How to Reinstate a CDL in Florida
Commercial drivers license suspension in Florida is similar to that of license suspension for those who drive small, personal vehicles. Many of the same offenses are grounds for commercial driving license suspension, including driving while intoxicated, texting while driving and leaving the scene of an accident. In addition, suspended CDLs in FL can result from refusal to take a blood alcohol concentration exam. Below, drivers can find information about how to reinstate suspended CDL licenses in the state of Florida:
- Suspended CDL License and Penalties for Substance Abuse in Florida
- Florida Commercial Drivers License Suspension for Other Driving-Related Incidents
- Florida Suspended CDL Licenses for Reasons Other Than Driving
- Driving with a Commercial Driving Licenses Suspension in Florida
- Reinstating Suspended CDL Licenses and Additional Penalties in Florida
- The Florida CDL Suspended Drivers License Reinstatement Process
Suspended CDL License and Penalties for Substance Abuse in Florida
A suspended CDL license can occur for any Florida CDL driver who abuses drugs or alcohol. The exact nature of the substance abuse and the frequency of it will dictate the length of the suspension. Commercial driving license suspension in Florida due to substance abuse carries severe penalties. First-offense Driving Under the Influence (DUI) convictions in Florida result in suspensions of 180 to 365 days, if no serious injuries resulted from the incident. In cases where serious injuries occur, a CDL license may be revoked for up to three years. The suspended CDL license will typically be permanent if the substance abuse conviction resulted in the death of an innocent party.
In addition to those commercial drivers license suspensions, Florida CDL drivers who are caught with controlled substances in their vehicles can have their CDL licenses suspended for one year for a first offense, regardless of whether they were under the influence at the time or not. Similarly, drivers who refuse to take blood alcohol level tests can get suspended CDLs for one year as well.
CDL drivers in Florida who have a suspended CDL license can also receive harsher penalties for multiple drug and alcohol-related offenses in a three-year time span. Drivers who transport hazardous materials receive longer suspensions for any violations as well, even when dealing with first offenses. Penalties for drivers transporting hazardous materials that are convicted of drug- or alcohol-related charges are extremely serious, and can be career-ending.
Florida Commercial Drivers License Suspension for Other Driving-Related Incidents
Florida CDL drivers can also face suspended CDL licenses and penalties for driving-related incidents that have nothing to do with substance abuse, such as leaving the scene of an accident or failing to pull over for a police officer. Reckless driving, using a cell phone while driving and driving a vehicle that is not properly insured are some examples of such violations that could result in suspensions.
The length of the commercial driving license suspension for committing any of these acts is typically either one year or two years. However, violations like leaving the scene of a crash on more than one occasion can result in permanent loss of a CDL license. Download our free guide to read about other instances that can result in the termination of a CDL license for good.
Florida Suspended CDL Licenses for Reasons Other than Driving
Florida CDL drivers can also have a revoked driver license for reasons not related to driving their vehicles and- at all. For example, a revoked drivers license will occur if a Florida CDL driver is convicted of any felony. Felony conviction CDL revocation is permanent in the state of Florida.
Getting a commercial driving license suspension or revocation could be something as simple as not filing the proper paperwork. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles must always have up-to-date files on both commercial vehicles and their drivers. Florida CDL drivers are required to submit to medical certification exams to get their licenses initially, and to resubmit to those exams on a regular basis to keep their licenses. Failure to make an exam appointment or to submit the related paperwork with exam scores will result in temporary CDL suspension.
Driving with a Suspended License in Florida
Commercial drivers license suspension for commercial drivers is even more serious than regular vehicle infractions. Driving a commercial vehicle with a suspended CDL license is illegal in Florida and could result in fines or imprisonment. However, suspended CDL licensed drivers can pay to have their CDL licenses converted back to standard drivers licenses, if they are still legally authorized to drive non-commercial vehicles. Certain offenses, such as Florida DUI or substance abuse convictions, may result in total temporary or permanent commercial driving license suspension of all driving privileges, not just commercial driving privileges.
Reinstating Suspended CDL Licenses and Additional Penalties in Florida
Certain revoked drivers license circumstances will require the CDL driver to pay fines at or near the time of the incidents. However, many violations only require the CDL driver to pay fees to downgrade to Class E Florida licenses temporarily, and then pay fees again to upgrade back to CDL licenses when their suspensions are over.
Unless the penalty for the suspended CDL license was serious enough to cause the driver to have to go to prison, there are typically no other penalties imposed by the state of Florida. However, CDL suspension often results in job loss. Therefore, CDL drivers may have to look for new work after their suspension time has transpired.
The Florida CDL Suspended Drivers License Reinstatement Process
To reinstate suspended CDL licenses in Florida requires drivers to wait until suspensions elapse. After the required period, drivers can pay the licensing fees to get their CDL licenses back, assuming their suspended CDL licenses were not permanently revoked. CDL drivers test results remain on file during suspensions, which means that it is not necessary for suspended drivers to retake general knowledge exams or skills tests to get their licenses back.
Suspended drivers license reinstatement never occurs early unless CDL drivers appeal their convictions and win. However, some suspended CDL drivers can apply for hardship licenses, which are licenses with many restrictions. Drivers convicted on cases involving vehicular homicide or substance abuse cannot request hardship licenses in Florida.