Having a conviction makes it really hard to get a job, especially a good paying job. Luckily, trucking industry may be a good choice if you want to become a truck driver. Even considering the extreme over-regulation (federal and state regulations) of the industry, the shortage of drivers forces companies to make the process of hiring as simple as possible.
Many trucking companies hire ex-cons, but it is essential to keep in mind that they don’t hire all ex-cons. Each company has a unique set of rules regarding the hiring of truck drivers with a criminal background. Often though a trucking company will require some years to pass since you were convicted.
Becoming a truck driver with a criminal record is possible for some BUT not all. PrisonConnect wants to help you to avoid wasted time and money by streamlining the process of becoming a truck driver. Let’s break down those complex regulations, company policies and laws.
First of all, it is possible in most instances to get a CDL with a conviction record. Most ex-cons are eligible to get a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) from the state where they reside in. Some convictions will prevent you from getting a CDL though.
Some crimes will automatically keep you from getting hired by a trucking company or even keep you from getting a CDL:
Most ex-cons will get a CDL without any issues. However, there are few exceptions:
You should consult your local state regulator or Department of Motor Vehicles regarding DUI’s/DWI’s and CDL eligibility.
Each trucking company has a unique policy regarding ex-cons. As a result of a shortage of truck drivers, it can be a quite easy to break into it with a criminal record. Unfortunately, the major part of trucking companies will refuse to hire you if your felony is more recent than 5 years. Luckily, some companies hire on a case-by-case basis. Check them in the list below.
You should apply and talk to as many trucking companies as possible. Contact them and explain your circumstances clearly and honestly. Find out if they would hire you If you get your CDL. You should NEVER lie about your conviction. They must perform the background check. If you lie, they won’t hire you!
You can fill out an application even though you do not have your CDL yet.
It can take anywhere between 3 and 14 days to be contacted after the submission. If the application is accepted and your conviction was reviewed, the company may offer you a pre hire letter. This is not an employment contract, it is a letter stating that you meet the requirements to attend orientation and then be employed. Good job!
Each truck driver must take a bi-annual medical exam to exclude any health issues that can be dangerous on the road. The exam is called a DOT medical exam. Here is the list of possible reasons for failure:
It is wise to past the DOT exam on the first place. Don’t waste your time and money in truck driving schools, unless you are sure about passing the exam.
A major part of truck driving schools accepts people with convictions. You just need to check it before paying any money.
After receiving the pre hire letter, medical results and CDL you will be invited to orientation. Each orientation is unique. You can expect something like this:
Passing the orientation means that you are officially a truck driver now!