What Are the Dangerous Realities of Fraudulent CDL Licenses?

What Are the Dangerous Realities of Fraudulent CDL Licenses?

What are the risky realities of fraudulent CDL licenses? Are drivers with a suspended CDL committing fraud to get around their suspensions? When drivers obtain a CDL and operate a commercial motor vehicle without the proper training, required medical certifications, or experience, they place themselves and the general public at considerable risk of serious injury or death. It's unknown how many drivers with a suspended CDL commit fraud to continue driving. However, it is known that in the past decade, there have been numerous incidents that indicate a problem that grows as lack of oversight of truck driving schools and truck driver shortages makes drivers and their employers "bend the rules" to make a buck.

Types of Commercial Drivers License Fraud

Fraud related to testing is not unheard of. Indeed, it is likely more widespread than currently known. Just last August, two defendants in California were sentenced to 1 year in prison. The defendants, a DMV employee and a truck driver were convicted after the driver bribed the DMV employee to fraudulently amend the driver's records to show he'd passed the CDL test, when in fact, he'd never even taken the exam. In December 2019, the owner of the Calcutta Truck School in California was convicted of attempting similar schemes. From 2014 to 2017, he paid thousands in bribes to DMV employees to change scores of students who had not passed the state's CDL exam.

The submission of falsified documents is also a problem. This includes submitting falsified birth certificates that show drivers are above the legal age required to operate a commercial motor vehicle. In some cases, this may also involve immigrant drivers who are unfamiliar with American traffic laws and driving norms that can be vastly different from their native country. It is also likely to include drivers who have a suspended CDL and want to continue to work on a doctored license until their suspension expires.

Falsified documents can include the submission of fraudulent medical certificates. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires drivers to submit a Medical Examiner's Certificate if they are classified as Interstate Non-Excepted, Interstate Excepted, Intrastate Non-Excepted, and Intrastate Excepted. These records are supposed to confirm whether a driver has any physical impairments such as sleep apnea, heart conditions, respiratory conditions, etc. that could negatively impact their ability to operate a commercial motor vehicle safely.

Finally, cheating is an age-old concern that continues to impact truck driving schools. In one instance from 2004, the owner of TTT Truck Driver's School in Georgia inappropriately passed more than 600 drivers from the school's program. When the drivers were retested, less than 25% were able to pass the required CDL exam. Cheating can involve a wide range of actions, including providing students with test answers beforehand. This occured in New York in 2016 and resulted in the conviction of 11 defendants who provided such assistance to an unknown number of applicants. Cheating such as this often involves providing support and guidance during testing, or allowing students to change answers after the test has concluded.

Contact Brad Pistotnik Law at 1-800-241-BRAD or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400. Brad Pistotnik represents individuals who are injured in large motor vehicle accidents caused by drivers with a suspended CDL in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, and Texas. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can reach Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237.