20 Tips: Can You Lose Your CDL for a Speeding Ticket? | Law Office of James Medows

20 Jun 20 Tips: Can You Lose Your CDL for a Speeding Ticket?

20 Tips: Can You Lose Your CDL for a Speeding Ticket?

As pointed out by ny-defense.com, for anyone who drives a commercial vehicle, getting a speeding ticket can be devastating. One of the possible consequences is losing your CDL, which will affect your livelihood. This article, through the following 20 tips, will look to discuss if you can lose your CDL for a speeding ticket.

More severe consequences for CDL holders

From discussions over at ny-defense.com, commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders will face more severe consequences for a speeding ticket than regular drivers. The consequences for speeding with this type of license are intentionally harsher because these trucks impose a higher safety risk because of their size and cargo.

Will I lose my CDL license for speeding?

It is worth noting that, while there are penalties for speeding with a CDL, there is a chance that you will not lose your license, at least not the first time around. This means that, if it is your first offense, you are unlikely to lose your license for speeding.

Speeding isn’t the worst-case scenario

Traffic tickets like exceeding the posted speed limit by 15mphs or more in a CMV are considered “serious violations” and often lead to CDL revocation (although there is no suspension for the first offense as already mentioned). While this may sound daunting, it is not the worst-case scenario. This is because, a major traffic violation such as driving under the influence will be an automatic CDL suspension, while a serious traffic offense like speeding will only result in you losing your license depending on your previous driving record according to ny-defense.com.

First offense

If this is your first commercial speeding ticket, then this generally serves as a warning, and you are unlikely to have your license suspended. An important tip here is to ensure that you report the violation to your employer as they will likely be informed of it. In such a situation, honesty is the best policy.

Second offense

You will lose your license if you have received a speeding ticket in your CMV within a 36-month (3-year) period. In such a situation, your license will be suspended automatically for at least 60 days.

Three or more speeding violations

As outlined at ny-defense.com, you will lose your operating license if you have three or more serious traffic violations within three years. In this situation, your commercial license will be revoked for a minimum of 120 days.

Using a personal vehicle vs operating a CMV

While both can lead to license suspension, it is worth noting that there is a significant difference between getting a speeding ticket using a personal vehicle and getting one operating a commercial vehicle.

Personal vehicle speeding violations are less strict

Unlike CDL drivers getting a speeding ticket on a CMV, getting a CDL revocation on a personal vehicle is much less strict. The driver will only lose their CDL privileges based on a speeding ticket if the driver loses all driving privileges, in general. For example, if a driver receives a speeding ticket and later loses their normal driving privileges, their CDL privileges will be revoked.

Demerit point systems

In most states, including New York State as covered at ny-defense.com, there are traffic violation demerit point systems. Typically for speeding tickets, the DMV will add a specific number of demerit points on a driver’s record, and the higher you are above the speed limit, the more points you receive. When drivers collect too many points on their driver’s records within a certain period, they may face license suspension.

Some violations can result in automatic suspensions

In some states, speeding violations can result in license suspensions no matter how many points are accumulated on the driving record. For instance, California automatically suspends licenses for motorists violating the speed limit at 100 mph or more. In New York, 41 mph or more over the posted speed limit will add 11 points to your license, which can result in automatic license suspension.

Point system for commercial truck drivers

If you get a speeding ticket, your CDL will start accruing points. As articulated over at ny-defense.com, here is how the point system works for commercial truck drivers:

3 points: 1-10 miles an hour over the speed limit

4 points: 11-20 miles per hour over the speed limit

6 points: 21-30 miles per hour over the speed limit

11 points: 40 miles per hour over the speed limit

If you obtained over 11 points within one year, your CDL will be revoked for an entire year.

Serious traffic violations

Given that two serious traffic violations within 36 months can lead to an automatic 60-day license suspension for commercial drivers, it is worth highlighting what constitutes a serious traffic violation. They include:

Excessive speeding (15mph or higher over the speed limit)

Reckless driving

Improper lane changes


Operating without or with a suspended CDL

Texting while operating a CMV.

How long do speeding violations stay on a CDL record?

Any speeding tickets that are considered serious violations will be considered priors for the sake of CDL revocation for three years. However, it is very important to note that the conviction will most likely be visible to employees for more than three years as covered at ny-defense.com.

What about traffic school?

If you are wondering if commercial drivers can attend traffic school to avoid points and convictions, then the answer is no, they can’t. Unlike regular drivers, commercial drivers do not usually qualify for traffic school to avoid receiving violation points or get point credit.

Do the same penalties apply to out-of-state violations?

It is worth noting that the penalties that come with speeding tickets for CDL holders apply to CDL speeding violations both inside and outside of New York. CDL holders are required to notify the New York Department of Motor Vehicle within 30 days of receiving an out-of-state speeding violation.

CSA scores

CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) scores are the primary means by which the FMCSA identifies high-risk motor carriers as discussed over at ny-defense.com. A speeding ticket will affect your CSA score, which is important to note as a high CSA score can lead to the suspension of your license.

The rules apply even if you are driving your personal car

You should always remember that the rules still apply when driving your own car or truck. If you get a speeding ticket in your personal vehicle, then this will affect your CSA score. This is one tip that younger truckers often ignore, and it can have serious consequences on your CDL.

Tickets can be more expensive than you think

Also, depending on the state, a speeding ticket might cost you more than you expect. In some states, CDL holders face 1.5 times the points for a speeding ticket than a typical four-wheeler, which is another thing worth remembering.

CSA scores are a matter of public knowledge

CSA scores can affect how many clients you get as a CDL holder. This is because they are a matter of public record, which means that you must assume that clients are checking your score. Your score is often a determining factor between you and a competitor, although your regular clients will check too. Therefore, avoid speeding if you want your CSA score to stay as low as possible.

A speeding ticket is never just a speeding ticket for a CDL driver

Finally, you should remember that a speeding ticket is never just a speeding ticket for a CDL driver. Besides requiring time in traffic court, speeding tickets can affect your employment and insurance. Trucking companies care a lot about your speeding history, and most will not hire you if you have too many citations or have lost your CDL license at any time according to ny-defense.com.

If you have received a speeding ticket in your commercial vehicle, it is never advisable to simply pay it without requesting a hearing, as when you pay a ticket you are automatically pleading guilty, adding the maximum number of points on your record. The excellent ny-defense.com knows the law and defends CDL drivers regularly, and is ready to help you too.