Lifetime CDL ban instituted for drivers convicted of human trafficking

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Updated Jul 18, 2019

Truck drivers who are convicted of human trafficking crimes will soon be banned from holding or obtaining a commercial driver’s license, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced Tuesday.

Following the enactment of the No Human Trafficking on Our Roads Act in January 2018, FMCSA’s new rule will prohibit an individual from operating a commercial vehicle for life if that person uses a commercial vehicle in committing a felony involving severe human trafficking.

FMCSA’s new rule adds the lifetime disqualification without reinstatement for a severe human trafficking conviction to the list of offenses in 49 CFR 383.51(b), Table 1, that permanently disqualify individuals from operating a CMV for which a CDL or commercial learner’s permit is required.

“The commercial motor vehicle industry is uniquely positioned to help detect and report human trafficking, and thankfully professional drivers’ efforts often bring an end to these tragic situations,” said FMCSA Administrator Ray Martinez. “Sadly, however, some human trafficking activities are facilitated by the use of commercial trucks or buses. By enforcing a lifetime ban on any CMV driver convicted of severe human trafficking, we aim to deliver a strong and effective deterrent to this abhorrent behavior. If a commercial driver is convicted of using their commercial motor vehicle related to human trafficking, that person will never be driving interstate commercial vehicles again.”

The rule will take effect 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register, which should be within the next week. The rule gives states three years to comply with the rule, as FMCSA says some states “may need to conform their licensing statutes and regulations to include this new disqualifying offense.”