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Order of Disqualification (Lifetime)

The Order of Disqualification is an official order from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that is issued to Commercial Class “A” and Class “B” drivers who have been convicted twice of certain crimes within a ten-year period. If the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issues a lifetime disqualification, it literally means the accused driver is not permitted to operate commercial vehicles for the rest of their life.

Why does the DMV issue Lifetime Disqualification?

Commercial drivers who hold Class “A” or Class “B” driver licenses are held to higher standards than regular “everyday” drivers.  Because they are professionally trained and because they tend to operate a class of vehicle that requires a greater degree of trust, the commercial driver is punished more severely if they repeatedly violate certain sections of the law.

California Vehicle Code Section 15302, determines:

A driver shall not operate a commercial motor vehicle for the rest of his or her life if convicted of more than one violation of any of the following:

(a) Subdivision (a), (b), or (c) of Section 23152 while operating a motor vehicle (DUI).

(b) Subdivision (d) of Section 23152 (driving a motor vehicle with a BAC of .04% or greater).

(c) Subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 23153 while operating a motor vehicle (Felony DUI).

(d) Subdivision (d) of Section 23153 (Felony DUI in a commercial vehicle with a BAC of .04% or greater).

(e) Leaving the scene of an accident involving a motor vehicle operated by the driver.

(f) Using a motor vehicle to commit a felony, other than a felony described in Section 15304.

(g) Driving a commercial motor vehicle when the driver’s commercial driver’s license is revoked, suspended, or canceled based on the driver’s operation of a commercial motor vehicle or when the driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle based on the driver’s operation of a commercial motor vehicle.

(h) Causing a fatality involving conduct defined pursuant to Section 191.5 of the Penal Code or in subdivision (c) of Section 192 of the Penal Code.

(i) While operating a motor vehicle, refuses to submit to, or fails to complete, a chemical test or tests in violation of Section 23612.

(j) A violation of Section 2800.1, 2800.2, or 2800.3 that involves a commercial motor vehicle.

(k) Any combination of the above violations or a violation listed in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 13350 or Section 13352 or 13357 that occurred while transporting a hazardous material.

What happens now that I have been disqualified to operate a commercial vehicle for life?

The unfortunate truth is that being issued this disqualification does permanently bar you from operating commercial vehicles.  You may consider either of the appellate processes available to you, [Request for Administrative Review or Writ of Mandate], but assuming those are not favorable, you are literally stripped of your privilege to operate commercial vehicles forever.

However, being disqualified to operate a commercial vehicle for life does not directly impact a person’s privilege to operate Class “C” vehicles.  Once the driver has served any suspension period required following a conviction, that driver becomes eligible for the issuance of a Class “C” driver license.  In short, the life-time ban does not apply to Class “C” vehicles.

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