CDL Jobs for Felons | Learn the Basics
CDL Jobs for Felons | Learn the Basics -

CDL Jobs for Felons | Learn the Basics

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For those recently released from prison, trucking and other CDL jobs have long been a go-to profession. As long as sufficient time has passed since one’s conviction, people with felonies can have good luck when getting into the trucking business. Although it’s definitely harder to get CDL jobs for felons, it is certainly possible to make a living in transportation following a prison sentence. Nonetheless, we’ll explore some of the key considerations felons need to think about when seeking driving jobs.

The Specifics of Convictions

First off, there are certain convictions that make it hard to land CDL jobs for felons. In many cases, it depends on how long ago the conviction occurred and the nature of the crime. Obviously, some felonies are more serious than others. Most notably, felonies related to vehicles and things like drug trafficking are often the most difficult to overcome when applying for jobs.

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As far as crimes that will automatically disqualify you from gaining access to trucking jobs, make note of the following:

• Felony convictions involving commercial vehicles

• Interstate drug trafficking

• Homicide by vehicle

• Reckless driving

• Two DUI convictions WHILE holding a CDL

• Grand theft auto (Penal Code § 487(d)(1) and (Vehicle Code § 10851)

As mentioned, the main determining factors that weigh into one’s ability to find CDL jobs are:

The Company’s Policy

• The number of felony convictions

• The type of felony

• How much time has passed since your sentence was fulfilled

Receiving or Renewing Your CDL

If you have fulfilled a prison sentence, the first step before seeking a trucking job is to renew your CDL.

Considering that the job application process can be more difficult for felons, a good route to take is finding truck driving jobs with training. This allows individuals to receive the most up-to-date training and often guarantees employment at the company sponsoring the course.

Otherwise, your goal should be to find training on your own in order to apply for jobs following your graduation. In both cases, people with felonies need to consider the length of time that certain states review during background checks because this will affect your acceptance into a training program.

States that do not allow any felony conviction information older than seven years to be reported include:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Kansas
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • Texas
  • Washington

Additionally, States that do not report court cases you were found NOT guilty include:

  • Hawaii
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Alaska
  • California
  • New York
  • Michigan

And the following will report unlimited numbers of years back of felony convictions while also reporting NOT guilty verdicts:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Applying to CDL Jobs for Felons

If you haven’t completed a training course sponsored by a trucking company, the next step is applying for the job you want. Again, background checks are a necessary part of this process regardless of someone’s known criminal record. This mainly consists of your Pre Employment Screening (PSP) which covers criminal, employment, address, and driving record investigations.

Generally speaking, the main aspects that many trucking companies look for their applicants include:

  • A relatively steady history of employment (no major gaps between jobs without explanation)
  • A recent or up-to-date CDL license or ability to be trained
  • Previous professional driving experience
  • Clean driving record and solid work ethic

Ultimately, when applying for CDL jobs for felons it’s important to be upfront about convictions if asked. Although companies probably already know about your criminal record, your ability to reconcile the past and show them that you’re ready to work safely and efficiently is the goal.

Overall, try not to get discouraged as you go about your job search. Many companies have very strict policies, although by putting in the hard work to get your CDL and helping employers understand your situation, felons can find trucking jobs. Do you have experience with CDL jobs for felons? Let us know in the comments below!

Author: Hit The Road Jack

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  1. I do not I’ve graduated cdl school may 22 this year and its been difficult for me finding a job its very frustrating. Today was a very frustrating day for me I literally woke up 10a.m this morning and did alot of research and called companies only to be turned down and hear not hiring in my area which is broward county fl 33060. But I will continue tommorow thank you

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  2. I recently got out of prison and am about 2 weeks away from obtaining my Washington Drivers License again. However, I still have tickets holding my Oregon license. The tickets are so old that it is past the statute of limitations in Washington for them to hold my license. My question is, if I was to get a CDL in Washington, would I not be able to drive through Oregon?

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  3. What if I never obtained a license but now I obtain one now would it effect me for not having a driver history

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  4. I have a felony Possession convection 10 years ago would i be able to get My CDL in the state of Maryland and would it be hard to find a job

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  5. Hi, I am 44 years old,female, a daughter that’s 13, felony charges older than 10 years that were for felony shop lifting, anojt 4 speeding tickets within the last two years none over 15 mph of the speed limit but maybe one that is 15 mph over the speed limit and I haven’t worked since nov 2019 because it literally cost more to work and get a person to take and pick my child up from school and care for her than it does to stay at home and care for her myself! Would I still be able to obtain a cdl in the state of Ms! I have read some of the disqualifications but none are straight forward for the state of me! I don’t want to waist my time if it isn’t obtainable in the end ! Can anyone give me clarification??

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