Wisconsin is making several changes to its commercial driver license program, after the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found a number of discrepancies between Wisconsin statutes and federal regulations.

All changes take effect January 1, 2010.

One of the biggest changes is that Wisconsin CDL drivers will be subject to a two-year disqualification of their CDL if the DMV receives notice from another jurisdiction for failing to appear to contest a citation, failure to pay a judgment entered against the person or failing to comply with the penalties imposed by a court. Disqualifications will be reduced to 30 days when notice of compliance is received.

"This is a change that drivers must be aware of as it would affect their ability to hold a CDL," notes DMV Citations and Withdrawals Section Chief, Erin Egan,

Other changes include:

* Disqualification periods for violating out-of-service orders increase. A disqualification of two years will be imposed for two out-of-service violations (one year previously), and a disqualification of three years will result for three or more out-of-service violations (two years previously).

* Disqualifications will be imposed for out-of-service violations that are received out of state.
Forfeitures for operating while ordered out-of-service increase to $2,500 for the first offense and $5,000 for the second and subsequent offense within 10 years ($1,100 and $2,750 previously).

* Administrative suspensions involving blood alcohol content (BAC) in any driving circumstance will now be treated as convictions.

* If a person is found innocent of the subsequent Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) or Prohibited Alcohol Concentration (PAC), or the court dismisses the OWI / PAC, the administrative suspension will not be purged without a court order.

* For Wisconsin CDL drivers, disqualifications will be imposed for out-of-state administrative suspensions.

More information: http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/drivers/drivers/apply/types/cdl-changes-2010.htm