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How Many CDL Traffic Tickets Before a License is Suspended?
January 21, 2022 at 10:30 PM
Image of a long haul trucker who hasn't received even a single CDL traffic ticket.

When you take the time to earn a commercial driver’s license, keeping it is crucial for your daily work and long-term career. Getting a CDL takes dedication and a commitment to safe driving. You must surrender your personal license once you qualify to receive a commercial driver’s license. Whatever takes place while you’re on the road reflects on your CDL. There’s much greater pressure to drive safely while you’re on the job and in your personal life. Traffic tickets are just one of the ways an individual can lose their CDL license. If you’re facing the loss of your CDL license, a traffic law practice works as your advocate in court to keep you on the road. One of the questions a traffic lawyer can answer is how many tickets you can get before your CDL is suspended or revoked.

What traffic violations affect a CDL license?

There are several categories of traffic violations for commercial driver’s licenses; serious and major. The kind of violation determines its effect on your license and how many tickets you can receive before it has a lasting impact on your CDL and your ability to stay on the road.

Serious traffic violations

Serious violations are those that put other drivers at risk and include:

  • Speeding
  • Following closely
  • Distracted driving
  • Any traffic violation that results in a death

Both the federal government and Texas state can designate certain violations as being serious. When you receive your CDL, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with your district’s traffic violations and their classification.

Major traffic violations

Other violations come with more severe consequences and are designated by the federal government as major traffic violations. Some of these include:

  • Receiving a DUI
  • Using a vehicle to commit a felony
  • Leaving the scene of an accident

If you depend on your commercial driver’s license to work, it’s crucial to drive cautiously and be fully aware of the law.

I flew into SFO early on a Thursday morning for Figma's first conference — Config 2020. My Lyft driver was from Brazil and he lived in Huntington Beach but commuted up to the Bay Area to drive for 4 or 5 days at a time.

How many CDL traffic tickets can you get before a license suspension?

The consequences of a CDL traffic ticket depend on if it’s a serious or major violation. For major incidents, such as DUIs and leaving the scene of an accident, the federal government requires an automatic one-year revocation. Any second major violation results in a lifetime revocation of a CDL license.

Serious traffic violations don’t carry the same consequences. In Texas, commercial drivers license holders who receive two violations within three years receive a minimum 60-day revocation of their license. A third traffic ticket in a three-year period causes a 120-day revocation.

As soon as you receive a single CDL traffic ticket, whether serious or major, speak with a traffic lawyer in Houston to avoid revocation and stay on the road. We work as an advocate for our clients in traffic court, committed to helping them keep their CDL after traffic infractions.