Shreveport, LA asked in Tax Law and Gov & Administrative Law for Louisiana

Q: Will Florida issue a CDL license to a licensee with an CDL license suspension in Louisiana for unpaid state taxes?

Please keep in mind, Florida has no state income tax

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Tax Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: No, Florida will not issue a commercial driver's license (CDL) to someone who has a current CDL suspension in another state, even if it is for unpaid taxes rather than a driving-related offense.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates CDLs, and under those regulations (49 CFR 384.210), Florida or any state is prohibited from issuing a CDL to a person:

1) Who has a CDL issued by another state

2) Whose CDL is suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified at the time of application

So because you have an active CDL suspension in Louisiana, Florida cannot legally issue you a new CDL until that out-of-state suspension has been cleared. This is true even though the suspension is for taxes rather than a traffic violation. States share information about CDL holders through the nationwide Commercial Driver's License Information System (CDLIS).

While Florida does not have state income tax, the CDL regulations are focused on your overall driving eligibility as determined by any state. An applicant must be eligible and qualified in their previous state of license in order to transfer a CDL or apply for a new one. The outstanding tax debts and suspension in Louisiana bar you from legally holding a CDL in any state until they are resolved.

I would recommend working to get your taxes and suspension resolved in Louisiana before attempting to obtain a Florida CDL. Checking on options like tax payment plans or ability to get the suspension lifted while making payments over time. But ultimately, no state can issue you a CDL until Louisiana clears your status in their motor vehicle system.

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