Kentucky sends one letter, suspends CDL privileges for many

| 7/18/2008

Maria Arnold was stunned to hear the news from a potential employer.

The state of Kentucky had suspended her commercial driver’s license so the carrier couldn’t hire her, the manager of a trucking company told Arnold – an OOIDA member from Springfield, KY.

Arnold later learned the state had sent a letter in May to her home address – not her post office box – while she was out on the road.

“Apparently they only sent it to my physical address and when they did, of course, it was returned,” Arnold told Land Line. “After 30 days, they cancelled my CDL. I was outraged.”

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet recently suspended an unpublicized number of CDLs just 30 days after mailing a request for information to CDL holders.

The Transportation Cabinet’s office of public affairs responded to some of Land Line’s questions by e-mail, but did not say how many CDLs were suspended or whether the action had led to officials seizing any trucks or loads.

Agency spokesman David Devers said the Kentucky General Assembly required that certain 10-year driving record information be added to CDL applications by 2005. CDL holders were recently notified if they hadn’t submitted the applications, Devers said. Those drivers’ CDL privileges were then canceled “until we do receive it” Devers said.

“Anyone who has a question about this matter can call our CDL section at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet at (502) 564-0280,” Devers said.

Arnold said her CDL was quickly reinstated – without a fee – after she called and faxed information to the state. Arnold said she was told 5,000 to 8,000 Kentucky CDL holders may be driving under suspended licenses.

The Washington County, KY, area has a few sizable trucking companies and many truck drivers, Washington County Circuit Clerk George Graves told Land Line. Graves said the suspension has led to “a few” harried phone calls from truck drivers needing to become street legal again.

Arnold feels their pain.

“I hate to think of all these owner operators out there who don’t know they’re driving without a CDL,” Arnold told Land Line. “Most of them are not coming home all the time, as hard as things are now.”

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer