• Kyle Persaud

When Can Oklahoma Suspend Your Commercial Driver’s License?

A conviction for even a small offense can result in your losing your CDL. This post will explain when the state can suspend your CDL.


In Oklahoma, the standards for suspending a commercial driver’s license are far stricter than the standards for suspending an ordinary driver’s license.


The State must suspend your CDL for sixty days, if, within three years, you have two convictions for “serious traffic offenses” and the convictions arise out of separate occurrences.


The State must suspend your CDL for 120 days, if, within three years, you have three convictions for “serious traffic offenses” and the convictions arise out of separate occurrences.


Oklahoma law classifies the following offenses as “serious traffic offenses”:

1. Speeding fifteen (15) miles per hour or more over the limit;


2. Reckless driving;


3. Any traffic offense committed that results in or in conjunction with a motor vehicle collision resulting in a fatality;


4. Erratic or unsafe lane changes;


5. Following too closely;


6. Failure to obtain a commercial driver license;


7. Failure to have in your possession a commercial driver license (However, if you go to court, on or before your court date, and show your CDL, and show that your CDL was valid at the time of your arrest, you won’t be convicted of this offense, and it won’t count toward losing your CDL);


8. Failure to have:


a. the proper class of commercial driver license for the class of vehicle being operated,


b. the proper endorsement or endorsements for the type of vehicle being operated, including but not limited to, passengers or type of cargo being transported, or


c. both proper class and proper endorsement, as provided in subparagraphs a and b of this paragraph;


9. Operating a commercial motor vehicle while using a cellular telephone or electronic communication device to write, send or read a text-based communication (except when necessary to communicate with emergency services); or


10. Operating a commercial motor vehicle while using a hand-held mobile telephone (except when necessary to communicate with emergency services).

The State must suspend your CDL for one year, if you are convicted of a "disqualifying offense." A "disqualifying offense" is more serious than a "serious traffic offense." Oklahoma law classifies the following offenses as "disqualifying offenses":


  1. Driving, operating or being in actual physical control of a Class A, B or C commercial motor vehicle while having a blood or breath alcohol concentration of four-hundredths (0.04) or more;

  2. Refusing to submit to a test for determination of alcohol concentration, while operating a Class A, B or C commercial motor vehicle, or if you have a commercial driver license, committing the offense while operating any vehicle;

  3. Driving or being in actual physical control of a Class A, B or C commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicating substance or the combined influence of alcohol and any other intoxicating substance, or, if you have a commercial driver license, committing the offense while operating any vehicle. Provided, the Department shall not additionally disqualify you, if your driving privilege has been disqualified in this state because of a test result or test refusal pursuant to paragraph 1 or 2 of this subsection as a result of the same violation arising from the same incident;

  4. Knowingly leaving the scene of a collision which occurs while operating a Class A, B or C commercial motor vehicle, or you have a commercial driver license, committing the offense while operating any vehicle;

  5. Any felony during the commission of which a Class A, B or C commercial motor vehicle is used, except a felony involving the manufacture, distribution or dispensation of a controlled dangerous substance, or, if you have a commercial driver license, committing the offense while operating any vehicle;

  6. Operating a commercial motor vehicle while the commercial driving privilege is revoked, suspended, canceled, denied, or disqualified;

  7. Manslaughter homicide, or negligent homicide occurring as a direct result of negligent operation of a commercial motor vehicle, or, if you have a commercial driver license, committing the offense while operating any vehicle;

  8. Fraud related to examination for or issuance of a commercial learner permit or a Class A, B or C driver license; or

  9. Failure to submit to skills or knowledge reexamination, or both, for the purpose of issuance of a commercial learner permit or a Class A, B or C driver license within thirty (30) days of receipt of notification from the Department.


The State must suspend your CDL for three years, if you are convicted of a disqualifying offense, while operating a motor vehicle which is required, under federal law, to be placarded for hazardous materials.

The State must suspend your CDL for life, if you have two convictions for disqualifying offenses.


The State must also suspend your CDL for life, if you have a conviction for any felony related to the manufacture, distribution or dispensation of a controlled dangerous substance in the commission of which a Class A, B or C commercial motor vehicle is used. The State must also suspend your CDL for life, if you are the holder of a CDL, and you are convicted of any felony related to the manufacture, distribution or dispensation of a controlled dangerous substance, while operating any vehicle.


If you are driving a commercial motor vehicle, and you are convicted of violating an out-of-service order, the State must suspend your CDL for a period of:


  • 180 days, for the first conviction,

  • One year, for the first conviction, if you violate the out-of-service order while operating a motor vehicle when transporting hazardous materials, or while operating a motor vehicle designed for the transport of sixteen or more passengers

  • Two years, for the second conviction within a ten-year period

  • Three years, for the second conviction within a ten-year period, if both convictions occurred for violating the out-of-service order while operating a motor vehicle when transporting hazardous materials, or while operating a motor vehicle designed for the transport of sixteen or more passengers

  • Three years, for the third conviction within a ten-year period


If you use fraudulent information to apply for a CDL, the State must revoke your CDL for sixty days.


If you are convicted of a "railroad highway grade crossing offense" in a commercial motor vehicle, the State must suspend your CDL for a period of:


  • Sixty days, for the first conviction;

  • 120 days, for the second conviction within a three-year period;

  • One year, for the third conviction within a three-year period.

Oklahoma state law, and federal law, have classified the following as “Railroad highway grade crossing offenses”:


  • Failure to stop within fifty feet, but not less than fifteen feet, of a railroad grade crossing;

  • Shifting gears when crossing a railroad track;

  • Driving through, around or under any crossing gate or barrier at a railroad crossing while such gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed;

  • Failing to obey the directions of a law enforcement officer at the crossing;

  • Driving across a railroad highway grade crossing when there is insufficient space to drive completely through the crossing without stopping; and

  • Driving across a railroad highway grade crossing when there is insufficient clearance for the undercarriage of the vehicle.


For more information on railroad highway grade crossing offenses, click here, here, here, and here.


A conviction for even a relatively minor offense can lead to your losing your CDL, and also losing your livelihood. There are no exemptions allowed, to any of the above suspensions. Unlike a suspension of an ordinary driver’s license, you can’t obtain a hardship exemption. If you are ticketed or charged for any of the above offenses, the only way to prevent the offense from counting toward losing your CDL, is to avoid a conviction. So, if you get a ticket for a CDL violation, it’s a good idea to hire a CDL lawyer to represent you so that you can contest the ticket in court. Don’t lose your job because of a bogus ticket!


For information on who needs a commercial driver’s license, see last week’s post.

NOTE: The information provided on this website is not intended to be, and does not constitute, the giving of legal advice. The information provided here is not intended to be, and should not be used as, a substitute for individual reliance on privately retained legal counsel. Information provided on this site may not constitute the most current or complete information with respect to legal topics or developments. Mr. Persaud expressly disclaims all liability based on any information contained on this site.”

© 2020, by Kyle Persaud.