Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers
FAQ on Federal Rule 384.226
When does the application of this federal requirement take effect?
January 29, 2016
Who does this federal requirement apply to?
The application of the federal requirement applies to anyone that holds a commercial driver license (CDL), or commercial driver license temporary permit (CLP), or who is operating a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) who would be required to hold a CDL or CLP.
What will these new procedures do?
The effect of these changes depends upon the circumstances. The most common situations are discussed below:
- Any disposition on an applicable citation received on or after January 29, 2016, that has Adjudication Withheld by Judge, will be added to the driver record as, “ADJUDICATION WITHHELD BY JUDGE CONV-FED PURPOSES ONLY.” An applicable citation is one issued to a CDL or CLP holder or one issued to anyone operating a CMV that is required to hold a CDL or CLP. No points will be assessed for any dispositions for which adjudication was withheld by a judge. Adjudication Withheld dispositions will be routed through the disqualification process and no other new sanction processes will be applied. These dispositions will be displayed on three year, seven year, and complete transcripts.
- If the disposition on an applicable citation with Adjudication Withheld by Judge does not create a disqualification, the driver will maintain a Safe Driver status. However, if a disqualification occurs then the driver’s Safe Driver status will not be maintained.
- Dispositions on applicable citations with Adjudication Withheld by Judge will be reported to other jurisdictions (states) as convictions.
- If the Department receives a disposition from the clerk of court on an applicable citation on or after January 29, 2016, with Adjudication Withheld by the Clerk due to a driver’s election for a basic driver improvement course the disposition will be converted to Guilty and posted to the driver record accordingly. School election by CDL or CLP holders or anyone operating a CMV is prohibited by Section 318.14 (9), Florida Statutes. Points will be assessed and sanctions created as applicable.
What if the citation was issued prior to the January 29, 2016 effective date?
It does not matter when the citation was issued, the federal requirement applies to any disposition received by the Department from the Clerk of Courts on or after January 29, 2016.
How long could my license be disqualified?
Anywhere from 60 days to 120 days. For further information please see Section 322.61, Florida Statutes and 49 CFR 383.51.
If my CDL is disqualified, can I still drive my personal vehicle?
Section 322.251(3), Florida Statutes provides that if your driving privilege is disqualified, you must surrender your CDL to the Department. However, Section 322.251(4), Florida Statutes provides that if your privilege to operate a CMV is temporarily disqualified, you may, after surrendering your CDL, be issued a Class E driver license valid for the length of your unexpired CDL at no cost. Although a disqualification is defined in Florida Statutes as the removal of the privilege to drive a CMV, as noted above, you must surrender your CDL to the Department or you may be cited for driving on a disqualified license.
Why did DHSMV change the procedure?
Florida is required by 49 CFR Part 384 to operate our Commercial Driver License Program in accordance with 49 CFR Parts 383 and 384, which prohibit the masking of convictions for commercial driver license holders and operators of commercial motor vehicles. Please see the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website for additional information https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/b/5/3
Is there an appeals process?
You may request a hearing upon receiving notice of the disqualification (order) at any Bureau of Administrative Reviews (BAR) office to submit evidence that your license should not be disqualified. You may present evidence to a hearing officer. You may not argue that a court conviction is invalid. You may file an appeal within 30 days of the date of the disqualification notice (order) by filing a petition for writ of certiorari as described in section 322.31 Florida Statutes. A request for a hearing does not stop the thirty (30) days you have to file a petition for writ of certiorari for circuit court review under section 322.31 Florida Statutes.
If a driver appeals the disqualification, will they still be able to drive with their CDL until the appeals hearing?
No. Once the disqualification order has become effective, the CDL holder is not eligible to drive a CMV until the appeals process is completed and then, only if a favorable judgement is rendered for the CDL holder.
How many drivers will be affected by this change?
There is a projected disqualification rate of 5.26% of applicable dispositions which could amount to 1,050 to 1,300 disqualifications.
How were CDL holders notified of this change?
The October 29, 2015 memo related to this topic, which was addressed to Law Enforcement, Florida Clerk of Courts (FCCC), and County & Circuit Judges, along with the similar updated memo dated December 4, 2015, was provided to the Florida Trucking Association.
How will a driver be notified that their CDL has been disqualified?
Drivers will be notified of a pending disqualification in accordance with the provisions of Section 322.251, Florida Statutes.
Who can I talk to for more information?
Contact the CDL Help Desk at 850-617-2606