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The Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act (MCSIA) is a federal mandate designed to enhance highway safety by ensuring only
safe drivers operate commercial motor vehicles. MCSIA improves the commercial driver license (CDL) sanctioning process by
strengthening the disqualification process through the expansion of violations that result in disqualification. In addition,
MCSIA requires states to disqualify CDL drivers who have high risk traffic offenses in their personal vehicles.
Additional violations are identified as Major Traffic Offenses (MTO) and Serious Traffic Offenses (STO).
Certain Major Traffic Offenses (drug, alcohol and felonies) and a few Serious Traffic Offenses (speeding in a work
zone, reckless driving and any violation resulting in a fatality) occurring in a non-commercial motor vehicle (personal
vehicle) will count the same in determining driver disqualification.
Accelerated Rehabilitative Dispositions (ARD) are treated as convictions for the purpose of imposing CDL sanctions.
All moving violations, whether or not they result in a sanction, and regardless of vehicle, become part of the driver
Fines for operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in violation of an out-of-service order have been increased and
now range from $1,100 to $2,750.
When applying for an initial issuance, renewal or transfer of a CDL, drivers must disclose all states where they were
licensed during the past 10 years.
A commercial learner's permit is considered a CDL and the permit holder will be subject to the disqualification and
record keeping provisions listed above.
What are the major changes to Major Traffic Offenses (MTO)?
If you are a CDL holder, the Major Traffic Offenses for drugs, alcohol, leaving the scene of an accident and felonies in
a personal vehicle will count the same as if the violation occurred in a CMV. Serious Traffic Offenses committed in a personal
vehicle count toward CDL sanctions if the violation separately results in a suspension or revocation.
Where can I obtain a listing of all the disqualifying offenses?
Yes. The DUI in the CMV was the first Major Traffic Offense and the DUI in the personal vehicle after September 30, 2005
would be the second Major Traffic Offense. Two Major Traffic Offenses result in a lifetime disqualification of a CDL.
If I am accepted into an ARD program for DUI after September 30, 2005
for a violation that happened in my personal vehicle and later I am convicted of another DUI in my personal vehicle, will I
be disqualified for life?
Assuming this is your first Major Traffic Offense, your driving privilege would be suspended for 30 days and your commercial
driving privilege will be disqualified for one year. After serving the 30 day suspension, you can obtain a non-commercial
driver's license for the remainder of the disqualification period.
I thought all violations appeared on my driving record. What
changes under MCSIA?
Currently, only violations that result in a sanction being imposed (points being assessed or suspension imposed) appear
on any driver record. MCSIA requires all moving violations be recorded on the driving record of a CDL holder. One of the
most common violations affected by this change is failure to obey traffic control devices (Section 3111 of the Pennsylvania
Vehicle Code). Prior to MCSIA, it was not recorded on a driving record. Under MSIA, this violation, as well as other
moving violations, will appear on the record of the CDL holder.
Will my insurance company/employer see these additional violations?
It is considered a CDL for sanctioning and record keeping purposes. This means that commercial learner's permit customers
will be subject to the disqualification actions occurring in a non-CMV mentioned previously. They are also subject to the
provision that all violations be listed as part of the driver record.
Will it cost me more to apply for or renew my CDL as a result