How to Reinstate a CDL in Pennsylvania

In the state of Pennsylvania, suspended CDL notices can be issued to drivers for a variety of reasons. A suspended CDL license is typically the result of driving infractions that may also apply to non-commercial drivers, save for some regulations surrounding railroad crossings and other situations specific to commercial drivers. Additionally, if any of these violations are committed out-of-state, they will still apply as if you committed them in Pennsylvania. Not only that, but if you receive a suspended CDL, you may still be eligible to drive a non-commercial vehicle. Generally, however, commercial driving license suspension occurs immediately when committing a major offense, from accumulating a number of serious offenses or due to committing another kind of violation. Below, review the different kinds of offenses that a driver may commit, how they affect your position as a driver and the process for reinstating suspended CDL license credentials in Pennsylvania.

Reinstate Suspended CDL License in Pennsylvania: Major Offenses

To start, when it comes to a suspended CDL in Pennsylvania, what is considered to be a major offense? This is a violation that will result in an immediate commercial drivers license suspension, and is often a disqualifier for non-CDL drivers, as well. As such, committing any of these major offenses can result in a suspended CDL license, whether it is committed in a commercial vehicle or a personal car. Note that incurring two of these major offenses may result in a lifetime suspension of your CDL and of your driving privileges, altogether. Furthermore, every one of these major offenses will result in a minimum one-year suspension of general CDL privileges and a minimum three-year suspension of any CDL endorsements associated with Hazmat transport. The following are considered major CDL offenses:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs
  • Refusing to submit to a Blood-Alcohol Content test
  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Using the vehicle in the commission of a crime
  • Driving with an invalid or temporarily suspended license

Learn more about CDL offenses by downloading our free, informative guide.

Reinstate Suspended CDL License in Pennsylvania: Serious Offenses

A suspended CDL license in Pennsylvania can also be the result of accumulating less-major, serious offenses. These violations are counted over a three-year period, and may ultimately suspend your PA CDL privileges. If you are convicted of committing two of these offenses within that timeframe, you will be disqualified from driving your commercial vehicle for a minimum of 60 days. If you incur three or more offenses within three years, your commercial drivers license suspension will last 120 days. The following are considered serious offenses for CDL holders:

  • Speeding 15 mph over the limit
  • Reckless driving, as defined by state law
  • Tailgating other drivers
  • Changing lanes improperly or without indication
  • Violating state/local law in connection with a fatal accident
  • Use of a hand-held mobile device while driving a CMV

Download our comprehensive guide to read more about CDL suspensions and reinstatement.

Reinstate Suspended CDL License in Pennsylvania: Other Offenses

Other offenses that may immediately result in a suspended CDL license in Pennsylvania include railroad crossing faults, out-of-service violations and constituting an imminent hazard.

A suspended CDL may result from railroad crossing faults, which are violations committed at railroad crossings. Often, this is a failure to stop at the crossing. However, depending on the vehicle, other faults may result in a Pennsylvania CDL license suspension, so drivers should become familiar with the requirements of their vehicles when it comes to railroad junctures.

Next, an immediate suspension of CDL privileges will result from the failure to comply with an out-of-service order, either on a driver's vehicle or the driver. An out-of-service order deems a vehicle or its driver incapable of safe operation. To avoid CDL license suspension, drivers must comply with this order, or it may constitute an imminent hazard to other drivers.

Lastly, drivers will receive a suspended CDL in Pennsylvania if they - or their vehicles - are deemed an imminent hazard. This is an instance where the driver of a commercial vehicle is doing so in a state or fashion that is not safe for use. As such, this places other motorists at risk of death or serious harm, and will result in immediate CDL driving suspension. Compliance with out-of-service orders are meant to keep drivers from being considered imminent hazards while driving.

How to Reinstate Suspended CDL License Credentials in Pennsylvania

The suspended CDL license reinstatement process will depend largely upon the violation(s) you have committed, and whether these were major, serious or otherwise categorized. Some infractions, whether or not committed in a commercial vehicle, will apply to your driving privileges as whole. Therefore, the suspended CDL reinstatement process in Pennsylvania is unique to each driver, and will be summarized in the Restoration Requirements letter you will receive from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation after committing a major offense, a threshold of serious offenses or an applicable other offense.

To reinstate a suspended CDL license, the Restoration Requirements letter will outline the steps you must complete. Generally, the process consists of fulfilling your required suspension time and paying your license restoration fee.

Once these two steps have been completed, your suspended CDL license will be reinstated, and you will be able to operate your vehicle, once again. Note, however, that these infractions will accumulate on your record over time, and as such, future suspensions may not have such a straightforward reinstatement process.

Learn more about CDL license information in our complimentary guide.