Commercial trucks come in different specifications and designs to fulfill various tasks. Tractor-trailers help transport cargo, while more specialized vehicles such as concrete mixers and garbage trucks take on more focused roles due to their utility.
But no matter the type, all commercial trucks must pass safety requirements before use. Both federal and state inspectors can inspect a truck and issue an out-of-service order if they find it unsafe to operate. This order remains in force until the driver has the safety issue fixed.
Truckers who violate out-of-service orders and continue to drive their vehicles could face sanctions for disobeying.
Penalties for disobeying out-of-service orders
Per the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), a trucker or commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder who violates an out-of-service order faces a license disqualification. If convicted of violating an order, the DMV can disqualify truckers for up to 10 years.
While 10 years is the maximum period, the minimum disqualification periods can differ depending on the number of times a CDL holder has violated the law:
- First offense: The trucker’s license is disqualified for at least 180 days.
- Second or subsequent offense: The DMV will disqualify the CDL holder’s license for at least three years.
The penalties are enhanced for CDL holders operating either a vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers or a truck designed to transport hazardous materials:
- First offense: The DMV disqualifies the CDL holder’s license for two years.
- Second or subsequent offense: At this point, the minimum disqualification period is five years.
In summary, truckers risk disqualifying their licenses if they attempt to operate their commercial trucks after an inspector issues an out-of-service order. Drivers should avoid violating these orders if they want to keep their CDLs. Those facing disqualification should consider their legal options or risk years of lost driving privileges and work.