Can Felons get a CDL License?

  • Can Felons get a CDL License?

    Can Felons get a CDL License?

    If you have a not so perfect past and are thinking about becoming a truck driver, you don’t have to worry about immediately getting turned away. Not all felonies will disqualify you from being able to get your CDL and become a truck driver, or being able to support your family, change your life, and start over. It’s not uncommon for trucking school students to be looking for a fresh start and training to get their commercial driver’s license is one way to do that. Read on below to find out more about reaching your goal.


    Do I need to have a perfect driving record to become a truck driver?

    No, you do not need to have a spotless driving record to become a truck driver. Minor infractions like an overdue parking ticket, or being the responsible party in a fender bender accident should not stop you from looking into training for you CDL license. Keep in mind that time does change things—for the better. If your parking tickets are paid and you have nothing outstanding against your license, then don’t think twice. Same goes for any misdemeanors that were taken care of and are safely in your past. Especially if they were five or more years ago.


    If you do have a felony or more serious criminal conviction on your license, depending on the severity, you may be prohibited from holding a CDL. First things first. Clean up any outstanding issues you might have on your record. Even if that overdue parking ticket or small driving infraction sounds minor, clean it up. If you do have a felony conviction that has your license on hold, then you will not be able to begin training for your CDL until you have had your license reissued. Serious traffic offenses may prevent you from getting your CDL so it’s important to discuss any incidents with a NETTTS representative. And be honest because the truth will eventually come out. Nobody is there to judge you and you are probably not the first person to have a situation like this in your life. If you are concerned, you’ll have the chance to meet and sit with a Career Services Advisor, before even signing up for school, to talk about whether or not something may prevent you from finding employment as a CDL driver.


    Attitude on Drug/Alcohol Conviction

    A driving offense where your license has been revoked and currently still is will require you to wait until it has been reinstated to begin training. The first part of training means getting your CDL permit and you must have a valid license to do that. If you have been convicted of an OUI, time matters. One that occurred 18 months ago is looked at very differently than one from ten years ago. That should not stop you from finding out more and speaking to someone from the Admissions team.


    Do trucking companies do background checks?

    Yes, most trucking companies will perform a background check or background screening in order to gain a clear picture of your past.


    Background checks are standard procedure in the trucking industry. Just because you may have been convicted of a crime, it does not mean you cannot pursue your dream. Training for a CDL can be something for people from all walks of life so it’s best to find out about whether your specific situation sets up any limits on what you can do.


    Being Honest About Your Past

    Remember that we are all human, we all make mistakes. All we can do is learn from our mistakes and move on. It is important that moving forward you are upfront and honest. There are other truckers who had a not-so-perfect past, so you are not alone. Being honest about the situation, sitting down and confidentially explaining the details may really help the situation be sorted out.


    Obstacles and Hurdles in Trucking

    Trucking is regulated and driver safety is key. Drivers with a troubled past have to jump through more hoops than those with clean records. However, many times enough time has passed or the charges are no longer relevant or on your record causing you hurdles to jump. The point is, you never know until you ask so don’t count yourself out.


    At NETTTS, we can sit and confidentially discuss anything on your record that concerns you.. We understand everyone has a past and we want to help you get a second chance at success. Our Admissions and Career Services teams will meet with you to get to know you and to clarify your eligibility.


    NETTTS offers Class A and B CDL Training Programs as well as HVACR Training. There are four schools in and around the following states: Pawtucket, RI, North Andover, MA, Bridgeport, CT, and Hartford/Springfield MA. At NETTS we offer CDL License training and HVAC training so you can begin a new chapter in your life, no matter your past. Take a few minutes and change your future by finding out more online today or call us at (800) 542-0009 to speak to someone in your area!

    Sarah Packer

    Sarah Packer

    NETTTS Director of Career Services, Sarah Packer brings over 15 years’ recruiting and employment experience. Sarah’s previous experience includes serving as a Recruiter for a Health Care company and managing a Human Resources and recruiting team. Sarah is very passionate about assisting our students obtain employment after graduation. Sarah has assisted over 1,000 students obtain employment since she started here at NETTTS.

    Comments (8)

    • Peter Lewallen

      I am interested in the truck driving as a career. I have some felony convictions in my past. Do you have someone I can talk with regarding some of these issues?

      • Justin Wasserback

        Yes, I will send you an email so we can connect about this further. Thanks for reaching out, Peter.

    • T J Oneal lll

      I am interested in earning my CDL and I have felonies on my record. Do you have someone I can talk with regarding my issues and how I can over come them by earning my CDL.

    • Hoang Pham

      I’m interested in earning my CDL and I have felonies on my record about 35 years ago, my question is how and who to talk to of my issues and how I can earning my CDL . Thank you

    • mo
      • mo
      • November 20, 2020 at 11:24 am

      hey so i have a misdemeanor in 2018 and i was wondering if i can get my cdl and work for companies

      • Justin Wasserback

        Hello, we appreciate the comment and would invite you to contact us and discuss your specific situation with one of our Career Services advisors. There are a lot of factors that go into this and they will be able to help you get more information about your circumstance and what that means if you were to have your CDL. The phone number is 800-333-2888 for your local NETTTS campus – thanks! You can also reach us via email at


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