The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has recently issued a large number of Disqualification of Commercial Driver’s License notices to Mass. CDL Holders. These letters have been issued as a result of a review of the records of those who hold Commercial Drivers Licenses.
The Mass. RMV has been checking the records of all Massachusetts CDL holders to see if they contain disqualifying events such as chemical test refusals, operating under the influence convictions, and convictions for leaving the scene of an accident. Two of the above-listed disqualifying events will result in an automatic lifetime / permanent CDL disqualification.
Cases which were continued without a finding (CWOF) count just like convictions.
There is a lifetime lookback period. This means that there is no limitation on the age of offenses which may be considered to disqualify you from holding or being issued a CDL. The age of the offense does not matter.
Offenses committed in a passenger car or other non CDL vehicle will count against you. The offense does not have to be committed in a commercial motor vehicle to disqualify you.
Offenses committed prior to the issuance of your CDL will also disqualify you and the Registry can consider both in-state and out of state disqualifiers.
The Registry is taking this adverse action pursuant to G.L. c. 90F § 9 and 49 CFR 383.51. These state and federal laws allow the Registry to permanently disqualify anyone with 2 or more disqualifying events on his or her driving record from holding a CDL.
CDL holders depend on these licenses for their livelihoods and the loss of a CDL can be absolutely devastating. Fortunately, anyone who has had his CDL taken away by the Registry has the right to seek relief by going before the Division of Insurance, Board of Appeal. This appellate board has the legal authority to overturn any decision of the Registrar.
Board of Appeal Hearings are legal proceedings where the Registry is represented by a lawyer who will attempt to justify the Registry’s actions. The Appellant’s personal attendance is required and legal representation is strongly recommended. Board of Appeal hearings must be scheduled in advance and, unfortunately, it currently takes approximately 2 months to get a hearing. No appeal with stay or postpone the immediate CDL disqualification which the Registry imposes.
Please contact me if you have received a Disqualification of Commercial Driver’s License notice from MassDOT.