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Can I Get My CDL If I Have a Felony?

Want to know if you can still pursue a career in trucking?

The answer to this question will largely depend on where you live. Many states allow felons to obtain their CDL permit. However, it will depend largely on what the felony you committed included. The answer of what felonies will qualify versus disqualify you from getting your CDL will also vary by state.

Instances in Which You Will Not Be Able to Get Your CDL:

You will get prohibited from getting your CDL in instances where the felony you committed had to do with using the commercial vehicle; then you would either not be allowed to get your CDL at that time or have a waiting period before you can obtain it.

Instances in Which You Will Still Be Able to Get Your CDL:

If you have a felony that is not related to using a commercial vehicle to commit any part of the felony, you should generally not have an issue with getting your CDL, even if you have a felony on your record.

The Number of Felonies You Have Matters:

Someone who has one felony on their record is a lot more likely to get hired than someone who has repeated felons who have many crimes on their record.

Many Large Carriers Do Hire Convicted Felons:

Another step to finding a job as a convicted felon is to find a carrier that will hire you. There are quite a few large carriers who will hire someone who has a felony on their record and give them another chance to get back into the workforce.

Finally, Be Honest in Your Applications:

When you are filling out your personal information about your past, the best thing you can do with the company is that you can be completely honest. Don’t be drawn into embellishing the truth or making up “white lies” in any way, especially about a felony that is in your past. Being open and honest is not only the right thing to do, but it shows companies that you own up and take responsibility for what has happened in the past. Those are the types of employers want to hire.

Moreover, sometimes you might even find out that something like a traffic misdemeanor (or anything related to driving) ends up being more of an issue than a felony (especially one that was non-vehicle related).


It is very possible to get your CDL and obtain employment as a truck driver, even if you have a felony on your record. If you are in this position, but still want an opportunity at a truck driving career please feel free to contact us at DriveCo CDL Learning Center to enroll in classes and start working towards your CDL today.