Giving Up Your CDL & How Can I Get It Back?

For many individuals who have their commercial driver’s license or CDL, it can be common for them to consider giving it up and downgrading to a normal driver’s license. However, it can be difficult for these individuals to decide whether or not downgrading to a normal driver’s license is best for them. So, after giving an individual up their CDL, how can they get it back?

After giving up their CDL, an individual has a suspension period before they are able to get their CDL reinstated. In most states, a driver has to retake the written and driving exams before the reinstatement of their CDL. In some states, individuals are required to retake courses beforehand.

Before an individual decides to give up their CDL, a lot of information can be beneficial for these individuals to learn. This information can allow individuals to decide whether or not giving up their commercial driver’s license is the best fit for them. The following information has been compiled below pertaining to the process of getting a CDL reinstated after downgrading to a normal driver’s license.

Giving up Their CDL

There comes a point when a CDL driver may decide to surrender their CDL and downgrade to a regular driver’s license. These individuals are able to voluntarily surrender their commercial driver’s license at their local DMV. This process is extremely simple, and these individuals are able to easily switch from a CDL to a regular license.

When an individual surrenders their CDL, they are given a regular license. Without a CDL, individuals are no longer able to drive cars that are classified as commercial vehicles. Commercial vehicles include any vehicles that are maintained primarily for the transportation of property.

There are instances where an individual may unintentionally surrender their commercial driver’s license. This can happen if an individual does not renew their CDL within 90 days before it expires. If an individual does not renew their CDL within this grace period, it can cause a driver to be required to retake the exams before the renewal of their CDL. In order to avoid unintentionally surrendering their CDL, individuals are able to renew their CDL 6 months before it expires.

Whether or not an individual voluntarily or unintentionally gave up their CDL, these individuals can work toward getting their commercial license reinstated.

The Suspension Period

After an individual surrenders their commercial driver’s license (CDL), there is a suspension period an individual has to wait before they are able to reapply to be a commercial driver. This ensures that individuals are in a stable enough place to be driving commercial vehicles.

Throughout the United States, the majority of the states require individuals to wait an entire year before they are able to reapply for their commercial driver’s license. Most states have discovered that this is a perfect suspension period for individuals who have surrendered their CDL.

This year is typically used for these individuals to refamiliarize themselves with the information required to pass both the written and road exams needed to qualify as commercial drivers.

There are some instances where waiting longer than this suspension period can make it challenging for these individuals to get reinstated. When an individual waits too long after the suspension period, these individuals are required to take not only the exams but also to retake courses to help them be successful in commercial driving.

The Exams

Even if an individual works towards getting their CDL reinstated shortly after it has been surrendered, individuals may be required to retake both the written and driving exams in order to get reinstated.

Most individuals find it beneficial to take practice exams before they retake the written exam. For most individuals who are getting their commercial driver’s license reinstated, the written exam is something that is very familiar to them. These individuals have already taken this exam in order to become commercial drivers in the first place.

In order to pass the driving portion of the exams, individuals find it best to practice in order to keep up the driving skills that are required. Most of these individuals find it beneficial to focus on whichever aspect of their driving they struggle with most. This allows these individuals to work on strengthening their weaknesses while becoming more confident with commercial driving.

Most commercial drivers have suggested studying and practicing for both the written and driving exam daily. This allows these individuals to maintain the knowledge and skills that are required in order to pass the exams required to be commercial drivers.

The Courses

There are many courses that are beneficial for individuals who are interested in the field of commercial driving. These courses allow individuals who are new to commercial driving to learn and understand the basics; however, there can be many individuals who find these courses to be beneficial for any individuals who need a refresher on the basics.

These courses are beneficial mostly for individuals who have been away from commercial driving for a decent amount of time. This allows these individuals to allow themselves to refresh their knowledge on the topics that are beneficial for individuals with CDLS to know.

These courses allow individuals to be well trained in the necessary fields to be successful commercial drivers. These courses are able to help these individuals to learn the information that can allow them to find success.

Some of these courses can be easily accessed through online courses or can also be accessed through local trucking companies. These companies often offer the necessary training for these individuals to be qualified as well as learn the needed information to pass the courses required to obtain a commercial driver’s license.

The Reinstatement Fee

Renewing a license is something that any driver is required to do. This is the same for commercial drivers. These individuals are required to renew their CDLs before they expire or within the grace period or they are forced to surrender their CDL.

The reinstatement fee is typically the cost for the exams that need to be retaken as well as the actual application for the license. This means that these individuals are paying the initial cost they paid in order to receive their original CDL.

Before a commercial driver’s license can be reissued, these individuals need to pay the reinstatement fee. Once a reinstatement fee is paid, these individuals will be given a temporary CDL to use until their physical commercial driver’s license has arrived through the mail.

Things to Consider Before Getting CDL Reinstated

Before an individual decides to get their commercial driver’s license reinstated, it can be beneficial for these individuals to consider how getting their CDL reinstated will impact their family in addition to their daily lives.

For most individuals, returning to the trucking business can be quite an adjustment. It can be difficult to adjust to the long hours of driving and traveling.

Another thing that can be difficult for individuals to adjust to when reentering the commercial driving world can be the time away from home. These individuals need to adjust to the time they will be spending away from their families. In addition to being away from their family, these commercial drivers will spend time sleeping in motels or at rest stops while they are on the road working. Being away from the comfort of their home, it can be difficult for these individuals to adjust to this change.

Are There Benefits to an Individual Giving up Their CDL?

Most individuals who have decided to give up their commercial driver’s license have found that there are not many benefits to downgrading to a regular license. These individuals no longer are able to drive big commercial vehicles. The lack of this ability can be extremely inconvenient for these individuals.

The biggest benefit that accompanies voluntarily surrendering their commercial driver’s license is the lower cost of license renewal. All individuals are required to renew their licenses, but renewing a commercial driver’s license is more expensive than renewing a regular driver’s license.

Another benefit that some individuals find after they have given up their commercial driver’s license is free time. Most truck driving jobs are extremely time-consuming. These individuals are on the road for long hours and are driving long distances. These individuals often spend the majority of their time away from their families. This is something that can be extremely difficult for individuals who are working as commercial drivers.

The time away from family is often the push for most individuals to give up their commercial driver’s license and step away from the trucking company. These individuals want to find more time to spend with their families as well as find the time to watch their children grow.

What are the Benefits to an Individual Keeping Their CDL?

There are some benefits to individuals who are no longer driving commercially but intend to keep their CDL. While the process for surrendering a CDL can be extremely easy, for some individuals, this process seems to be tedious, and they would just rather let their CDL expire rather than go through the process of voluntarily surrendering their CDL.

Other than the cheaper renewal prices, most individuals find very few benefits to surrendering their commercial driver’s license.

Most individuals continue renewing their CDL just in case something happens and they find themselves needing to drive commercially in order to provide for themselves again.

How Does an Individual get Their CDL?

There are many individuals who are interested in obtaining a commercial driver’s license in order to provide a career in commercial driving. Individuals are able to make money by simply driving for companies. This is something that many individuals can find to be a beneficial career path.

Many commercial drivers suggest that beginner drivers pay for their own CDL rather than getting all their training paid for by the company they intend to work for. This allows individuals not to have to tie to one specific company and allows them to have more freedom when it comes to their career in commercial driving.

Most experienced commercial drivers suggest that individuals who are new to this career field get as much experience driving as they can. Companies are more likely to hire individuals who have experience with driving long distances considering this is the job that most trucking companies are entitled to.

Many individuals suggest that if a driver is young and single, it might be best to look into working with one of the larger trucking companies. These large companies offer more security than the smaller companies as well as more hours. The long hours, in addition to the distance that is driven by these individuals, is what makes it a good fit for young, single individuals rather than individuals who have families.

What Circumstances Cause an Individual to be Unable to get Their CDL Back?

There are some circumstances that cause individuals to be unable to get their commercial driver’s license reinstated. The biggest circumstance is when a commercial driver gets a DUI. For an individual who drives for other companies, it can be extremely difficult when these drivers have been driving under the influence.

While there are some instances where individuals have rehabilitated themselves after they have committed a crime of some sort, there are some crimes that can have been committed that completely disqualify individuals from being approved for a commercial driver’s license.

It is important that individuals who are interested in the trucking industry work on ensuring that they are in a place that can allow them to obtain their CDL.

While there are some crimes that can cause individuals to be unable to be qualified for a CDL, there are some that require these individuals just prove that they are rehabilitated. For these individuals, most experienced truckers suggest that these individuals be direct with their parole officers in order to get the guidance needed for these individuals to obtain their goals.

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