A CDL second chance for people banned from commercial driving may be offered in Pennsylvania if a state House of Representatives bill becomes law.
On Monday, HB1092 was voted out of the House Transportation Committee unanimously and sent to the floor of the full chamber.
The bill would allow people with lifetime suspensions of their commercial driver’s licenses because of a drunk driving conviction or other offenses to apply to have them reinstated after 10 years from the start of their lifetime ban. They would have to submit an application form by certified mail. Several conditions would apply.
Pennsylvania has tougher laws regarding drivers being disqualified from having a CDL than federal regulations. While federal regulations have one- and three-year suspension periods, Pennsylvania can impose a lifetime ban for some offenses.
State Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, is the bill’s prime sponsor. One of her constituents contacted her office seeking help in getting his CDL restored, she told Land Line Media. As a legislator, she doesn’t have the authority to order Pennsylvania DOT to do that. She said she also does not personally know the constituent who made the request. However, she said she does know about people another chance, justice reform and supporting a strong workforce with family-sustaining employment.
“Lifetime bans were put into place for a reason, but I would like to note this bill does come with plenty of safeguards and requires banned drivers to have completed reform programs,” Hill-Evans told Land Line.
CDL restoration restrictions
Some convictions would not be eligible:
- Use of a commercial motor vehicle in the commission of a felony involving the manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance.
- Use of a commercial motor vehicle in the commission of human trafficking.
The bill would allow CDL-disqualified drivers to apply to have CDL privileges reinstated if they meet several conditions, including these:
- Complete a rehabilitation program if they were disqualified because of a DUI or refusing a drug or alcohol test.
- Complete a driver improvement course.
- Pay a restoration fee.
- Meet all requirements under federal and state law to hold a CDL.
- Comply with all requirements imposed as part of a sentence for the underlying conviction.
- Have no convictions for any disqualifying offenses for at least 10 years.
“I am open to suggestions on amending, as I am not expert in transportation or the trucking industry,” Hill-Evans added.
The bill next goes to the House floor for a vote. If it passes in both chambers of the General Assembly and is signed into law, the legislation would take effect in 18 months. That time would allow PennDOT to review and prepare records of disqualified drivers. LL