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Can I Get a CDL with a Felony on my Record?

Is Truck Driving an Option with a Record?

Getting back on your feet with a felony conviction can be particularly hard. Understandably, not all employers will trust you. One question you might have is whether you can get a Commercial Driver’s License. Getting a CDL can be a great way to get reliable employment. If you had a CDL before, then you may or may not be able to get it reinstated. In most cases, you actually have a good chance of being able to get a CDL.

Here are exceptions:

  • If your driver’s license is currently suspended.
  • If your parole terms specifically forbid it.
  • If there is an active warrant out for your arrest.
  • If the felony involved the use or operation of a CMV. This may include crimes committed while “on the clock” as a truck driver. In some states, such as Texas, this is a lifetime ban. In others, you may have a waiting period and other requirements before you can get a CDL. If your conviction is for vehicular manslaughter or distribution of controlled substances or weapons, you will be banned at the federal level.
  • If you were guilty of certain serious crimes such as arson, kidnapping, or assault with intent to murder.

The age of the felony may also have an effect. Some schools (and employers) will only take you if the felony is at least 5, 10, or 15 years old. The type of felony is also a consideration. In fact, a misdemeanor traffic violation can be more of a problem than a conviction for theft. Don’t stretch the truth, as you may have worse long term problems if a school or employer finds out you lied to them.

However, these are legal requirements, which may vary from state to state. Different driving schools will also set their own standards and may refuse students. Because of this, contact CDS Tractor Trailer Training to learn more about our standards.