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Senate Bill 1230 — Reinstatement of commercial driver licenses

Senate Bill 1230 — Reinstatement of commercial driver licenses

Lindsay Atkinson
January 15, 2020

Bill description: SB 1230 would offer certain persons currently disqualified from driving commercial vehicles to apply for a license reinstatement after a 10-year disqualification period.

Rating: 0

Does it increase barriers to entry into the market? Examples include occupational licensure, the minimum wage, and restrictions on home businesses. Conversely, does it remove barriers to entry into the market? 

This bill would bring Idaho in line with a federal standard regarding the reinstatement of commercial driver’s licenses. Under current Idaho law, a person’s commercial driver’s license (whether class A, B, or C) can be revoked for committing certain offenses. Such offenses include:

  • Operating a vehicle “under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.”
  • Operating a vehicle with an alcohol concentration of 0.4 or more.
  • Leaving the scene of an accident in which the license-holder was the driver.
  • Using a motor vehicle to commit a felony.
  • Operating a commercial vehicle with a suspended license.
  • “Causing a fatality through negligent operation of a commercial motor vehicle.”
  • Refusing to take, or failing, a blood alcohol test or test to measure controlled substances in one’s system.

As designated under a federal rule that Idaho Code references, two or more separate violations of any combination of the above offenses result in a lifetime revokal of a commercial license.

This bill would change Idaho law so that the license revokal would not automatically last a lifetime. Instead, it may only be a 10-year disqualification, since this bill allows the Idaho Transportation Department to consider reinstating a driver’s commercial license after a 10-year period.

After being disqualified from commercial driving for 10 years, an applicant can apply for reinstatement, as long as that person has not had any offenses related to commercial vehicles, alcohol, or controlled substances during that time. To be granted reinstatement, the applicant must:

  • “Have a valid class D driver’s license”
  • Must meet Idaho’s current requirements for a commercial driver’s license or learner’s permit
  • Must provide proof of having completed both the 4-hour defensive driving course and the 4-hour professional truck driver course, both offered by the National Safety Council
  • In some instances, must submit certification by a medical examiner
  • Must submit a criminal background check
  • And, if the disqualifying offense was related to alcohol or drug use, must submit proof of completing a rehabilitation program

Though this reinstatement process does come with certain requirements, it grants commercial drivers who have been or will be disqualified an opportunity they do not currently have — to have their commercial licenses reinstated. 


Does it give government any new, additional, or expanded power to prohibit, restrict, or regulate activities in the free market? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce government intervention in the market?

However, in its specificity for reinstatement requirements, this bill requires all applicants for reinstatement to specifically complete two driving courses offered by the National Safety Council. These driving courses, taken through this specific organization, are the only rehabilitation courses approved by this section of statute. Thus, reinstatement applicants are restricted from going out and finding the rehabilitation course that is most useful to them, and are instead granted only one option.


Analyst’s Note: This rating has been updated to reflect amendments made to the bill on 3/09.

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