Wisconsin CDL changes take effect Jan. 1

| 12/30/2009

In an effort to improve Wisconsin’s compliance with the federal regulations, there are changes being implemented the first of the year that will affect commercial driver’s license holders.

As of Friday, Jan. 1, failure to appear, comply and/or pay will be treated more severely. A two-year disqualification will be imposed for Wisconsin CDL holders if the state Department of Transportation receives notice from another jurisdiction of failure to appear to contest a citation, failure to pay a judgment entered against a person, or failure to comply with the penalties imposed by a court.

Disqualification will be reduced to 30 days once notice of compliance is received.

Another change affects new residents to the Badger State who are applying for a CDL.

If a person is convicted of a disqualifying offense in another state while they reside outside Wisconsin, and that state imposed a disqualification for that offense and the disqualification period has ended, Wisconsin will not impose a new disqualification resulting from that conviction.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association says the provision is intended to slam the door on people driving truck who would try to wash their license clean from a state where they had a disqualifying offense so they could keep driving.

One more modification is intended to beef up out-of-service fines and penalties. In effect, it brings the language of Wisconsin law in line with the federal regs.

Instead of losing driving privileges for one year for two OOS violations, offenders will be disqualified from getting behind the wheel of a truck for two years. Three or more OOS violations will result in three years of lost driving privileges – up from two years.

Fines for violating OOS orders also are increasing. For first offenders, the fine will increase from $1,100 to $2,500. For second and subsequent offenses within 10 years, the fine will increase from $2,750 to $5,000.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Wisconsin, click here.


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