Can You Get a CDL If You Are a Felon?

A CDL license is the best way to improve the chances a felon can find reliable work once they are done serving their time.

There are many trucking corporations that hire ex felons, but they all require the individual to go through CDL training to get their CDL driver’s license. A CDL is a Commercial Driver’s License. This is different than a regular driver’s license because of the size and power of these trucks when they are on the road.

To get a CDL,  they need to understand safety precautions, how air brakes work, how to properly inspect the vehicle, checking all of the lights, operating the vehicle with a double clutch system, and much more. They also need to understand proper procedures for logging their trip, including how many miles they can drive during a set period of time, getting appropriate breaks to improve safety while out on the roads, the importance of staying within the speed limit, and much more.

CDL training for felons is no different than it is for any other person who pursues this career. There are numerous driver training schools all across country that specialize in teaching individuals about everything necessary to get a commercial driver’s license. They also often provide the ability for the students to take practice CDL drivers tests.

Is there job training for felons?

There are numerous organizations, both through the government and nonprofits, that work with recently released felons to help provide them proper training to find a number of different job opportunities.

A convicted felon may be able to find employment with a company in a maintenance department, for example, where they would be trained by an immediate supervisor. They may also be able to take college classes toward a degree, adult continuing education classes to help improve their skill set and qualifications for certain other jobs, and even begin the process of learning to drive the truck.


Even though CDL training for felons is one of the best ways for somebody convicted of a felony to find a high-paying job when they are released, it will take time and money to take one of these classes. Taking a CDL training course independently, not through a trucking company, can be cost prohibitive to many recently released felons.

The best option would be to contact one or more trucking companies to find out what their policies and procedures are with regard to hiring felons once they are released. Even if one particular trucking company isn’t interested in hiring you, that doesn’t mean another won’t be open to the prospect.

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