CDL Requirements: What Disqualifies You from Getting a CDL?

CDL Requirements: What Disqualifies You from Getting a CDL?

If you’re considering becoming a truck driver, it’s important to be aware of what disqualifies you from getting a CDL. You must meet a variety of CDL requirements in order to receive the license. Find out if you’re qualified to receive your CDL and learn what it takes to prepare for the exam and avoid license suspension!

Obtaining Your CDL

In order to obtain your CDL you need to attend truck driving school for training. At the end of that process, you will take an exam. If you’re looking for CDL practice tests, start here!

Choose a Truck Driving School

Receiving quality CDL training is key to obtaining your license. Before jumping in blindly, research truck driving schools. Also, consider the factors that will affect your education such as the price, location, and quality of your driving school.

Prepare for the CDL Exam

In addition to undergoing CDL training, you’ll also have to spend some time studying for the exam independently. Complete practice tests, ask questions and do what it takes to feel fully prepared for the exam.

What Disqualifies You from Getting a CDL?

The Department of Transportation (DOT) and more specifically the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) set the standards for the trucking industry. Those standards determine what disqualifies you from getting a CDL. To receive your CDL, you must meet those standards and follow the regulations. In addition to these requirements, it’s important to note that employers have their own criteria for selecting individuals to fill their truck driving positions. Luckily, the industry trends are in your favor. With recent driving shortages, trucking companies are forced to be more flexible with their selection process so that open positions can be filled.

Physical and Medical Standards in the Trucking Industry

The government requires individuals to meet physical standards to ensure they can drive trucks safely. Excellent vision is a must. To receive your CDL, you must meet the vision and hearing requirements to ensure you’re fit to drive a truck according to the government’s regulations. Vision requirements include range and color. Other physical conditions, including epilepsy and narcolepsy, may also prevent you from receiving your CDL. Recent changes in law patterns have reduced restrictions against CDL applicants with sleep apnea and hearing impairments. This is great news to job candidates affected by these conditions and to employers who want to hire them. That being said, discrimination against individuals in these categories may still occur throughout the hiring process.

what disqualifies you from getting a CDL

Clean Criminal Record

If you’ve been involved in certain types of criminal activity, you may not be eligible for a CDL. If your license is suspended for driving violations or other criminal activity, you will not be able to receive your CDL. Even if your criminal history doesn’t prevent you from obtaining your CDL, you may still have trouble getting hired by trucking companies.

Age Requirements

You can receive your CDL at the age of 18, but you will not be able to cross state lines until the age of 21.

Learn more about what disqualifies you from getting your CDL – Listen here!

And watch our video!

CDL Suspensions and Reinstatements

In addition to knowing what disqualifies you from getting a CDL, learn about suspensions and reinstatements. Be aware of behaviors that may lead to the suspension of your CDL. Reasons for suspension include your driving record, traffic violations, health changes, or DUIs. So, how do you reinstate your CDL? You may need to complete a driver safety course, pay a reinstatement fee, and/or avoid driving throughout the duration of your suspension. Severe driving regulations may result in a permanent suspension of your CDL. CDL suspensions and reinstatements vary by state, so be sure to check out the regulations that may affect you.

Ready to take the next steps to receive your CDL? Search through our truck driving schools and find the best fit for you and your truck driving ambitions.

Already have your CDL? Find trucking jobs here!

Author: Hit The Road Jack

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98 Comments

  1. Am I, as a convicted felon, where the felony conviction is more than 7 years old able to obtain a commercial drivers licence.

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      • I am a single parent trying to get MY CDL back so I can take care of MY daughter I have not received any speeding tickets or another violation I need to get my CDL license back so I can take care of MY daughter can someone help me please 🙏 it’s been over twenty years I I am correct be can someone please help me please 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏 because I made mistakes 😭😭😭😭😭💔 I am sorry about that but I really need help GOD BLESS YOU if someone can help me out

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        • Ok thinking about getting my CDL and just remembered I had a DUI in 1995 and also one in 2014 both in South Carolina is it possible to still get them

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          • My license is currently expired. Will I need to renew my regular state license to be able yo obtain a CDL Class C license? Also, I know someone who just studied for the CDL Class C test and then went to the DMV, took the test & passed & now has his CDL Class C license. Would I only be required to go to trucking school to get a CDL Class A license? Must I go to school to get a CDL Class C license? Thanks

    • My LINCENSE were suspended for driving without Insurance, 5/6 yrs ago, Can I still get my CDL

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      • You need an active driver’s license to obtain your CDL.

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        • I got failure to stop at stop light 3 years ago. I did hit someone , court is over and it’s not on my record, but I’m sure it will show up in my driving history. Will this stop me from getting CDL?

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          • I hope not Harold. How do you forget you have TWO dui’s??

      • If my dl is suspended in oregon can I get a cdl in arizona ?I have my regular dl in good standing in arizona.

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        • Hi, typically if you have a suspended license in one state you must get that license reinstated before you get a new driver’s license in another state. However, if you speak directly with the trucking company or DMV, they may be able to advise you about getting the new license.

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    • Is there anyway I can get my CDL even though my license got suspended this year for not having insurance?

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      • Hi, you will not be able to receive your CDL if your license is suspended. License reinstatement requirements vary by state. Check out this link to see what you need to do before you can go for your CDL: https://www.dmv.org/suspended-license.php

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  2. Can I obtain a cdl if I had tickets for driving with. A suspended license? My license is already out of the suspension now

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    • Can I get cdl if I had suspended license

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      • You need an active license to get your CDL.

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    • I have 3 accidents on my driving record one in 2017 and two in 2019. Will that prevent me from getting my cdl

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      • Hi, We work with trucking companies across the nation that hire drivers with different backgrounds, so it really depends on their requirements. f you are interested, you can create a profile here to view a list of companies that you qualify for based on your driving experience. https://www.alltruckjobs.com/apply

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  3. Hello I have 3 points on my license, (2) points were given to my about 9 months ago for exceeding 100pmh, I got one yesterday for 25 over the limit, do I still qualify to get CLD CLASS A In CALIFRNIA? I

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  4. In 2012 I was in severe depression and made a stupid mistake by committing retail theft. Can I still qualify?

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  5. I have a few deiving violations, 3 of which will be 3 years old in a few weeks. But i got 2 driving violations about 2 weeks ago and just recently got in a car accident. Will any of that keep me from getting hired on to a trucking company. I have a clp just not the license

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      • This will really depend on what the points are for and how long ago you got them. You should definitely talk to someone at a CDL school to see what your chances of being able to become a truck driver are!

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      • Can I get a CDL in mass with larceny of a motor vehicle over 15 years ago

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        • As long as you have a valid driver’s license now you should be able to get your CDL. Charges from that long ago may or may not still affect your driving record. I’d ask someone at a trucking school just to be on the safe side.

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          • I have a cdl license and I’ve worked for a company for 22 years I went onto the shoulder to avoid hitting a 4 wheeler and went back into the road behind the 4 wheeler and I was told I would never be able to drive for my company again. What can I do to fix this?

          • After 22 years, it’s a shame your company is giving you so much push back! You can consider seeking legal council to see if you can fight their decision. Or, if you decide you don’t want to work for them anymore, you can check out the companies that we work with: https://www.alltruckjobs.com/trucking-companies

  6. I’m about to be 19 and I got in trouble for obtaining alcohol under age and then got a reckless driving ticket. Would I still be able to get my CDL to become a linesman worker?

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    • I’m 19 and only have a misdemeanor b for marijuana can I still get a cdl

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      • Hi, you may not be eligible for a CDL. Even if your criminal history doesn’t prevent you from obtaining your CDL, you may still have trouble getting hired by trucking companies. You’ll have better luck if the felony/misdemeanor is over five years old. If this is the case, apply and speak with a recruiter about the details, and there is a chance you may be hired.

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  7. If a person refused a blood achocol test while driving with a state drivers license; can they still qualify for a cdl

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  8. I have lost my sight in my left eye can I get a cdl

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  9. I have a petty theft on my record that is about 1 or 2 years old and a couple assaults could I still get my cdls

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    • [email protected]
      Im a cdl holder and got a dui in dec 2020 and refused breathalyzer test so i got suspended for 1yr so i was wondering if ill be able to get my cdl back once im reinstated and be able to ever truck again or is my otr career over now?

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  10. I have a non violent felony over 4 years old . Wanton endangerment 1st offense 1st degree, am I able to obtain a cdl

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  11. I have type 2 diabetes and take insulin shots ,can i get a CDL

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  12. I have two convictions for misdemeanor DUI, one in 2007 II in 2011 I have had my driver’s license back for about a year-and-a-half will this prevent me from getting a job or getting my CDL

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    • This could make it difficult. We recommend asking this question to the CDL school you’re interested in attending and seeing what they say.

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  13. Do s.i.s. rulings show up on back round reports? How can I find out if I will be approved to obtain a cdl?

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  14. So, I was young and stupid and have several items on my driving record. I got a speeding ticket in 2014, then another one in 2015, and didn’t pay them. I finally figured out my license was suspended, when I got pulled over again for speeding in November 2016. That last ticket was a two-fer, speeding and driving on a suspended license. I paid my tickets off, and got my license re-instated, and I haven’t had any tickets since then. How long do I need to wait until I can get my CDL and be hired at a decent company?

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    • We would suggest talking to your local CDL school about this, as well as some companies you are interested in working for. Each company is different. You’ll most likely be able to get your CDL, but you could have trouble finding employment right away with that on your record so recently. It’s best to be upfront about it, and do some research before you go through the effort of getting your CDL. Good luck!

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  15. My licenses was suspended for not having insurance. Would I still be able to get a cdl when my license is Unsuspended in January ?

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    • You should be able to get your CDL. However, with that suspension on your license history, some trucking companies may hesitate to hire you. That’s something you should definitely chat to a CDL school about, as well as any trucking companies you’re interested in driving for.

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  16. I got a ticket a month ago for going 15mph over the speed limit I got denied to go to school to obtain my cdl what do i do to fix this my first ticket

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    • We recommend asking someone at the school what you should do. You might have to wait a bit, unfortunately 🙁 Good luck!

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    • I would talk to the school about what you should do. You may have to wait a bit, unfortunately. Good luck!

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  17. Can I attend cdl school with suspended license?

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    • You will have to ask the school. Not having your license could prevent you from participating in some of the training involved, and you cannot have a CDL without an active driver’s license.

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  18. Im retired army age 60 i have 70% disability from the VA, Carpal tunnel in both hands, Sleep apnea arthritis in both knees, 25% PD in left shoulder and 20% PD in right shoulder. I had my class a license awarded to me in 2013 with TX endorsements. Im still on workmans comp but just received the 20% for right shoulder. No accidents or tickets in the last 10 years could I still be reinstated to get my class a license?

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    • You will definitely have to check with the Department of Transportation in your state to see if they will reinstate your license.

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  19. Keep in mind that any past history of misbehavior or misconduct can and will be taken into consideration.

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  20. I have 4 points on my driving record could i still go to a CDL school

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    • As long as you still have your license, you should be able to attend CDL school. However, you may not be able to get your CDL right away. This is a question you should ask the specific school that you are interested in attending. Good luck!

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  21. I have a neuromuscular disability with weaker muscles throughout body as well as arthritis and obstructive sleep apnea. I do not have any difficulty with alertness. I operate a passenger vehicle without problems or any assistive devices. However, I would need to use a lift to get into and out of any truck. Not in a wheelchair but definitely should be at some point, though I do walk around the home with crutches and can get up/down about 40 stairs, if the railings are good.

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  22. I have a turn when unsafe violation, just under a year old. Will I be able to get a CDL and get hired?

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    • You should direct this question to the CDL school and/or the company you want to drive for to double check this rule in your state! As long as you have a driver’s license you should be able to obtain your CDL.

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  23. If i’ve had a seizure, can i still get my cdl? I’ve never taken medication for seizures, or had one since.

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    • You can get your CDL as long as you have an active driver’s license and pass the physical!

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      • So I may have to file for sr22 for no insurance in my personal vehicle what effects am i looking at with my license and my job that requires my to drive a commerical vehicle..

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        • That’s a tough question! Since it doesn’t affect the standing of your driver’s license, it shouldn’t matter. However, you may want to double-check with someone in your company.

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  24. so I have 2 points taken from my class c, will that affect my cdl points ?

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    • I am not sure. You should check with the FMCSA.

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  25. Can you go to a trucking school just getting off probation and a misdemeanor conviction

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    • That would be up to the school. You would want to reach out to them to find out their policy as well as how those convictions might affect your ability to obtain a CDL once you complete school. Good luck!

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  26. I’ve had a few speeding tickets and a couple of accidents in the last couple of years. I forgot to pay a speeding ticket and my license was suspended but I didn’t know it. I’m fixing it now. Will that prevent me from getting a CDL?

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    • You’ll need to have an active license in order to get your CDL.

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  27. As a Newbie, I am permanently browsing online for articles that can benefit me. Thank you

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  28. My licence was recently suspended but is now current. Will I be disqualified from obtaining my CDL? If so how long will I need to wait to obtain my CDL?

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    • If you have an active driver’s license, you should be able to get your CDL. Your driving record can affect this, but I would ask someone from a trucking school about it before moving forward.

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  29. I let go of my cal last year. Do I have to go back to school to reesrablish

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  30. I have a cell phone ticket on my class c that should drop off my record in august 2021. I also have an at fault accident from january 2019 (I was riding a motorcycle and a car switched lanes into my lane without signaling). I slammed into the car. Police report says it was my fault. Witnesses said it wasn’t my fault, but witness statements weren’t obtained by the police officer. since then I had surgery on my knee for a torn mcl and received a settlement from the driver’s insurance company. could I still get a cdl?

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    • Hi, thanks for reaching out! Every trucking carrier has their own requirements/qualifications, so to steer you in the right direction we’d recommend that you reach out to carriers that indicate they will train (found on our carrier list – column for ‘training available’) to check with them on specifics. Here’s the link: https://www.alltruckjobs.com/trucking-companies

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  31. Great info to put out there. It’s important to note that truckers are very important to our society and it’s vital that they be in good health! Keeping up to date on your medicals should not be overlooked.

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  32. My niece used her grandfather’s SSN and DOB and baby’s SSN and DOB to obtain loans from a payday loan place online. She did not repay the loans and they went to collections. The collection agency called her grandfather to collect. In order for the debt to be deleted from her grandfather, he had to file a police report. What is the possibility of my niece being charged with identity theft and or fraud? What would the possible sentence be?

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  33. I have had 2 DUI convictions. I know that after 11 years they are removed from my transcripts. I want to know once I have my regular license and it’s been the 11 years and I get my CDL will a company hire me and be able to insure me? Also will they be able to see the DUIs from my past?

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  34. I had a DUI and license suspension 12 years ago and haven’t even had ticket since. quit drinking about 7 years ago and I have had continuous insurance coverage and license since. I did hit a ditch when I got the DUI as my Tyrol end broke . I’m currently single, all of my kids are adults and I have grandkids. Would my previous infractions keep me from qualifying ?

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  35. I have 2 points on my driving record… would I still be able to get my CDL

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  36. I had an accident last year on Dec. 6th, 2019. I was cited for turning when unsafe which resulted in an accident. Will this prohibit my from getting my CDL? My background is clean and I have no criminal history. I have no dwis, no license suspensions or revocations.

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  37. I’m going to be turning 21 in a few months and was wondering is it possible to get my cdl with quite a few points on my lives and suspensions for late payments on tickets? I’ve only gotten speeding tickets nothing more than that. It would just be nice to know if I should even attempt to ge my cdl or if it would just be a waste of time

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  38. 2 questions actually!:
    A. I have an active DL in California, but I have a traffic ticket in collections from almost 3 years ago. I also have 2 other traffic tickets that got issued weeks ago, and I am fighting to get them dismissed. If they are not dismissed, what are my chances of getting a CDL? P.S. I plan on applying for CDL after the first ticket in collections has passed the 3 years ago mark.
    B. I wear glasses. I was also diagnosed with Bipolar disorder years ago. Do either of these disqualify me?

    THANK YOU

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  39. Hello I drove trucks for over 30 years back in 2003 I got in trouble got in with the wrong people. Got drug charges. I would if I was able to get my Celsius back . Didn’t have them I let them exciter. Brfore I got into trouble. I’ve been off paper since 2012 .thank you very much Clarence Carl Taylor

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  40. can I get my cdl with unlawful speed over 15?

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  41. Hello, in 2014 I received a General Under Honorable discharge from the US army for Misconduct (Drug Abuse- Marijuana) and i recently reached out to a trucking school who declined me specifically for that reason. I was told I would have a hard time finding a trucking company to hire with that on my record, but this was 8 years ago. How can something like this be held against me?

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    • I would personally try another school. Also, I wouldn’t volunteer any information. I mean sometimes volunteering too much information is what holds us back. Dude it was a Marijuana charge from over 10 years ago. I honestly think you should just try more schools. Also, you should have told that school let me pay too go to school & take that chance of if i am hired or not?
      This is what is wrong with America. We condemn people. America isn’t willing to help people out who have made mistakes. Or caught making mistakes bc let’s be damn honest here. NO ONE HUMAN BEING IS PERFECT, ONLY GOD IS PERFECT!! Jesus even made some mistakes. Anyhow, we need to fight for our second, third, fourth chance. I mean if America keeps pushing people down that are damn trying then they are asking for people to break the law too survive. It sucks but something really needs to be done about this problem in America!! I wish all of you whom are really trying too become employed All the Best. May god help all of you!!! He will help you when all else fails. He knows each of our hearts. Keep your heads up.!!!

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  42. CAN I GET MY CDL WITH PENDING CHARGES?

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  43. I keep coming back to your blog! Very informative and well-written. Thank you for sharing.

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  44. Hi i would like to know i had a dui in 2008 in north dakota would this affect me getting a cdl in minnesota after so many years? I have not had any other convictions since 2008 and only had the 1 dui that was completely stupid of me.

    The reason im asking is i had a cdl in south dakota since 2012 to 2014 with no problems what so ever! so i just want to know if there would be a problem in minnesota if somebody would be able to give me a clear answer to this

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  45. I just got my license back from a suspension. I have a few mistamenders on my record. Would I be eligible to get my cdl?

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  46. Will an arson charge from back in 2000 keep me from getting cdl?

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  47. This is a GREAT QUESTION!! I read a blog here on Google. That someone addressed that very thing. Bc back in the day when the DOT really began cracking down on who could or couldn’t receive a CDL, this was one of the who COULDN’T on their list. Now since then things have changed. According to this person it depends on why, what, & when?? Why you take them? When you were prescribed this medication, When you must take them, also. Some companies will agree too your being on them & hire you but will ask if you can refrain from taking while driving. What the specific pain med medication that you are taking? All of these questions plus a few more will play a HUGE role as too if you could even get thru the first steps of starting out. First everyone has too be approved thru the DOT b4 even being accepted or signing up & going thru a trucking school program.. I hope this helps

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  48. i got caught driving on suspended license twice but i have taken the classes that i needed to obtain my permit i was wondering if i could get my cdl

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  49. Am I able to get my CDL license if I take medication for depression?

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