What felonies disqualify you from getting a CDL?


All states have their own laws, but in some instances, drivers with past felonies on their records can still get a CDL. Conditions that will absolutely prevent you from getting a CDL include: having a license that is currently suspended, a warrant out for your arrest, or parole terms that would prohibit you from performing your responsibilities as a driver.

It’s important to note that even if you get your license, your job options may be somewhat limited. Some companies will hire drivers with felony convictions, but not all. Those that do consider felons usually require that at least five years has passed since the conviction. Most companies will want to know the nature of the felony, the number of convictions you have, the amount of time that has passed since your conviction, and how much experience you have in the industry. A driver with more years of experience may have a greater possibility of being considered for a job than a newer, less experienced driver.

The types of felonies which typically will automatically prohibit you from being able to earn your CDL include:

  • Using a commercial vehicle in the commission of a felony
  • Manslaughter in the first or second degree with a motor vehicle
  • Misconduct with a motor vehicle
  • Causing a fatality through negligent/reckless vehicle operation
  • Operating a vehicle with a BAC of .08% or higher
  • Extortion
  • Bribery
  • Smuggling
  • Arson
  • Treason
  • Assault with intent to murder

Check with your state and/or your local DMV for additional laws and restrictions regarding felonies for commercial drivers.


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