Can Ex-Felons Become Truck Drivers?

Estimated reading time: 3 mins

Can ex-felons be truck drivers? The answer is yes if they get a commercial driving license and choose the right company. Some felonies can prevent you from getting a CDL, which is necessary for becoming a truck driver.

Also, it depends on the trucking company you want to work for. Some might not want to hire drivers with a criminal record and prefer the ones who don’t. However, experience and skills are more important for many companies. However, there are a few limitations for ex-felons that can prevent them from getting into the industry. This article explains more about this topic, so make sure to go through it!

Can ex-felons get a CDL?

Many companies hire CDL drivers with experience and professional recommendations. As an ex-felon, you can land a job in the trucking industry if you are eligible for a CDL. If your felonies were related to handling vehicles, you aren’t eligible for a CDL.

On a federal level, vehicle-related crimes can prevent you from getting a CDL. This includes fatal accidents as a result of reckless driving, misconduct with a motor vehicle, manslaughter in the first or second degree, and accidents with commercial vehicles. 

There is a group of felonies that aren’t related to handling vehicles but still disqualify individuals from getting a CDL. These include kidnapping, extortion, bribery, arson, treason, and assault with intent to murder. 

In addition, remember that this is regulated within each state. For example, you can’t get a CDL for hit-and-run vehicle accidents. Ex-felons can get a CDL if they meet the requirements on the federal and state levels.

Can you get a CDL for traffic violations?

Ex-felons can get a CDL if their felonies don’t prevent them according to the law. But what happens with traffic violations such as speeding, passing at a red light, or not using a seatbelt? This is regulated within each state, so check with your local laws to find out more. 

In most cases, one traffic violation will not prevent you from getting a license. However, a few might disqualify you. The laws are meant to enhance safety and protect truck drivers, pedestrians, and other drivers. That’s why they require potential drivers to have clean driving records. But again, you need to check the local laws since this issue is regulated at the state level.


DUI stands for driving under the influence. It is considered a serious offense since it puts the driver and others on the road in danger. The federal laws state that individuals will wait for one year before obtaining their CDL if they are guilty of DUI. 

But what is the real situation with trucking companies? In reality, only one DUI won’t prohibit you from getting a license and being hired by logistics companies. But keep in mind that each company has its own rules. In most cases, they would prefer that the DUI be more than five years old. Make sure to check in with the hiring rules of the particular company you want to apply for. Also, check the local laws regarding this matter. 

Final thoughts

Finding a job can be difficult for ex-felons because their job opportunities are limited. Under the right circumstances, however, ex-felons can get a stable job in the trucking industry. This career offers a good salary, benefits, flexible working hours, and traveling. 

This article shared the rules at the federal level for this matter so you can have a clear idea of what to expect. Some felonies instantly disqualify you, so you won’t be able to get a CDL. However, you should still review the local laws that apply to your state.

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