How to Reinstate a CDL in California

A commercial driver who has a suspended CDL in California needs to follow the steps to reinstate the license before he or she can legally operate a commercial vehicle in the state again. A suspended CDL license may be issued to a driver for several reasons, including when a driver is convicted of a serious traffic violation or if he or she receives several minor convictions during a short time. Before a driver can reinstate suspended CDL license, he or she may be required to serve a period without the license when he or she cannot operate a commercial vehicle under any circumstances. The process for reinstating suspended CDL license in CA can only begin when a driver’s personal license is first in good standing with the DMV. A suspended CDL license reinstatement may involve starting the commercial license application process over again if the driver downgraded his or her license to non-commercial status during the suspension. To reverse a commercial drivers license suspension, the driver must also complete any forms requested by the DMV and pay reissue or application fees when necessary. To learn more about the common reasons for a commercial driving license suspension in California, the information needed to reinstate a commercial license and the process for reinstatement, review the following information.

Reasons for a Suspended CDL License in CA

A driver is issued a suspended CDL in California if he or she has had personal driving privileges revoked. A suspended CDL license is directly related to the driver’s personal driving record. A driving under the influence (DUI) conviction or a series of traffic violations issued in a short period can result in the suspension of a CDL for a driver. A suspension of CDL in California may occur if a driver is found operating a commercial vehicle with an unacceptable blood alcohol content level or while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The driver may be able to reinstate the suspended CDL license in CA after serving one year of suspension in some cases. The length of time the CDL is suspended increases to three years if the driver is operating a commercial vehicle that is meant to haul hazardous materials when the incident occurred. Before reinstating suspended commercial license, the DMV needs to ensure that no violations were received on the driver’s personal record during the suspension.

A CDL suspension in California is also issued to a driver when he or she has received a felony conviction while using a vehicle. Reinstating suspended CDL license cannot be completed with the DMV for at least one year after suspension from a felony conviction, if a controlled substance was not involved. A suspended CDL in CA can never be reinstated if the driver is convicted of a felony involving controlled substances or while still serving the suspension. The DMV implements strict rules on CDL suspensions while operating non-commercial vehicles since the way a driver operates a personal vehicle reflects the driver’s respect for road safety. A driver who receives multiple violations or who is issued serious convictions cannot reinstate suspended CDL license for a time so he or she learns how important it is to always drive safely and responsibly. A suspended CDL may also be issued to a commercial driver if he or she leaves the scene of an accident or was driving recklessly and caused a fatal accident while operating a commercial vehicle. To review additional reasons for a suspended license in California, download our comprehensive online guide.

How to Reinstate Suspended CDL License in California

Before attempting to reinstate suspended CDL in California, a driver must first ensure his or her personal driver’s license is active. A CDL license suspension cannot be lifted for a driver if his or her personal driver’s license is canceled, revoked or suspended. If a driver is eligible to reinstate a suspended commercial drivers license, he or she will receive notification from the DMV that includes instructions on reinstatement and when the reinstatement process can begin. If a DUI was issued to the driver, he or she may have downgraded to a non-commercial license to obtain a restricted personal driver’s license while on probation. In these cases, to lift a commercial drivers license suspension in CA, the driver may be required to reapply for a commercial license. CDL reinstatement cannot occur until the driver has performed a medical exam, completed and submitted a 10-Year History Record Check form and submitted the appropriate application fees. If a CDL is suspended and the driver has downgraded to a non-commercial license, the driver is also required to complete knowledge and driving skills tests again with the DMV before CDL license reinstatement.

What is Needed for Suspended CDL License Reinstatement

A driver should only attempt the reinstatement of a suspended California CDL after he or she has served the suspension period ordered by the court or DMV. A suspended CDL cannot be reinstated if a personal driver’s license is still showing as an unacceptable status in the DMV’s system. Before successfully reinstating the suspended commercial license in California, a driver should prepare to serve a period of time with a commercial driver’s permit. Successful reinstatement of a CDL may also involve studying for the knowledge and driving tests. The process for reinstating suspended CDL license may vary depending on the DMV’s requirements for the driver and the reason for suspension. When attempting to reinstate a suspended commercial license, a driver should consult with a commercial DMV representative to review the steps, fees, forms and tests involved in the process.