Getting and keeping a Massachusetts Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) may become substantially more difficult in the near future.
In response to the death of 7 individuals caused by Massachusetts CDL Holder Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, Governor Charlie Baker has introduced legislation which would significantly increase the Registry’s CDL requirements and suspension periods.
Massachusetts House Bill 3980, titled “An Act to Promote Commercial Driver Safety” will require MassDOT to impose significant new requirements to obtain and hold a Massachusetts CDL. These requirements would be imposed in addition to existing CDL requirements which are imposed by Federal Law and G.L. c. 90F § 9, the current Massachusetts CDL Licensing Statute.
If passed, this Bill would require the Registry to review a CDL applicant’s driving record and deny issuance if the applicant has license suspensions or disqualifications within the previous 3 years.
The new law would allow the Registry to double the serious traffic violation (STV) CDL suspension period for 2 STVs to 120 days and it would double the suspension period for 3 serious traffic violations to 240 days.
Employers of CDL holders would be required to enroll in a notification system which automatically informs them if an employee’s CDL license is suspended or revoked.
The proposed legislation would require any CDL holder who is convicted of a traffic violation to promptly notify both the Massachusetts RMV and his or her employer of the conviction. This notification may trigger a license loss and CDL disqualification.
The notification and CDL status monitoring requirements represent a “belt and suspenders approach” to ensure that MassDOT is informed of motor vehicle infractions which might warrant action against the CDL holder. All states currently participate in CDLIS, the nationwide Commercial Driver License Information System, which allows for the electronic exchange of information.
This Bill is being proposed in response to the backlash generated by the Registry’s failure to suspend Zhukovskyy’s CDL when it received paper and an electronic CDLIS notification from the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles regarding Zhukovskyy’s chemical test refusal suspension in that state. If the notifications were processed, the Mass. RMV would have immediately suspended both Zhukovskyy’s Class D license as well as his CDL.
Other responses to the horrific New Hampshire motorcycle accident which killed 7 people include the imposition of a large number of NRVC Withdrawals issued pursuant to the Non-Resident Violator Compact, indefinite National Driver Register (NDR) suspensions, and harsh 365 day Operating Under the Influence (OUI) suspensions.
If you are facing a CDL denial, suspension, or disqualification, or the loss of your Class D license for any of the above-listed reasons, please contact me so that we can review your situation and discuss how I can help you. The law gives you the right to appeal any adverse action taken by the Registrar.