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Lifetime CDL Disqualifications May Not be Lifetime

Lifetime CDL Disqualifications may be reduced to 10 years if the driver meets certain qualifications.

  • The CDL disqualification must be because of a Georgia action.  If your CDL disqualification originates from another state, you will have to pursue action with the other state, if such is available
  • You must have a valid Georgia Class C driver's license
  • 10 years must have passed since the disqualification
  • The disqualification must not have been for a conviction for homicide by vehicle or serious injury by vehicle, use of a vehicle in commission of a felony drug offense, or use of a vehicle for human trafficking
  • Have had no traffic offenses within the preceding five years.

To obtain a lifting of the disqualification, the driver must submit:

  • $210 non-refundable CDL Restoration Fee
  • a certified seven (7) year Georgia motor vehicle report (MVR) dated within 30 days of the application showing last five years offense-free
  • If the disqualification was based on an alcohol-related offense, the driver must submit a drug and alcohol evaluation dated within 90 days of the application showing no need for substance abuse treatment
  • If the disqualification was not based on an alcohol-related offense, then a certificate of completion of a defensive driving clinic dated within 90 days of the application
  • A current USDOT medical certificate card
Sean A. Black

Sean A. Black is a 1992 graduate of the Emory University School of Law. He has been in private practice in Toccoa, Georgia since June 1, 1992.


Anzio Pless

Posted May 18, 2020 at 05:07:30

Is there anyway i can get my CDL back?I got a DUI in 2010 got my CDL in 2016 then got a DUI in 2018 and conviction in 2019.I didn’t know about the lifetime ban and was disappointed.Do i have to wait 10yrs or is it away around that?


Posted May 18, 2020 at 11:19:50

Unless the law changes, you have to wait the ten years and go through that application process. You need to demonstrate rehabilitation. You need to pursue drug/alcohol treatment and refrain from usage of drugs and alcohol.


Lamin Jobarteh

Posted Jul 15, 2020 at 12:53:02

Hello Sean

I have just been informed by my Insurance company that my Drivers License has been disqualified and that should go to Georgia DMV. It must have happened because of the my last speeding ticket in April of 2020 in OR.

Where is the corrective course of action to get my License reinstated?

Thank you


Posted Jul 17, 2020 at 07:20:44

You need to obtain the information from Georgia Department of Drivers Services about what is causing the suspension. They have a number of online tools.


Austin graves

Posted Mar 23, 2021 at 15:14:02

I have one dui but the dds has a lifetime disqualification on my record. I thought you only got a lifetime disqualification if you have 2 dui’s. Is this true?


Posted Mar 24, 2021 at 07:03:12

A lifetime disqualification is based on two or more major offense. DUI is a major offense, but there are other major offenses. A driving history should indicate which offenses are triggering the lifetime disqualification in terms of stating which offenses caused a withdrawal or suspension of CDL privileges.

You may be eligible to have the lifetime disqualification terminated after ten years.



Posted Apr 14, 2021 at 10:39:42

Is there anyway I can get the commercial disqualification removed so I will be able to drive company vehicles? It was disqualified for a super speeder in my car. I took a defensive driving course as well.


Posted Apr 14, 2021 at 12:15:54

The disqualification comes from the speeding conviction. There are limited opportunities to undo a traffic conviction. In general, it must be done within 180 days of the conviction and will require significant willingness to help on the part of the judge and prosecutor of the court.



Posted Apr 30, 2021 at 23:01:37

I had a lifetime disqualification and I just recently received my permit. Does the 2 year ban from non exempt interstate travel start now or do I have to obtain my CDL before the time starts?


Posted May 04, 2021 at 08:30:31

Sorry, I do not have the answer to your question. Your best bet is to speak to someone at DDS with the Help Desk.


Eugene Curtis

Posted May 27, 2021 at 09:34:51

I only have a regular C license. My license was suspended as Lifetime commercial disqualification. I never owned a CDL license. Is states my license is suspended for 10 years.


Posted May 27, 2021 at 12:48:57

This is often confusing to people when they look at a driving history. Because the state has a need to track a person’s eligibility for a CDL, whether they have one or not, they track every licensee’s commercial and non-commercial status. In your case, it means that you will not be eligible for a CDL as long as that suspension is active. At that point, if you wanted to get a CDL, you would have to meet the other requirements for a CDL holder triggered by whatever violations you had.



Posted May 29, 2021 at 10:33:30

I got a reckless driving no tag and no insurance on a motor cycle and then they took my CDL’’s for 10 years and my class c for 4 months,is this right ,can they do this or is it a mistake


Posted Jun 01, 2021 at 05:28:48

If those are the only things on your record lifetime, that does not seem right.

A first No insurance within five years carries a 60 day suspension.

A single reckless driving offense costs you 4 points and is considered a serious violation for CDL purposes. Four points will not suspend your Class C license by themselves. A first lifetime serious offense does not cause a CDL disqualification.

The penalty you describe on the CDL side is not consistent with serious offenses but is consistent with major offenses. Particularly, it is consistent with a second lifetime major offense.



Posted Jun 15, 2021 at 20:14:30

My license was suspended in 2014 due to no insurance accident I paid all fees and reinstated in 2019 and now they disqualified me from back in 2015 all the way to 2025 I’m so confused on what’s happening


Posted Jun 16, 2021 at 08:51:21

Without seeing the actual MVR (driving history) and other communication, I cannot confirm what you are stating. Is it possible that your non-commercial status is valid but there is a suspension of your commercial license eligibility?


George Drake

Posted Jun 21, 2021 at 21:49:19

I have had 5 dui in my life I am 51 now and want to get a cdl in ga. 2 dui were in ga in 2008 and 2000 the other 3 were in NC in early to mid 90s 1 then 2 back to back I think about 3 to 5 years later license was permitantly suspended but got it back after 10 years . Are there any laws saying I can’t get a cdl ? I know getting a job maybe nearly impossible but first things first. Any info would be greatly appreciated. My research doesn’t turn up much info for Me except your page


Posted Jun 22, 2021 at 06:59:30

A lifetime CDL disqualification is not necessarily for life. If your disqualification is more than ten years previous and you have had no violation or other relevant convictions during the last five years, then you can apply to restore your CDL privileges. It is a process driven by the details. I have sent you a copy of the application from the DDS website so that you can see what is required.



Posted Aug 16, 2021 at 09:01:17

I got a CDL lifetime disqualification due to getting my license suspended for DUI in 2009. I got everything cleared up in 2017, but I now live in WV. As I do not hold a valid GA license, can I still apply to have my lifetime disqualification reduced to 10 years?


Posted Aug 19, 2021 at 07:44:52

That is an excellent question, but I do not know the answer. Your best bet would be to call DDS directly and ask to have your inquiry escalated to a supervisor with knowledge of restricted CDL permits.



Posted Aug 26, 2021 at 13:57:32

My commerical privilege is disqualified. I never had that license. I gotten my dui case process back in May 2013. And it say reinstate eligible may 2023. My MVR say; I have no citations or withdrawal and I have 0 points. Do I wait? Or is there a way around it?


Posted Aug 27, 2021 at 06:24:05

Based on your description, the earliest that you could apply for a CDL would be May 2023. You will have extra steps to show rehabilitation in order to get a restricted CDL at that time.


Cale Methe

Posted Sep 07, 2021 at 18:45:37

Got a ticket for following to closely on september 13 2019. Got my cdls september 2020. Recently got another ticket for following to closely. Will the points on my license from before i got my cdl cause my cdl to be disqualified being added with this current ticket? My court day for my current ticket will be the two year mark for my first ticket from 2019.


Posted Sep 08, 2021 at 06:44:04

My understanding is that the following too closely in a non-CMV will not count against your CDL.


Darin Smith

Posted Sep 14, 2021 at 20:33:06

I received my first dui back in June 2017, I recently received another dui in February 07, 2020 my case is still pending right now due to everything going on and court dates being pushed back. I got a copy of my mvr and it says disqualification for cdl lifetime ban and that I am eligible for reinstatement February 18, 2030 I want to know if I do get this recent dui reduced or dismissed will that uplift the lifetime ban from off my driving record. My local dmv said that it should, my lawyer is very close to getting my charge dismissed.


Posted Sep 15, 2021 at 05:24:28

The pending charge should not be causing the lifetime ban. Are there other serious or major charges on your driving record? If the case is dismissed, it certainly should not trigger a lifetime ban.


Giselle DGracia

Posted Sep 24, 2021 at 18:43:43

I have a company car and got a GA Serious. Commercial disqualification. Can I remove this if I take a defensive driving class?


Wendell Roby

Posted Sep 26, 2021 at 15:53:59

If one state disqualify your CDL can one go to a state that’s not apart of driver license compact and obtain CDL? Or is the disqualification nation wide?


Posted Sep 27, 2021 at 08:11:50

I believe that every state has to conform to the federal CDL rules, so you should not be able to skirt those disqualifications by changing states.


Posted Sep 27, 2021 at 08:12:47

Unless you drive a commercial motor vehicle or are required to have a CDL, that disqualification has very little effect. Defensive driving will not clear it from your record.


Justin G

Posted Oct 15, 2021 at 01:23:30

I got convicted for an out of state DWI in Minnesota in my personal vehicle. It’s my 1st DUI or (DWI) in Minnesota’s terms, I had a clean driving record before. The GA DDS sent me a letter stating my Class A CDL is suspended for lifetime. How is that when I’ve never had any prior DUI’s/DWI with this being my 1st ever, I’ve never even had even a seat belt ticket until this. My MVR was completely clean until now. I dont understand how it could be suspended for a lifetime with this being my 1st and have had a clean MVR before hand.


Posted Oct 15, 2021 at 05:58:20

There are offenses besides DUI which qualify as major offenses. It takes two major offenses to earn the lifetime disqualification. If you truly had no other major offenses and your disposition in Minnesota did not involve an additional major offense, then it probably bears a closer look. You would need a lifetime history from DDS to try to figure out why they have taken this action and possibly challenge the action.


Gurdip Singh

Posted Oct 29, 2021 at 23:41:29

My cdl is disqualified for life in 2010 but in 2014 my both dui’s case was dismissed in California now I can get my cdl back in ga


Posted Nov 01, 2021 at 03:54:51

It would be heard to say without a close review of your MVR. The fact that the disqualification occurred prior to final disposition of your cases is odd.



Posted Nov 05, 2021 at 11:24:49

I never had cdls and got a 10 year suspension how is that ? Can I reduce it by any mean


Bonterris Turner

Posted Nov 06, 2021 at 21:53:34

I got a life time suspension in 2010 for traffic ticket they put a lifetime suspension on my CDL what do I need to do to get my CDL I never had them


Lamar Dunn

Posted Nov 07, 2021 at 05:38:21

They suspended my CDL in 2009 for a positive drug test I took for my health card . I was pull over at a scale house the first part of the year 2010 in Ga.. And I was driving on a suspended CDL dew to that health card violation. The DMV sent me papers in the mail that reads . A life time suspension and I can appeal it after 10 years. Well my ten years were up last year. How do I go about appealing this action. I’m from Ga. I have a valid Ga driving license now! Please respond back, Thank You


Posted Nov 08, 2021 at 05:50:51

Your eligibility to hold a CDL permit is suspended, whether or not you have ever had one. It depends on the particular violations which triggered the suspension. If you are wanting to pursue getting a CDL, a copy of your Georgia MVR (driving history) is a first step.


Posted Nov 08, 2021 at 06:25:21

You need to obtain a complete MVR (driving history. Georgia DDS can also generate a withdrawal report which will tell you what the withdrawal is for and what must be done to reinstate. Beyond that, the article on the page you sent this comment from goes into many of the details. By the way, a single traffic offense did not cause a 10 year suspension.


Posted Nov 08, 2021 at 06:26:43

You would not be appealing the suspension; you would be applying for early reinstatement from a lifetime suspension. The article you commented from spells out some of the details. You should get a complete MVR and withdrawal report from DDS.


Jackson T

Posted Nov 24, 2021 at 05:26:48

After going to court numerous of times, my lawyer convinced me to plead guilty to a DUI even though at the ALS hearing the officer contradicted himself etc. When we took it to the County courts, the officer kept showing up so he didn’t want to go to trial. He did absolutely nothing as a lawyer and it took a year. The charge was in 2018. My license was suspended 2019. I now have my license but because I didn’t blow, I have a 10 year waiting period. Is there anything that I can do to appeal that instead having to wait until 2029?


Posted Nov 24, 2021 at 05:46:33

A single DUI conviction does not trigger the “lifetime”/10 year disqualification. A second major offense is required to trigger that disqualification. But, if that disqualification is in place, then you do have to wait until 2029.



Posted Dec 02, 2021 at 11:37:26

I had a withdrawl of cdl and on MVR it says expiration date 6/2019 but it is still showing up on mvr reports as current.


Posted Dec 03, 2021 at 04:05:48

Call the DDS and see if they can tell you why it is showing as “current.” Current is a bit of a strange term. Withdrawals on MVRs typically show as active or not.


J.W. JR.

Posted Dec 10, 2021 at 19:04:17

I have Johnny’s in my pass for forgery and enhancement property rhymes with your shoplifting I got like 3 DUIs in my lifetime the lady from was two years ago the other ones were a long time ago end up working for me to try and get my CDL I can get my regular drivers drivers license for $2,500 I’m not under suspension anymore I just got to pay in the mine to get my license back then I want my CDL


Posted Dec 13, 2021 at 06:32:01

With a DUI two years ago, you have at least eight years and a lot of treatment to show rehabilitation ahead of you to have a path to a CDL.


Kallar heath

Posted Dec 30, 2021 at 05:47:53

Can I have a lifetime disqualification reduced my commerical license have been suspended for four years


Posted Dec 31, 2021 at 04:58:30

The lifetime disqualification can be reduced but it will be in place at least ten years before a reinstatement. There is a lot of work that you have to do to be able to move forward at that ten year mark.



Posted Jan 16, 2022 at 10:15:29

I don’t have any DUI or other charges to have the lifetime exemption. I had to give my CDL up to obtain a picture ID so I could board a plane and get through security the next day. I have no criminal record at all. Can I have my CDL reinstated?
Thank you


Posted Jan 17, 2022 at 08:04:10

I have no idea why you would have to give up your CDL to get a picture ID. If you do not have a withdrawal of your CDL privileges, then you should be able to obtain a CDL if you meet the other requirements.


Carlos Sims

Posted Feb 05, 2022 at 06:49:36

I have 2 dui it’s been 5 years cense the last one my question is if I Apply for my reinstated them, do it counts or is it the from the time I file for it the 10 years start


Barjinder singh

Posted Feb 06, 2022 at 13:31:22

Hello sir my cdl license from California is disqualified I need help for got the license if you can thanks


Posted Feb 07, 2022 at 05:24:01

You are going to have to go through California to clear that disqualification. I cannot help you with non-Georgia legal matters.


Posted Feb 07, 2022 at 05:27:04

So, you should be able to reinstate your regular license but not your CDL. You have to wait the ten years from the last DUI conviction to seek reinstatement of the CDL. There are quite a few things you have to do to demonstrate rehabilitation at that time, some of which correspond with the requirements for getting your regular license back.



Posted Feb 10, 2022 at 18:11:04

CDL license rejected dui to a drug trafficking charge in 2020 , The person a did a year and is out on probation.
Can They obtain a travel permit to get a cdl license .

Thank you


Posted Feb 15, 2022 at 05:42:23

They can request a driving history and a withdrawal report from DDS that will spell out their eligibilities.



Posted Feb 28, 2022 at 18:45:07

Received first dui when I was 17, received second dui when I was 18. I’m eligible for the appeal (after waiting the 10 year period) on May 22/2022. As part of the court order 10 years ago I had took a 6 week inpatient rehab. Both dui’s were alcohol related. I’ve since completed a technical program over 7 years ago in diesel technology (I’m actually truck technician) and I posses a class E license. Are the appeal processes pretty cut and dry, or is their a chance it could get denied. Also is this something i should seek legal help with in order to obtain a cdl?


Posted Mar 07, 2022 at 06:34:25

By separate email, I am sending you the form that spells out the requirements and must be completed to pursue CDL reinstatement. Good luck with it.


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