrs. Most trucking companies will immediately discharge a driver caught with any amount of alcohol in their system.

Prev
Next
How long will a driver be placed out of service with a .02 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)?
  • At least 24 hours
  • A driver will not be placed out of service unless they have a .08 BAC
  • At least 12 hours
  • A driver will not be placed out of service unless they have a .04 BAC

Quote From The CDL Manual:

A CDL holder operating a CMV found to have any alcohol in his or her system is placed out of service for at least 24 hours.

TruckingTruth's Advice:

Alcohol is taken very seriously for commercial drivers. If you have any alcohol in your system at all, you will be placed out of service and will most likely lose your job. While you will not be criminally charged for driving under the influence unless your BAC is .04 or higher, you can still lose your job for any level under that and will certainly be placed out of service. A good rule of thumb is "24 hours from bottle to throttle." In other words, don't even think about driving for 24 hours after your last drink.

Prev
Next
Following too closely is considered a serious traffic violation. Which of these is considered following too closely?
  • Less than 12 seconds of following distance
  • Failure of a truck to leave sufficient distance for being overtaken by another vehicle
  • Less than 8 seconds of following distance
  • Less than 400ft of following distance

Quote From The CDL Manual:

Following Too Closely:

  • Following the vehicle ahead too closely.
  • Failure of a truck to leave sufficient distance for being overtaken by another vehicle.

TruckingTruth's Advice:

While the CDL manual specifically states "failure of a truck to leave sufficient distance for being overtaken by another vehicle" there are many scenarios in which a driver can be charged with following too closely. But that is the answer you'll most likely see if asked on an exam.

Following too closely is considered a serious traffic violation and carries with it additional consequences. Two serious traffic violations within a three-year period results in a two-month disqualification. Three serious traffic violations in the same period results in a four-month disqualification.

Following too closely is one of the most dangerous things you can do. Keeping plenty of following distance is absolutely critical to safe driving.

Prev
Next
The operator of a commercial motor vehicle can be criminally charged with driving under the influence of alcohol with a BAC of:
  • .02
  • .05
  • .04
  • .08

Quote From The CDL Manual:

A CDL holder may not operate a commercial vehicle with a BAC of .04 or more or a noncommercial vehicle with a BAC of .08 or more.

TruckingTruth's Advice:

It is important to note that any CDL holder found operating a commercial vehicle with any level of alcohol in his or her system will be placed out of service for a minimum of 24hrs. Drivers will not be criminally charged unless their BAC is .04 or higher, but commercial drivers are not allowed to operate commercial vehicles with even a trace amount of alcohol in their system.

And don't even think about having any alcohol anywhere in the cab of the truck at anytime - not even in the side box. If you get caught with it, it will likely be the end of your job, and possibly worse.

Prev
Next
Serious traffic violations carry additional penalties. All of these are serious traffic violations, except:
  • All of these answers are serious traffic violations
  • No valid CDL
  • Following too closely
  • Excessive speeding

Quote From The CDL Manual:

Excessive speeding involving any single offense for any speed of 15 mph or more above the posted speed limit.

  • Failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.
  • Driving too fast for conditions.
  • Exceeding the speed limit in a school zone.

Reckless Driving Operating a CMV or non-CMV in a manner that exhibits a willful, wanton or reckless disregard of the safety of persons or property.

  • Passing a vehicle stopped for a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
  • Driving on a sidewalk.
  • Passing a school bus receiving or discharging passengers or displaying a warning not to pass.

No Valid CDL Operating a CMV without a valid CDL.

  • Operating a CMV with an improper classification or restriction.
  • Violation of an instruction permit.

Following Too Closely Following the vehicle ahead too closely.

  • Failure of a truck to leave sufficient distance for being overtaken by another vehicle.

Improper Lane Usage Improper or erratic traffic lane changes.

  • Improper lane changing, lane usage and/or center lane usage.
  • Improper passing.
  • Passing on a hill or curve or when prohibited.
  • Passing on wrong side of the road.
  • Improper passing on shoulder, left or right.
  • Driving wrong way on a one-way street or highway.
  • Driving on the left side of the roadway.
  • Passing in a school zone.

Conviction Involving a Fatal Accident A violation of any state law or local ordinance relating to motor vehicle traffic control (other than parking violations) arising in connection with a fatal traffic accident.

Multiple Licenses A violation relating to a CMV driver having multiple driver's licenses.

Two serious traffic violations within a three-year period results in a two-month disqualification.

Three serious traffic violations in the same period results in a four-month disqualification.

Prev
Next
Excessive speeding is considered a serious traffic violation. All of the following are grounds for excessive speeding except:
  • Exceeding the speed limit by 10 mph
  • Driving too fast for conditions
  • Exceeding the speed limit in a school zone
  • Failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident

Quote From The CDL Manual:

Excessive Speeding Excessive speeding involving any single offense for any speed of 15 mph or more above the posted speed limit.

  • Failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.
  • Driving too fast for conditions.
  • Exceeding the speed limit in a school zone.

TruckingTruth's Advice:

As a serious traffic violation, excessive speeding carries additional consequences. Two serious traffic violations within a three-year period results in a two-month disqualification. Three serious traffic violations in the same period results in a four-month disqualification.

Prev
Next
A commercial driver may be placed out of service with how much alcohol in his/her system?
  • BAC of .02
  • Any amount
  • BAC of .04
  • BAC of .08

Quote From The CDL Manual:

Illinois law requires drivers operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) or a non-commercial motor vehicle (nonCMV) on highways to automatically give their consent to submit to certain tests to determine blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). A CDL holder may not operate a commercial vehicle with a BAC of .04 or more or a noncommercial vehicle with a BAC of .08 or more.

  • Any driver operating a CMV or non-CMV who refuses to submit to chemical testing or submits to a test with results in excess of the legal limit is disqualified for a minimum 12 months.
  • Any driver convicted of DUI (regardless of BAC) is disqualified for a minimum 12 months.
  • If either violation above takes place while transporting placarded hazardous materials, the driver is disqualified for a minimum three years.
  • A driver who commits two of the above violations, arising from two or more incidents, is disqualified for life.
  • A CDL holder operating a CMV found to have any alcohol in his or her system is placed out of service for at least 24 hours.
  • Anyone convicted of driving a commercial motor vehicle with any amount of drug, substance or compound resulting from unlawful use or consumption of cannabis listed in the Cannabis Control Act or controlled substance listed in the Controlled Substance Act is disqualified for a minimum 12 months.

TruckingTruth's Advice:

CDL holders can be criminally charged for driving under the influence with a .04 BAC or higher, but will be placed out of service for 24 hours if any trace of alcohol is detected in their system

Prev
Next
If you are caught violating a DOT out of service order, you will receive a driving disqualification for:
  • A minimum of 3 months
  • A minimum of 9 months
  • A minimum of 1 year
  • A minimum of 6 months

Quote From The CDL Manual:

A conviction for violation of an out-of-service order results in disqualification for a minimum six months

TruckingTruth's Advice:

The department of transportation may put drivers out-of-service for several reasons, including equipment problems, hours of service violations, alcohol violations, and any other reason they deem fit. Do not violate the out-of-service order as that is a very serious offense and could ruin your career.

Prev
Next
What constitutes excessive speeding?
  • Any speed of 25 mph or more above the posted speed limit
  • Any speed of 20 mph or more above the posted speed limit
  • Any speed of 15 mph or more above the posted speed limit
  • Any speed of 10 mph or more above the posted speed limit

Quote From The CDL Manual:

Excessive speeding involving any single offense for any speed of 15 mph or more above the posted speed limit.

The following may also result in excessive speeding:

  • Failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.
  • Driving too fast for conditions.
  • Exceeding the speed limit in a school zone.

TruckingTruth's Advice:

Excessive speeding is considered a "serious traffic violation." Two serious traffic violations within a three-year period results in a two-month disqualification. Three serious traffic violations in the same period results in a four-month disqualification.

Prev
Finish
Please select an option
[2,4,4,2,4,1,2,3,1,1,2,4,3]
13

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More