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How is a Truck Driver Disqualified?

Understanding driver disqualification is as important as understanding driver qualification.

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Tom Bray - Sr. Industry Business Advisor, J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

July 28 , 2020

Understanding driver disqualification is as important as understanding driver qualification. In fact, the two go hand-in-hand. Regulations for both can be found in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs).


How is a Truck Driver Disqualified?

There are four primary areas a truck driver can be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV):

1.Disqualification for loss of driving privileges — §391.15(b)

2.Disqualification for criminal and other offenses — Section 391.15(c)

3.Disqualification for violation of out-of-service orders — Section 391.15(d)

4.Disqualification for violation of prohibition of texting while driving a CMV —391.15(e)

Driver Disqualification for Loss of Driving Privileges — §391.15(b)

If a driver loses his or her CMV operator’s license (either temporarily or permanently) because of revocation, suspension, withdrawal, or denial, that driver becomes disqualified. For example, a driver who holds a valid driver’s license from his/her home state, but whose privilege to drive in another state is revoked or suspended because of a moving violation. That driver is disqualified until his or her privileges are restored by the authority that revoked or suspended them.

The driver is required to inform you of the above conditions. However, you can request a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) on all current drivers more frequently than the minimum requirement of once every 12 months (§391.25(a)).

Driver Disqualification for Criminal and Other Offenses — §391.15(c)

This section of the regulations describes the criteria for criminal and other offenses and the duration of disqualification for these offenses. One offense to note (not covered in §383.51) is the possession of a Schedule I controlled substance.

Driver Disqualification for Violation of Out-of-Service Orders — §391.15(d)

This section states the duration of time a driver is disqualified if convicted of violating an out-of-service order:

• First violation disqualifies a driver for not less than 90 days and no more than 1 year.

•  Second violation disqualifies a driver not less than 1 year nor more than 5 years if, during any 10-year period, the driver is convicted of two violations of out-of-service orders in separate incidents.

•  Third or subsequent violation disqualifies a driver not less than 3 years nor more than 5 years if, during any 10-year period, the driver is convicted of three or more violations of out-of-service orders in separate incidents.

Driver Disqualification for Violation of Prohibition of Texting While Driving a CMV — §391.15(e)

This section was added to address the duration of disqualification by a driver who is convicted of texting while driving a CMV.

  • First violation does not carry a period of disqualification.
  • Second violation of texting while driving disqualifies a driver for 60 days if the two violations occurred in separate incidents over two years.
  • Third or subsequent violation carries a disqualification for 120 days if the driver is convicted of three or more violations of Section 392.82(a) in separate incidents during three-years

Your drivers are frontline workers, so it’s critical that you develop and follow a thorough and comprehensive driver hiring and qualification process that weeds out high-risk drivers. Talk with a compliance specialist about how you can improve your driver qualification processes.

 


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