§ 1603.  Definitions.

The following words and phrases when used in this chapter shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Commercial driver learner's permit."  A permit issued pursuant to section 1607(d) (relating to commercial driver's license qualification standards).

"Commercial driver's license" or "CDL."  A driver's license issued in accordance with the requirements of this chapter authorizing a person 18 years of age or older to drive a class of commercial motor vehicle.

"Commercial driver's license holder" or "CDL holder."  A person who has been issued a commercial driver's license or a commercial driver learner's permit.

"Commercial Driver's License Information System" or "CDLIS."  The information system established pursuant to the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-570, 49 U.S.C. app. § 2701 et seq.) to serve as a clearinghouse for locating information related to the licensing and identification of commercial motor vehicle drivers.

"Commercial motor vehicle."  A motor vehicle or combination designed or used to transport passengers or property:

(1)  if the vehicle has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of 26,001 or more pounds or such lesser rating as the department shall adopt under the provisions of section 6103(c) (relating to promulgation of rules and regulations by department), as determined by Federal regulation and published by the department as a notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin;

(1.1)  if the vehicle has a gross combination weight rating or gross combination weight of 26,001 pounds or more, whichever is greater, inclusive of a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of more than 10,000 pounds, whichever is greater;

(2)  if the vehicle is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver;

(3)  if the vehicle is a school bus; or

(4)  if the vehicle is transporting hazardous materials and is required to be placarded in accordance with department regulations.

The term does not include an antique or classic motor vehicle, or an implement of husbandry, or any motor home or recreational trailer operated solely for personal use, or motorized construction equipment, including, but not limited to, motorscrapers, backhoes, motorgraders, compactors, excavators, tractors, trenchers and bulldozers.

"Controlled substance."  Any substance so defined or classified under:

(1)  The act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64), known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act.

(2)  Section 102(6) of the Controlled Substance Act (Public Law 91-513, 21 U.S.C. § 802(6)).

(3)  Schedules I through V of 21 CFR Part 1308.

(4)  Any revisions to paragraphs (2) or (3) which are published by the Department of Transportation as notices in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

"Conviction."  For the purposes of this chapter, a conviction includes a finding of guilty or the entering of a plea of guilty, nolo contendere or the unvacated forfeiture of bail or collateral deposited to secure a person's appearance in court as determined by the law of the jurisdiction in which the prosecution was held. A payment of the fine or court cost or entering into an installment agreement to pay the fine or court cost for the violation by any person charged with a violation of this title is a plea of guilty. The term shall include the acceptance of Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition or other preadjudication disposition for an offense or an unvacated finding of guilt or determination of violation of the law or failure to comply with the law by an authorized administrative tribunal. The term also includes a violation of a condition of release without bail, including the failure to pay a fine or appear in court to contest a citation. The term does not include a conviction which has been overturned or for which an individual has been pardoned.

"Disqualification."  A prohibition against driving a commercial motor vehicle or a school vehicle.

"Employer."  Any person, including the United States, a state or a political subdivision of a state, who owns or leases a commercial motor vehicle or assigns a person to drive a commercial motor vehicle.

"Felony."  An offense under state or Federal law which is punishable by death or imprisonment exceeding one year.

"Foreign jurisdiction."  Any jurisdiction other than a state of the United States.

"Medical examiner."  An individual who is licensed, certified or registered, in accordance with applicable statutes and regulations, to perform physical examinations. The term includes a doctor of medicine, an osteopath, a physician assistant, an advanced practice nurse and a doctor of chiropractic.

"Noncommercial motor vehicle."  A motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles not defined by the term "commercial motor vehicle" in this section.

"Nonresident CDL."  A commercial driver's license issued by a state to an individual who resides in a foreign jurisdiction.

"Out-of-service order."  A temporary prohibition against driving a commercial motor vehicle as provided by departmental regulation.

"Serious traffic violation."

(1)  Excessive speeding as defined by the United States Secretary of Transportation by regulation and published by the department as a notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

(2)  Reckless driving.

(3)  Any offense under this title relating to motor vehicle traffic control arising in connection with an accident resulting in death to any person.

(4)  Any violation of section 1606(a) (relating to requirement for commercial driver's license), 1621(a) (relating to texting while driving), 1622(a) (relating to handheld mobile telephone), 3305 (relating to limitations on overtaking on left), 3306 (relating to limitations on driving on left side of roadway), 3307 (relating to no-passing zones), 3309(1), (2) or (4) (relating to driving on roadways laned for traffic), 3310 (relating to following too closely), 3326 (relating to duty of driver in construction and maintenance areas or on highway safety corridors) or 3365(c) (relating to special speed limitations).

(5)  Any other offenses defined by the United States Secretary of Transportation as serious traffic violations and published by the department as a notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

"State."  A state of the United States or the District of Columbia.

"Tank vehicle."  A commercial motor vehicle that is designed to transport liquid or gaseous materials within a tank or tanks having an individual rated capacity of more than 119 gallons and an aggregate rated capacity of 1,000 gallons or more that is either permanently or temporarily attached to the vehicle or the chassis. A commercial motor vehicle transporting an empty storage container tank not designed for transportation with a rated capacity of 1,000 gallons or more that is temporarily attached to a flatbed trailer is not considered a tank vehicle.

"United States."  The 50 states and the District of Columbia.


(Dec. 20, 1995, P.L.669, No.75, eff. 120 days; Dec. 23, 2002, P.L.1982, No.229, eff. 6 months; July 5, 2005, P.L.100, No.37; Dec. 18, 2007, P.L.436, No.67, eff. 60 days; Nov. 26, 2008, P.L.1658, No.133, eff. 60 days; Jan. 27, 2012, P.L.1, No.1, eff. imd.; June 30, 2014, P.L.814, No.85, eff. 60 days; Oct. 22, 2015, P.L.199, No.49, eff. 60 days)


2015 Amendment.  Act 49 amended the defs. of "commercial motor vehicle" and "tank vehicle."

2014 Amendment.  Act 85 amended par. (4) of the def. of "serious traffic violation."

2012 Amendment.  Act 1 added the def. of "medical examiner."

2008 Amendment.  Act 133 amended the def. of "conviction."

2007 Amendment.  Act 67 amended the def. of "serious traffic violation."

2005 Amendment.  Act 37 amended the defs. of "disqualification" and "serious traffic violation" and added the defs. of "commercial driver's license holder" or "CDL holder," "conviction," "noncommercial motor vehicle" and "tank vehicle." Section 10(2) of Act 37 provided that Act 37 shall take effect 90 days after publication of a notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The notice was published July 16, 2005, at 35 Pa.B. 4029.

Cross References.  Section 1603 is referred to in sections 102, 3342, 3716, 3802, 4905, 7803 of this title.