Who is an Oregon CDL Holder? It’s not who you think

If you look at this issue on Oregon DMV’s website, or “Google” it, you’ll often get this (incorrect) answer: “Oregon statute defines a CDL holder as a person who was issued a CDL by DMV or the licensing agency of any other jurisdiction, as long as the CDL is:
* Not expired, or if expired, expired less than one year; or
* Suspended, but not cancelled or revoked.”

It’s wrong because of House Bill 2262 (2013), which went into effect May 28, 2013. A CDL holder is now defined as follows:

“[A] person holds commercial driving privileges for the purposes of the Oregon Vehicle Code if the person’s most recently issued driver license or driver permit is or was a commercial driver license or commercial learner driver permit issued by the Department of Transportation or the licensing agency of another jurisdiction, without regard to whether:
(a) The person’s commercial driver license has expired; or
(b) The person’s commercial driving privileges are suspended, canceled or revoked.”

There’s more, but that’s the gist of it. Why is this an important change? Because DMV may suspend an Oregon CDL for a number of reasons, but what matters now is whether your last driver license renewal included “CDL” privileges. This helps people who have, for instance, had an Oregon CDL suspended for medical reasons, and thus received at their last renewal a plain, vanilla, non-CDL driver license. Under the old law, those folks would have been considered Oregon CDL holders, and barred from DUII Diversion and a host of other benefits. Under the new law, they are not.