Commercial Driver License Citations

Click here to access a free online version of The Tennessee Code. To find a particular statute, enter the statute number (i.e. 39-17-1351) into the search box at the top left of the page and click the 'search' button. That will give you a direct link to the statute you want to read.

Commercial Driver License Citation Reporting Requirements

Effective October 1, 2008, the Federal reporting requirement for commercial vehicle convictions was changed from 30 days to 10 days (FMCSA Part 384: State Compliance with Commercial Driver's License Program, §384.209 Notification of Traffic Violations).

Effective January 1, 2011, the State reporting requirement for commercial vehicle convictions was changed from 10 days to 5 days (Tenn. Code Ann. §55-50-409).

This page contains helpful information for the judiciary and court clerks on processing the citations.  An example of a uniform citation for officers is included.

CDL Conviction and Disposition Reporting Overview for the Judiciary and Court Clerks

  • Commercial driver’s licenses consist of three (3) classes:
    • A - Any combination of vehicles with a gross combination vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds
    • B - Heavy Straight Vehicle (Group B) - Any single vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 26,001 pounds or more, or any such vehicle which tows vehicle or trailer up to 10,000 pounds GVWR.
    • C - Any single vehicle or combination of vehicles that is designed to transport 16 or more passengers including the driver, or is used in the transportation of materials found to be hazardous for the purposes of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act and which require the motor vehicle to be placarded under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR part 172, subpart F).
  • The Tennessee Department of Safety (TDOS) needs your assistance from the Courts to insure full compliance with these Federal requirements. These areas include:
    • As of October 1, 2008, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires that all commercial motor vehicle convictions, and convictions for drivers who are issued a commercial driver's license, be reported within 10 days of the date of conviction.
  • Conviction Reporting
    • Prior to October 1, 2008, the Federal Regulation (CFR 384.209) for conviction reporting required that all convictions be reported to TDOS within 30 days of the date of conviction.
    • Beginning October 1, 2008, the Federal Regulation for conviction reporting to TDOS changed to require CDL or CMV convictions to be reported within 10 calendar days of the date of conviction.
    • The Department of Safety has established an Internet site for clerks who wish to submit their dispositions electronically by using the TDOS Court Disposition Reporting website.
    • To further assist the court system TDOS is currently working to develop an electronic citation system which will be available to all law enforcement agencies. The purpose of the system is to allow law enforcement officers to enter citation information into an electronic form and submit the data to the required destinations (Court Clerk offices, police stations, etc.).
    • The electronic citation will be available as a no cost contract to law enforcement agencies (law enforcement agencies will provide their own computer equipment to utilize the e-citation). It will also result in a substantial reduction in the manual workload while improving the timeliness of citation processing/conviction reporting.

Are you in compliance with CDL conviction reporting?

Collection of Data

Tennessee Public Acts 2010, Chapter 1037, has new minimum requirements in the collection of data.  These new minimum requirements must be included on all traffic citations whether they are Non-CDL or CDL.  A  sample citation template is available for your use.

Did you also know:

  • If you currently submit your convictions electronically (TNSYS, Bridge, Excel Spreadsheet sent by email), you do NOT have to mail the paper conviction.
  • If you currently mail your convictions to the Department of Safety, you only need to send 1 paper document: Court abstract or the copy of the disposition. Multiples, copies, or different documents for the same conviction are not necessary.

What does “masking” a CDL conviction mean?

  • Masking a CDL conviction means that a conviction for a CDL license holder was downgraded to a less serious offense or deferred or plea bargained.
  • If a CDL license holder pays the citation fine without appearing in court, that is the SAME as pleading guilty.  This should be reported as a conviction within 10 days.
  • Federal prohibition against masking CDL convictions is applied only to moving violations, not parking violations.
  • Per Tennessee Code Annotated, the dismissal with costs for a registration violation would not be prohibited under TN law.
  • Federal and state law prohibits masking of CDL or CMV convictions by sending convicted persons to traffic school or dismissing with cost. However, judges MAY downgrade the offense, find the defendant not guilty, or plea bargain the charge.

How do I obtain a sample CDL TN Uniform Citation?

A sample Tennessee Uniform Citation is available here for download as a PDF:
Tennessee Uniform Citation Example

How do I get to the Court Reporting website?

Clerks who do not currently submit convictions electronically may do so by visiting the Department of Safety's Court Reporting System.
TDOS Court Disposition Reporting System