Effective November 8, 2021: According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) amended regulations, State Driver’s Licensing Agencies (SDLAs) “must not issue, renew, upgrade, or transfer a commercial driver’s license (CDL), or commercial learner’s permit (CLP), as applicable, for any individual prohibited under FMCSA’s regulations from performing safety-sensitive functions, including driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), due to one or more drug and alcohol program violations.” SDLAs must also remove the CLP or CDL privilege from the driver’s license of an individual subject to the CMV driving prohibition, resulting in a license downgrade within 60 days of the notification and until the driver complies with return-to-duty (RTD) requirements.

“Currently, most state driver licensing agencies do not receive drug and alcohol program violation information about commercial driver license or commercial learner permit holders licensed in their state,” said a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announcement. “Therefore, these SDLAs are unaware when a commercial motor vehicle operator is subject to the driving prohibition, and the CMV operator continues to hold a valid CDL or CLP, despite the driving prohibition. The CDL downgrade requirement rests on the simple, but safety-critical, premise that drivers who cannot lawfully operate a CMV because they engaged in prohibited use of drugs or alcohol or refused a test should not hold a valid CDL or CLP.”

States must achieve substantial compliance as soon as practicable, but no later than November 18, 2024.

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