Confused About Whether You Can Get
A Truck Driving Job As A Convicted Felon?
These Guidelines May Help ....
If you are confused about whether you would be able to get an otr driving job with a major company as a convicted felon, before you read this we suggest you view our recent article "How Convicted Felons Can Get An OTR Driving Job". This article addresses specific felonies and is a basic checklist for potential problem areas; criminal activities that could prevent you from being hired by a trucking company.
Valid Driver's License:
Do you currently have a valid driver's license in the state in which you reside or did did you lose your driver's license while you were incarcerated? Most trucking companies require that you have a valid driver's license for at least (1) year, and some require that you have a valid driver's license for (3) consecutive years. In most cases you are required to have a driver's license in the state in which you reside.
Are You Currently On Probation Or Parole:
If you are currently on probation or parole you probably won't be able to travel outside of your home state, meaning that you would have to find a driving job where you travel in state only. That makes it even harder because basically you need to look for a local driving job, and that makes it almost impossible to find with a major company until you've been with them for considerable time. While some companies require a 10-year qualification period between the time you complete probation until the time you apply for a driving job, there is no hard and fast rule regarding eligibility timeline qualifications and trucking companies vary in their underwriting regarding probation or parole:
- Some base their hiring guideline timeline on the date of conviction
- Some base their hiring guideline timeline on the date probation or parole is completed
Most trucking companies won't hire someone who is currently on probation or parole. However, if you have completed your probation and are still unable to get hired by a large company, you may be able to get hired by a small local company, or a Mom & Pop company.
Was Your Conviction Related To Alcohol:
Many trucking companies require an alcohol related conviction to have a waiting period with a minimum of:
- 3-5 years for (1) alcohol related conviction.
- 15 years for (2) with the most recent conviction at least 15 years in the past.
- If you have more than (2), you are most likely ineligible for hire but you may find a few trucking companies that will at least consider your application IF they are all more than (20) years in the past.
Some companies have strict policies about bonding felons. Trucking companies regularly protect themselves by taking out a surety bond on every driver. This is like an insurance policy for the company to cover the value of the cargo so that if a driver were to steal or sell the cargo, the trucking company will be reimbursed for the cost of the cargo. Often insurance companies will not bond felons, and if they do, the premium is escalated considerably making it very unattractive for the trucking company.
Was Your Conviction Drug Related:
This is a sticky issue and maybe the biggest obstacle of all because there are many variables about drug related convictions, and they are based on whether it was a misdemeanor or a felony. Drug related issues are taken very seriously by the trucking industry for many reasons.
Some companies will hire you with a 3-5 year waiting period for a drug related misdemeanor if it was possession of marijuana only with no intent to distribute. The waiting period may be as long as 10 years for other narcotics.
If the drug conviction was a felony, a few companies may consider you after 10 years. Others have an absolute "no-hire" policy. The trucking industry is getting stricter all the time with drug related convictions.
Was Your Conviction For Murder Or Manslaughter:
The majority of trucking companies have a "no-hire" policy for a murder or manslaughter conviction. There are others that may consider hiring you if the conviction is 20 years old or even longer. Although there may be extenuating circumstances involved with this crime, it is extremely difficult to find a driving job with this type of conviction on your record.
Was Your Conviction Sexual Related:
You can pretty much take this as a standard in the industry: most trucking companies have a "no-hire" policy for sexually related crimes no matter how long ago it was.
Over the years we have processed thousands and thousands of applications from individuals wanting to become a professional otr driver. Often they were from individuals with misdemeanors or felony convictions whose circumstances were such that it seemed unfair and unjust to rule them as being ineligible for hire. Unfortunately, trucking can often be an "unforgiving" industry. Laws regulating the trucking industry are constantly being re-evaluated so .....before you spend any money to get your CDL training and CDL Class A license, be sure you can get a driving job.
If you truly want to be a truck driver and you are faced with a conviction that will probably prevent you from being hired, consider some of the ideas that we mentioned in "How Convicted Felons Can Get An OTR Driving Job".
There are occupational alternatives if you find that you have a waiting period before being eligible for hire by a truck company. While most or none may hold any appeal to you, it is a step in the right direction and gives you a way to develop a good record as an employee:
- dump truck driver
- cement truck drivers
- automobile salesperson
- used car salesperson
- furniture salesperson
Good luck and we hope this article OTR Driving Jobs & Convicted Felons-A Hiring Guide has been helpful to you. All the best in your search for a fulfilling and rewarding career.
Portions of this article have been contributed by:
Drivers CDL Staffing, Inc.
Drivers CDL Staffing, Inc.