I Am A Convicted Felon, Can I Become A Truck Driver?

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Lance A.'s Comment
member avatar

Editor's Note: See also:

Trucking Companies That Hire Drivers With Felonies

Sadly, I have two felony convictions, 5 years ago and 7 years ago. What companies in this industry will hire quality people who are no longer the person they once were?

Wine Taster's Comment
member avatar

Some will hire you. However, it also depends on what the felonies were for. Some certain felonies cause you to be banned from holding a CDL for life. The one that comes to mind for me is interstate drug trafficking. Without more information it will be hard to help you. I understand you may not want to air your past to everyone. Guyjax may be able to help you. Send him a private message. I have never had a record so I do not know much to tell you. I do believe in second chances and hope you can find a place that will hire you. Best of luck.

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Lance, Welcome to the forum!

As you are frustratingly aware, the hurdle of a felony conviction is a tough one to get past. Most trucking companies require ten years to go by from the end of the adjudication of your conviction. Some only require five years, and still some others will consider convicted felons on a case by case basis. You are going to have to do some research and see what you can come up with. I would try googling "trucking companies that will hire convicted felons" and see what you can come up with.

I remember one company that will sometimes give a second chance to someone is "Carolina Cargo", and I think Western Express will sometimes overlook some criminal behaviors. It may very well depend on what type of crimes you were involved in.

You didn't really say if you have a CDL , but it will be very difficult for you to get into a Company-Sponsored Training program if you are needing to get licensed. Your other option would be private school, but you will need to be confident you've found someone who will hire you before you lay out the expense for private schooling.

I wish you the best Lance, and would really appreciate it if you would let us know how things develop for you. This is a problem we see people coming in here and asking about a lot, and anything you could find out that would possibly help us to help the next person with a similar question is always appreciated.

Trucking Companies That Hire Drivers With Felonies

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.

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

Your felonies have some age to them...so you are in better shape than someone who has a fresh felony. But the charge itself does have some bearing on your ability to get hired.....BUT......if you are tenacious....and apply EVERYWHERE....sooner or later, you will find a truck seat to fit your buns....It takes perseverance...and a Want To attitude....trust me, it can be done. You should start by deciding how you are going to get into school. Do you have funds to pay your way??? if you aren't employed, you can apply for the WIA program at your employment office. If you are a Vet..they have programs, also. Community colleges have CDL programs....and there are always the company schools, but if you talk to them, inform them of your felonies, so they can tell you if they can get you into a truck. in all situations... BE HONEST...cuz not telling them only puts off the inevitable...they WILL run your record. And hang around here...we have helped alot of folks with felonies find a steering wheel they can call their own....IT CAN BE DONE... So if you feel like it, you can give us a little more info, and we'll see what we can come up with together !!!! WELCOME TO TT !!!!! We are glad you found us...

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.
Scott B.'s Comment
member avatar

Lance I was in the same boat you are in a couple months ago. I've been around and around with most of the big carriers recruiting depts and some of their driver review boards. (A lot of recruiters will tell you to contact a driver review board, I have my doubts about their existence) The big factors here are length of time and the specific felony. Even with a trafficking charge you can still find work. I'm living proof. Just be persistent and 100% honest on the apps. I the record is there, they WILL find it.

Ken C.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi Lance...You can find a Job and most likely get Company-Sponsored Training but it might not be with the more desirable companies. If you really want to drive a truck and understand you'll probably have to pay your dues times 2 just to get a chance in the beginning.

After a year or 2 with good on time deliveries and a clean driving record you can make a move to a better company. I would get all my info together and start by calling company recruiters and tell from the beginning about the felonies and ask if they would hire you... If you have a solid work history and have lived at the same address for several years it helps.. There are a couple of Us who have had scrapes with the law in the past so it can be done.

Good Luck and Keep Us informed plus use the High Road Training Program so when you get accepted you have a head start

Ken

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.

Ohtree's Comment
member avatar

Your felonies have some age to them...so you are in better shape than someone who has a fresh felony. But the charge itself does have some bearing on your ability to get hired.....BUT......if you are tenacious....and apply EVERYWHERE....sooner or later, you will find a truck seat to fit your buns....It takes perseverance...and a Want To attitude....trust me, it can be done. You should start by deciding how you are going to get into school. Do you have funds to pay your way??? if you aren't employed, you can apply for the WIA program at your employment office. If you are a Vet..they have programs, also. Community colleges have CDL programs....and there are always the company schools, but if you talk to them, inform them of your felonies, so they can tell you if they can get you into a truck. in all situations... BE HONEST...cuz not telling them only puts off the inevitable...they WILL run your record. And hang around here...we have helped alot of folks with felonies find a steering wheel they can call their own....IT CAN BE DONE... So if you feel like it, you can give us a little more info, and we'll see what we can come up with together !!!! WELCOME TO TT !!!!! We are glad you found us...

I am trying to get funding from WIA in SC. They require me to get pre-hire letters before they will approve my schooling. I am trying to get letters now, I have one need at least two more. Anyone want to give me one.

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.

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

Pre hire letters just show that they MAY hire you, after you get out of CDL school.....So send out your app to ALL of them....and those that will send you a prehire...use it to get into the WIA program...it doen's mean that you will go to work for them...it means that you are interested, and you MAY go to work for them...Flood the list of companies...you'll get enough...

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.

Prehire:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Sadly, I have two felony convictions, 5 years ago and 7 years ago. What companies in this industry will hire quality people who are no longer the person they once were?

I'm wondering if you have had any luck with finding a company that will hire people with felony convictions. I'm a brand new driver who has felony convictions and looking for a little help in being pointed in the right direction

Aaron G's Comment
member avatar

I know PTL will for sure no offense but mostly all there drivers have a past the school I went to had felons and they went to PTL.

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