Explaining My Situation To Companies.

Topic 2847 | Page 1

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Matthew D.'s Comment
member avatar

I had my license(CDL) suspended for 2 unpaid citations 14 years ago, and thought I had lost my license. When I renewed my state I.D. I was told that my license was still valid, just under indefinite suspension until they were paid. The citations weren't anything too serious, one for parking on an on ramp and another for speeding. My question is, since they were so long ago, how would I explain these to any potential employers? They were so long ago I know they wouldn't prevent me from driving, and I'm not even sure that they would even show up on my record. But honesty being the only policy, I need to explain why I hadn't drove OTR in 14 years. I just paid off the citations, and am working on getting the license reinstated and renewed. I plan on looking into a company sponsored school, or at the least a company willing to offer a refresher, so I have that end of things covered, but again, not sure how to explain the license and citations. Any advice is appreciated, thanks!

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Matthew, are they going to re-instate your license as a CDL? If so, then after you get it re-instated and you've received the hard copy of it I would order a certified copy of your driving record and see what shows up on that. The reason I say this is because some states show your citations based on the date you resolved (or paid) them and not necessarily on the date you received them. Also, just about any truck driving application is going to ask you if you've ever had a license suspension. You will have to say yes and explain why on the application - just be honest and tell them It was due to unpaid fines fourteen years ago. It sounds like you want to be upfront concerning all this, but just remember you only need to give them the information they ask for. Many times the question may be asked like this: Have you had a licenses suspension in the last five years? The correct answer from you would be "No". If it asks you if you've ever had a suspension, the correct answer from you would be "Yes".

Now whether they re-instate your license as a CDL or not, you will still have to go through school to get a job - no one is going to hire you with that fourteen year hiatus hanging out there. The least expensive way to do this is to go through a Company-Sponsored Training program. Follow that link and see if you might find a company in there that meets your needs and go for it. You may have to apply to several companies before you can get started, but I think you will find someone who is willing to hire you. If you run into some more snags along the way we'll be glad to help you get them resolved.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Matthew D.'s Comment
member avatar

Yeah, I was surprised when they told me it was going to be reinstated as a CDL (this is PA). Thanks again for the advice.Can't wait to get backon the road, and want to have my I's dotted and T's crossed before i actually start the search again.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
some states show your citations based on the date you resolved (or paid) them and not necessarily on the date you received them

I agree with Old School and that right there is the key problem you may face. Whether or not your tickets show up on your current driving record will depend on how the state handles that kind of situation. Hopefully they'll go by the conviction date which was 14 years ago and those tickets won't show up on your current record.

Have you had a licenses suspension in the last five years? The correct answer from you would be "No"

I'm not sure about that. I think the answer would be "yes" because his license is currently suspended. It was initially suspended years ago but it's still currently suspended. So you're going to have to answer "yes" that you have had a recent suspension.

Then of course comes their next question which will be, "Were you driving on a suspended license all those years?" Unfortunately you were. I don't know what trucking companies are going to think of that. Some may not pay it much attention, others may. But all of them will care deeply that your license is currently suspended. They obviously don't like seeing recent suspensions regardless of how long ago they were initiated.

I agree with Old School that the Company-Sponsored Training Programs are likely your best bet to get started with. If that doesn't work out you'll want to Apply For Truck Driving Jobs and see if you can land some pre-hires. We have an excellent article on Understanding Pre-Hires for those not familiar with the process. If you can land a few pre-hires they will tell you what they'll require as far as a refresher course. They'll tell you how long the course has to be and what schools in your area will offer acceptable programs.

Using the pre-hire system is a great way to make sure you don't pay for schooling just to find out you can't land a job anywhere. Don't assume you'll be able to find work and don't assume that any old refresher course will do. Apply for pre-hires before committing to anything.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Pre-hires:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Matthew D.'s Comment
member avatar

Nah, I wasn't driving with a suspended license all these years. Once I found out I was suspended I stopped driving. Just ended up taking a city bus to work before I became a stay at home dad lol. I was planning on putting my application wherever I could and see what each company said once I gave the info needed. I've also been looking at the companies you have listed in your article on company sponsored schools, to see what's offered, and weigh each option. I know there's going to be a lot of newer stuff to learn, and a basic refresher course just won't be enough to be honest. Again, thanks for the info, this site has been a HUGE help in helping me along in trying to et back into the industry after so long being away.

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