Earning a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in California or anywhere
in the US takes hard work, determination, training and time to study;
however, it pays off with a good job and a good to sometimes great salary.
You will want to keep it, to gain back all the time, money, and effort
spent to get it.
First, you will need to comply with the requirements set down in regulations
by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is a
division of the Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) and the California
Department of Transportation (Caltrans).
You will not only need to prove you are a proficient driver, but you must
also prove that you are physically and mentally capable of handling the
rigors of driving. For interstate drivers, the FMCSA requires a thorough
medical exam for all drivers. You can start the process by filling in
your medical history (on the Medical Examination Report (MER) and maintain
your certificate, Form
MCSA-5876 whenever you drive, which requires periodic updates, sometimes quarterly
for certain conditions.
What Are the Requirements for a CDL in CA
In addition to the medical report, CA requires the driver first earn a
commercial instruction permit (Form DL 44C), which you can get from your
local DMV (click
here to make an online appointment). There are several forms required depending
on your status, for instance, a ten-year history (Form DL 939) if you had a CDL in another state in the past, a self-certification (Form DL 694) for the vehicle of choice, then a written test and application along
with a thumbprint and vision test. You will also need proof of
DOB, and legal residence. Once you have the full permit, you can drive with another CDL holder
in your class for practice, then you have three attempts to pass the exam,
in the class of you will operate.
In addition to the above requirements, you must be at least 18 years old
to drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) within CA and 21 years of age
to transport hazardous material (HAZMAT) or interstate driving.
You must bring the vehicle in the class you will drive to the testing site,
which has a pre-trip inspection completed by the DMV.
Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS)
NOTS points are assessed by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) after
conviction of a CA Vehicle Code (CVC) violation or an at-fault accident
by any driver 18 years or older in CA. However, CDL holders with convictions
or at-fault accidents in their CMV are assessed at 1.5 times the points
for non-commercial drivers. In other words, when a non-commercial driver
is assessed one point, a CDL holder is assessed 1.5 and a two-point violation
is assessed three points.
Therefore, as a commercial driver, traffic tickets in your CMV will get
you to a suspension .5 times quicker than your non-commercial driving
peer. So, drive carefully.
Any driver assessed four points within a twelve-month period, six points
within a twenty-four-month period, or eight points within a thirty-six-month
period will receive a notice of a six-month suspension and a twelve-month
probation, which run simultaneously for the first six months. To prevent
this from happening a driver should avoid traffic tickets or hire a traffic
ticket lawyer to represent you either at a DMV Hearing or in traffic court.
Employer Pull Notice (EPN) Program
EPN program links an agency or employer’s special requestor code to
a CDL or prospective employee. This system administered by the DMV sends
employers a motor vehicle driving record (MVR) annually on the anniversary
of enrollment or after convictions or at-fault accidents. This allows
employers to better monitor the driving records of their employees, minimize
liability, and encourage better driver responsibility and public safety.
In addition to the EPN Program, a commercial driver convicted of a traffic
violation must inform their employer within 30 days. No matter what it
says on your citation, an attorney can represent you in court; therefore,
it is advisable to hire a traffic ticket attorney and if there’s
no conviction, there’s no need to inform your employer.
Hire a Local Lawyer when Necessary
Call Bigger & Harman in Central Valley California counties, including
Fresno, Tulare, Kings, Kern, Inyo, and others to receive the assistance
needed for tickets in Mojave, Bishop, Fresno, Visalia, Bakersfield, and
other Traffic Courts in Central Valley. Call Bigger & Harman today,
661-349-9300. Or, send us an email:
En español, llame al 661-349-9755.