The Complete Guide To A Career In Trucking

Will things in my past prevent me from becoming a truck driver?

Picture of a criminal background form

Truck drivers face great scrutiny in the industry, both from the government and trucking schools and companies. Background checks are standard procedure any time you apply for a truck driving job, or any job, for that matter. Additionally, the FMCSA has spelled out certain disqualifying offenses that could prevent you from driving. Your criminal history, motor vehicle record (MVR), and employment history will all be under review. Constantly.

Without question, drivers with a troubled past will face more obstacles when trying to land a job, but with a bit more patience and effort, most should be able to find a company willing to give them a chance to break in to the industry.

Drivers with criminal records, especially felonies, and/or DUI-DWI convictions, will usually be faced with waiting a specific period of time since the conviction before companies will hire them on. Company policies vary wildly on this, but we've got you covered.

What kinds of things will show up on my background check?

Generally, everything in your past. Criminal history, convictions, driving record, and employment histories will all be considered.

It is important that drivers include all information requested on applications. If a potential employer finds discrepancies, or things left out, whether intentional or not, they will typically reject the applicant.

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

Generally, no, you don't need a perfect record. But it certainly helps to get the job. Most companies will have a policy regarding tickets and driving record. They generally don't want to see any more than 2 moving violations in the last 3 years.

What will companies look for in my employment history?

Mostly, trucking companies will want to see stability and a stable work history. Most will have a specific time frame in which they don't want to see gaps in employment over a certain length of time, or a large number of jobs held.

Any gaps in employment will normally have to be explained in some way or another.

Can I still become a truck driver if I have a DUI or DWI (or two)?

Yes, but it will require waiting for a certain period after conviction, and/or jumping through legal hoops, depending on the nature of the offense and whether it was in a CMV.

Most companies will either have a specific policy on how far in the past the offense must be, and some will review every case on its own. A few will not hire drivers with DUI/DWI at all.

Will any trucking company hire me if I have a felony conviction in my past?

Generally, the same rules can be applied to getting hire as an ex-felon as you would find as a driver trying to get hired with a DUI. Companies will normally require a wait period, and/or examine each case.

Will the trucking companies or schools check my credit history and report?

Every company will have different policies, and states have various laws, but generally, unless your credit history includes financial crimes, etc., the companies accept that drivers are human and may have had financial problems that they are trying to climb out of.

If you are trying to get a loan of some sort to attend private trucking school, or cover expenses, then yes, your credit history and record would probably be a factor.

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