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A driver who is disqualified must not drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) and an employer shall not knowingly allow, permit, require, or authorize a driver who is disqualified to drive a CMV.
The disqualification criteria in Part 391 applies to drivers of CMVs in interstate commerce.
A driver is disqualified from driving a CMV if the driver is convicted (including forfeiture of bond or collateral) of any of the following while operating a CMV:
The disqualification period is as follows:
|Part 391 Disqualification|
|First conviction (transporting, possessing, or unlawfully using drugs)||6 months|
|First conviction (all other violations)||1 year|
|Additional conviction(s) in a 3-year period||3 years|
Out-of-service order violations. During a trip, a driver may be placed out of service by an enforcement officer for a certain period of time or until a given problem has been corrected. A driver convicted of violating such an out-of-service order will be subject to a fine and disqualification period. The disqualification period is as follows:
|Disqualification Period for Violating an Out-of-Service Order|
|First violation||90 days to 1 year|
|Second violation during a 10-year period||1 year to 5 years|
|Third or additional violations during a 10-year period||3 years to 5 years|
The penalties are more severe for bus drivers and drivers transporting hazardous materials. The disqualification period is as follows:
|Disqualification Period for Violating an Out-of-Service Order (Passenger-Carrying and Hazardous Materials)|
|First violation||180 days to 2 years|
|All additional violations||3 years to 5 years|
Texting violations and hand-held mobile telephone violations. A driver must not text or use a hand-held mobile telephone while driving a CMV and the motor carrier must not allow or require the driver to text or use a hand-held mobile telephone while driving a CMV. The disqualification period is as follows:
|Disqualification Period for Texting and Hand-Held Mobile Telephone Violations|
|Second violation during a 3-year period||60 days|
|Third or additional violations during a 3-year period||120 days|
Exceptions. Vehicles designed or used to transport 9 to 15 passengers (including the driver), not for direct compensation, and school bus operations (as defined in 390.5) are exempted from the definition of a CMV with respect to the driver disqualification requirements. However, motor carriers operating these vehicles are required to comply with the disqualification requirements for violating the prohibition of texting while driving a CMV (391.15(e)) and violating the restriction on using a hand-held mobile telephone while driving a CMV (391.15(f)).