CDL Requirements: What Disqualifies You from Getting a CDL?

CDL Requirements: What Disqualifies You from Getting a CDL?
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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 and 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 still occurs 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!

CDL Suspensions and Reinstatements

In addition to knowing what disqualifies you from getting a CDL, it’s important to be aware of behaviors that may lead to the suspension of your CDL. Your CDL may be suspended due to your driving record, traffic violations, health changes or DUIs. You may need to complete a driver safety course, pay a reinstatement fee and/or avoid driving throughout the duration of your suspension in order to reinstate your CDL. 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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32 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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  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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  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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  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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  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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  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
    My A 1 C is 7.6

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

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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. Keep in mind that any past history of misbehavior or misconduct can and will be taken into consideration.

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