Can I Get a CDL with a Felony?

Understanding The Effects Of A Previous Felony

Yes, as a felon you can get a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). However, it depends on a number of factors, including what kind of felony you committed and when.  At the federal level, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates who can get a CDL.  Each state also has rules governing CDLs and who can obtain one.

Your local DMV will run a check on your driving record when you apply for a CDL.  Commercial drivers are held to higher standards than regular drivers. However, unless you have specific types of felonies on your record, you should be able to earn your CDL.

The felonies that will prevent you from getting a CDL include:

  • Extortion
  • Bribery
  • Arson
  • Treason
  • Kidnapping
  • Assault with intent to murder
  • Using a commercial vehicle and commission of felony first or second-degree manslaughter with a motor vehicle
  • Misconduct with a motor vehicle
  • Causing a fatality through negligent or reckless vehicle operation
  • Operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher
  • Any felony committed using a commercial vehicle

Additionally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration may disqualify you from obtaining a CDL if you have been cited for the following:

  • Controlled substance use
  • Manufacturing, distribution, or dispensing a controlled substance
  • Fatality while driving a commercial vehicle
  • Excessive speeding
  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Multiple offenses

Also check with your local DMV to see what state laws might prevent you from obtaining your CDL as these vary from state to state.

If you want help understanding if your arrest record will prevent you from getting a CDL, then please contact us.  We can help provide guidance.  Just because you have a felony on your record does not mean you cannot pursue your dream of becoming a commercial driver.