What Felonies Disqualify You From Getting A CDL?

You may wonder what felonies disqualify you from getting a CDL? Things like location, degree of the felony, and number of felonies are all important factors to consider. If you have a conviction, there are still opportunities for CDL work. However, your options may be limited. Keep reading to find out all you need to know about being a felon and having a CDL.


Can a felon get a CDL?


A felon cannot receive a CDL if… 

If the felon has convicted any misconduct with a vehicle, caused a fatality from their reckless driving, conducted manslaughter with motor vehicle (up to first and second degrees), drove while intoxicated, intent to murder, and more. A perfect driving record is not required to have a CDL. However, it is important that you are responsible and trustworthy because it is a regulated industry. 


A felon can receive a CDL if… 

If a felon’s conviction does not involve a commercial vehicle there is potential for them to be hired. If they wish to work for a specific trucking company, it is important to look into their CDL requirements. 


Some companies will hire a felon, there are just a few guidelines. For example, if you were a convicted felon more than three years ago and have experience in the trucking industry, you will most likely be hired over someone with little to no experience. You also have a higher chance of being considered when you’ve had a Class A drivers license at some point in your career. 


Other things to consider

The trucking company is not the only one with limitations towards felons having CDL’s. The federal government has established some regulations pertaining to CDL’s and employment. If a commercial driver receives two serious violations in three years, they will have a 60-day suspension of their CDL. If a driver has three violations in three years, their CDL will be suspended for a minimum of 120 days. Lastly, always check with the state you wish to be hired in for additional restrictions and laws concerning felon’s CDL’s. 


The Next Step

If you are a felon seeking work in the industry, it is important to be prepared for the hiring process. Most companies will have you apply online. Once you submit your basic application, the company will reach out with further questions and information needed from you. Next, you will need to provide your social security card, driver’s license number and history, and historic traffic violations and convictions. The company is required by law to do a background check in addition to the other steps. Keep in mind that if you purposefully leave anything out on your application, the company will find out. If so, they will not move forward with your application. 



There are various opportunities for felons to become truck drivers and material handlers. If you choose to move forward with the application process, show your ability to pursue the highest quality, act with honesty, and treat everyone with respect. Having ownership of your past and demonstrating your hard work will allow the company to see you are responsible and serious about future opportunities. 


There are transportation and logistics companies that care about their employees and want them to succeed. If you are a felon seeking employment in the trucking industry, apply at Matheson today. Matheson has a wide variety of opportunities and over 1300 employees. The company has also received numerous awards for being the gold standard of highway contractor route providers. Put your skills and dedication to use at one of the leading companies in the industry!