CDL Driver Job Description

CDL Drivers are some of the most critical professionals in the country. Their work supports and allows for most other industries to function. The job description for a CDL Driver may include duties like transporting goods, loading and unloading cargo, managing shipping documents, and truck maintenance. 

CDL drivers are held to a higher standard on the road. They are looked to by other motorists for visual cues and information about the road. CDL drivers must deliver on time. People are relying on them; and not just for consumer goods but for critical supplies. 

CDL driver job descriptions do not always reflect the nature of the businesses owned and run by drivers. The majority of trucking is done by small motor carriers. Still, many more drivers become Owner-Operators, contractors who often front the cost and risk of their own truck to haul all kinds of loads. These Owner-Operators take on the duty of both driver and carrier, doing the work and taking on the risk of both.


CDL Driver Responsibilities 

CDL drivers are responsible for being safe on the road. But not just that. They are held accountable by their carriers, the Department of Transportation, and the shippers they haul for to be the safest that they can possibly be. This includes maintaining their truck, resupplying their consumables, keeping alertness on the road, driving dexterously in tight situations, and navigating in poor conditions or unfamiliar places.

If you are a CDL Driver, and you are feeling the pressure of keeping up with all these responsibilities, know that you are not alone. This pressure is a built-in part of your role and something all CDL drivers feel. If you are thinking of becoming a CDL driver, you need to know what is in store for you. You will be joining a nationwide profession with massive potential. You will also take on the risks that come from this profession.


New to Driving? Get Legal Protection!

If you are new to CDL driving or have been on the road for years, one of the most important things to support your livelihood is legal protection. Drivers take on a lot of risk. They are one of the very few jobs where a minor law infraction can mean the end of your whole career. 

When considering insurance for your truck, also think about protecting your CDL license with a legal service dedicated to defending drivers. Sign up Here for membership with CDL Legal.



CDL Point System

Legal protection for CDL drivers starts and ends with their CDL license. How will a traffic ticket or a DOT inspection affect your record? What points might be added to your CSA score? How will it affect your insurance rates? Will your CDL license get suspended? CDL drivers need to know the basics of CDL violation points so they can know what to do when they get a ticket. 


CDL Violation Points

First of all, what are CDL Violation Points? Your CDL is your Commercial Driver’s License. You are licensed by the state where you live. That state’s government branch that handles drivers holds your CDL driving record. In most states, that department is called the “Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)” or something similar.

Your driver’s license record held by your state is called your MVR (“Motor Vehicle Record”). The tickets and crashes you have gotten in the past will show up there. Your state assigns points or strikes to the tickets. Every state is different, but they all want to keep track of how many problems you are causing on the road. Get too many points, and your license will get suspended. This is true for all drivers. 

Commercial CDL Point System

If you drive a commercial vehicle, there is a second CDL point system for tickets that applies only to you. That is because all states have road laws that only apply to CDL drivers. These can be things like driving in the left lane, not stopping at an open weigh station, or driving on a road marked “No Trucks.” 

Some of these violation points are no more serious than those on the regular point system. Others can spell the end of your CDL driving career. License and crash-related violations can happen because a driver has made bad choices. But they have also happened to drivers making innocent mistakes.

Points on CDL License

You need to know how points will look on your CDL license. Points (or strikes) are added to your license by your home state’s DMV. Get too many in a short amount of time, and you will be faced with a suspension. These suspensions last for a set period of time.

Each state has a different system of tracking and penalizing points. Even though violations stay on your record forever, the points only matter for the first few years. This is because the states’ suspension systems track not how many points you have over your whole driving career but how many you have gotten recently.

How to Check Points on CDL License

Go to your state’s DMV website, call one of their offices, or go there in person. Your DMV (or equivalent state government branch) will give you a full record of your driving history showing what points you have and when you got them. You can ask a DMV employee or look online to find out how your home state tracks and penalizes points. 

For instance, a CDL driver with a Michigan license will be subject to a suspension if he gets 12 points in 2 years. Most violations in Michigan are either 2 or 3 points each. That would be about 4 tickets in two years. But a single traffic stop can result in multiple violations, and Michigan’s point system goes up to 6 points. One bad day can shut down your CDL license.

Can You Get a CDL with Points on Your License?

The answer is yes, you can. Some states put restrictions on testing for CDL certification, but most will allow you to get a CDL with points on your regular license. Check with your DMV again to find out how it works in your home state. 

Just be cautious about points already on your license. Those don’t go away once you get your CDL. If you have some recent tickets, drive as carefully as you can so you don’t add up points quickly toward a suspension. 


Don’t Let CDL Violation Points Stop You. Get Legal Protection!

When you get a CDL, you should also get CDL legal protection. Points don’t flow automatically from the ticket to your license. First, they have to go through court to decide if you really are guilty and deserve the points on your license. That is where CDL Legal can protect you from ticket points and DOT inspection points. Your license needs to be protected! Sign up now.


Speeding Violations: License Impacts


CDL Speeding Ticket

The most common tickets that CDL drivers get are speeding tickets. It will likely happen to a CDL driver at some point in his career. When a CDL driver does get a speeding ticket, it is important to know how this ticket will impact the driver’s license record.


Speeding Ticket in Personal Vehicle with CDL 

Even if you get a speeding ticket in your personal vehicle, your CDL can still be affected. The seriousness of speeding violations does not change depending on what vehicle you are driving. 

If you are trying to fight a speeding ticket in court, the court will care less about what kind of vehicle you drove than what kind of license you have. Most courts are harsher on CDL drivers than drivers with non-CDL licenses.

CDL Speeding Ticket: 15 mph Over 

Higher speeds often mean higher fines and more points. Every state does things a little differently, but most states will give you points for going 15 or more miles per hour over the speed limit. 

To protect your record, you need to know what penalties your state gives for different speeds. Is it worth it to fight a 5-mph-over-speeding ticket? Not if you live in Georgia. What about 10-mph-over? Knowing how different speeding violations will affect your CDL driving record will protect you.

CDL Speeding Ticket: 20 mph Over! 

If the ticket says you were going more than 15 mph over the limit, that’s extremely serious. Higher speeding violations are high points in most states. Additionally, they often come with extra penalties. A driver with a “super-speeder” ticket like this can get fast-tracked to a suspension if he has any other recent tickets on his record. 

This is why drivers need to fight speeding tickets in court. Many speeding violations can be reduced by a plea bargain in court. This means your extremely serious 20 mph over the limit speeding ticket could show up on your CDL record as a 5 mph over the limit violation with no points.

Can You Get a CDL with a Speeding Ticket 

If you have tickets, even speeding tickets on your record, you can still get a CDL. Talk with your state DMV about how to qualify for a CDL license. Each state is different, so some may have restrictions for drivers with a heavy number of points on their driving record. 

Speeding Ticket with CDL License 

Regardless of how many points a speeding ticket carries onto your CDL license record, it will never look good there. Insurance companies and motor carriers look to CDL driver’s license records. They make value judgments based on what they see, regardless of the points assigned by the state DMV.

If you can keep a ticket off your CDL record, do it. If you can minimize the ticket’s points, that is second best. Any speeding ticket that gets reduced to a violation on your record with a different name may not completely remove the points, but it will improve how your record looks.

CDL Speeding Ticket: 15 mph Over in Personal Vehicle

Returning to the issue of a ticket in your personal vehicle versus your commercial truck; your license is what matters. If you have a CDL license, the speeding ticket will impact you just the same in any vehicle. So what can you do?


CDL Ticket Dismissal

Many CDL drivers are uncertain about their chances for a fair court case. When they try to defend their CDL license records from points, they encounter resistance and bias against them. Is it even possible to get a fair case in court if you are a CDL driver? Can you hope for your ticket to be dismissed?


Can a CDL Ticket Be Dismissed?

Yes! Most dismissals happen in court because of plea deals. This is where a driver or his attorney agrees with the court’s prosecutor to change the charge. Most plea deals involve some compromise like a fine or 3 months of good behavior.


The most important part is keeping points off your CDL driving record. Any deal, payment, or plan that accomplishes that is good news for the driver. Because there are a lot of roads to a good court outcome but not all of them work for the driver, it is important to hire the right attorney.


Get Expert CDL Lawyer Assistance

Expert CDL lawyers have a few qualifications. They are local to the court that has your ticket. They have a track record of winning in this court. They also have a record of working traffic cases; specifically, traffic cases for CDL drivers. Don’t settle for an attorney who costs a lot but may not know how to help you best. Get the best chance to protect your CDL driving record.


Sign up with CDL Legal. We have a network of attorneys nationwide. These attorneys have already been tested and confirmed by CDL Legal to be the best choice for CDL drivers who need protection for their license records. We want to protect you on the road.