Can You Get A CDL With A Bad Driving Record?

Drivers who are considering a career in truck driving often ask if their driving record will affect their ability to get a CDL.

This depends on a number of factors. There are certain kinds of incidences that can hurt the driver’s chances of getting a CDL.

Others may not have a big impact. Let us look at such incidences in details.

Can You Get A CDL With A Bad Driving Record?

Type of Tickets

There are certain types of tickets that will disqualify you from getting and keeping a CDL.

These are most serious offenses such as:

  • Driving a vehicle with a blood-alcohol level that is above the limit
  • Use a motor vehicle to commit manslaughter
  • Getting away from the accident scene
  • Using a commercial vehicle to do a felony

Some tickets have less serious consequences. These include:

  • Minor speeding
  • Parking wrongly

Your CDL can be revoked or suspended for other reasons such as:

  • Getting too many points on your CDL for things such as speeding or DUI
  • Getting convicted of violent felonies like treason and kidnapping

If you are driving record is less than good, this may not necessarily disqualify you from getting hired.

However, as you would expect, the majority of trucking companies may prefer to hire people who have a good driving record, when they have an option to do so.

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Multiple Tickets

The legislation on multiple tickets differs depending on the state.

That means different states will have different rules on the number of tickets and the period of time that can cause you to get revoked.

For instance, in some states, your CDL can be banned temporarily if you get 2 tickets in 6 months.

When you get more tickets in a shorter timeframe, your CDL may get permanently revoked.

If you have at least three speeding violations in a period of 3 years, some trucking companies may not hire you, even when your CDL is still valid.

Driving History and Patterns

One thing that is sure is that some insurers and employers will look at your driving history when making a decision concerning your employment and insurance.

If you have gotten a number of tickets over a period of 10 years, this may not be a big issue. 

However, if you are regularly getting tickets, this will be an indication that you are a reckless driver.

You will, therefore, be a high risk to the driving company and you may be unable to get commercial vehicle insurance.

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What is a clean driving record for CDL?

DMV reports that a good driving record is the one with no DUIs, moving violations, or suspension of your license.

Generally, the majority of commercial vehicle companies prefer that you do not have a DUI conviction that is less than 5 or 7 years old.

How to get a CDL job with a bad driving record?

It’s possible to become a truck driver even with a bad driving record.

However, this can only happen if the offense is minor and took place a number of years back.

Which trucking companies hire drivers with bad records?

There are trucking companies that will hire a driver even with bad records. These include:

  • Koch Trucking
  • Covenant trucking services
  • Barr-nun transportation
  • Western Express
  • Pam transport
  • Combined transport
  • Salmon companies

Does driving record affect CDL?

Yes. The driving record of your personal vehicle and a commercial vehicle can affect your ability to get a commercial driver’s license.

If you go ahead and get a CDL, a bad record will still affect your ability to get a job.

What is the generally acceptable driving record for CDL?

 Drivers with good driving records have never had their driving license suspended, revoked, or canceled.

They have never been convicted of a major motoring offense and neither have they ever violated a law regarding a traffic accident such as causing an accident or leaving the scene of an accident.

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Can you get a CDL with a misdemeanor or drug charge?

How To Get A CDL Job With A Bad Driving Record?This will depend on the severity of the offense.

If you have ever had a felony conviction that caused your license to be on hold, then you will not be allowed to start your training until the license is reissued.

A drug charge will only affect your ability to have CDL if it is related to operating a commercial vehicle.

Can you get a CDL with a DUI on your record?

Even if you have a DUI on your driving history, you can still get a CDL. 

However, if your license has been suspended for a DUI, you will find it hard to get a CDL.

While getting a CDL if you have a DUI may not be hard, the hardest part is finding a job after that.


If you are wondering if you can get a CDL with a bad driving record, this will depend on a number of factors.

While a less-than-perfect driving record will not automatically disqualify you from getting a CDL, most trucking companies will prefer someone with a clean driving record.

Therefore, there are some good reasons to keep your record clean.

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