How do you appeal a CDL disqualification decision?

Jan 4, 2020 | traffic violations for commercial driver's license holders

[Updated Nov 2023]

Per the Ohio BMV, CDL drivers risk license disqualification if they commit and are convicted of certain violations either in a passenger vehicle or a commercial motor vehicle. License disqualification revokes a person’s CDL privileges for the duration of the suspension period. The length of disqualification is dependent upon the severity of the offense and may last anywhere from 60 days to life. Because CDL drivers cannot afford license disqualification, many wish to appeal the decision.

There are several reasons the BMV may disqualify your CDL license. Those include driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, failing to submit to a chemical test, failing to stop after an accident, using any motor vehicle to commit a felony, texting while driving or committing a railroad crossing violation, to name a few. A conviction for the most serious offenses may result in a one-year suspension for a first offense and lifetime revocation for a second.

If you believe that the BMV came to the decision to disqualify your CDL by mistake, you may appeal the decision. To do so, you must submit an appeal to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles within 30 days of receiving the Notice of Disqualification. Even though a county court, municipal court and mayor’s court have jurisdiction to decide administrative appeals, they do not have the authority to decide on CDL disqualification appeals.

Once it receives your request for a hearing, the BMW will schedule a hearing before an attorney hearing examiner. Before the attorney hearing examiner has the chance to make a final decision, the BMV will postpone the disqualification. Once the hearing is complete, the examiner will issue a Report and Recommendation. You will then have 10 days to file an objection to the report. Once the 10 days are up, the BMV will issue its final decision. If you disagree with the decision, you must then appeal to the Court of Common Pleas to reverse it.

You should not use this article as legal advice. It is for educational purposes only.