Can you get a CDL with a DUI?

A lot of people with DUIs are interested in joining the trucking industry. So can you get a CDL with a DUI? Read the article to find out all there is to know!

As we were researching the trucking industry, we stumbled across the question if having a DUI really means the end to your chances of getting a CDL. Tons of potential truckers are worried that this mark in their criminal record will prevent any future career opportunities. So can you get a CDL with a DUI, or should you give up on the trucker lifestyle before it’s even begun? 

In this article, we want to focus on breaking down every myth surrounding the subject. By explaining everything you need to know, we hope to make this process easier for you and give you that little boost of motivation you need. So don’t give up yet and read on to find out if you can get a CDL with a DUI!

Losing your CDL

It’s also important to note that your driving privileges can be suspended depending on the severity of your DUI. One way to lose your CDL is by driving a commercial motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04% or more. Moreover, depending on the state you’re in, a second DUI may result in a lifetime disqualification of the license. This also involves other major violations, such as leaving the scene of an accident. 

SR-22 Form

One of the consequences of having a DUI, besides paying higher insurance premiums, is the requirement of an SR-22 form. This form is demanded by most state DMVs (Departments of Motor Vehicles), even after all the necessities are reinstated. As a certificate of financial responsibility, it serves as proof that your auto insurance policy meets the minimum liability coverage required. It’s only needed for certain driving-related violations including reckless driving, accidents caused by uninsured drivers, and DUI convictions. 

Therefore, if you’re required to carry this form, make sure your insurance policy is active and maintain continuous coverage so you don’t lose the driving privileges. In case the policy is canceled while you’re still required to carry it, always notify the proper state authorities.

How to get a CDL with a DUI?

The next question that follows after “Can you get a CDL with a DUI?”, is how to actually attain it. Even though this process may sound impossible at first, you don’t need to worry. It follows the same process as getting a CDL without a DUI. Just make sure you fulfill the requirements we’ve listed in the section below!

Requirements to get a CDL

As we said, here’s a list of requirements you need to fulfill in order to get your CDL license:

  • Age – you have to be over the age of 21 to operate across state lines and haul dangerous materials. All drivers under that age limit are restricted to local and in-state routes. 
  • Experience – before you can take the test, you should have at least 2 years of driving experience. This also includes a non-commercial driver’s license that’s valid at the time of testing.
  • Citizenship – legal documents that provide proof of your American citizenship or residency are required before taking the test. This can be anything from your green card to your birth certificate, or even your Social Security card. 
  • Physical and Medical Requirements – there are also a couple physical requirements you should pass to prove you’re fit for the job. This may involve drug and vision tests, as well as mental health screenings.
  • Background Check – the background check is the most difficult part to pass for those with DUIs. No matter how much time has passed, your DUIs will always show up on your criminal record. Always be honest when this question pops up because there’s no way of hiding it.


So can you get a CDL with a DUI? Absolutely yes. However, as we elaborated on the question throughout the article, it’s quite difficult to land your desired job. A lot of companies require at least 3 to 7 years to have passed from your DUI to accept your job application. We tried our best to explain the process step by step and mention all there is to know to prepare you for getting your CDL and prevent you from losing it again. 

Keep in mind that depending on your state’s laws, the information may slightly vary when it comes to legal situations. So it’s best if you inform yourself further about your state’s demands. As long as you are honest about your DUIs and meet the needed requirements for a CDL, we believe that you’ll get what you’re looking for without breaking a sweat!

Last but not least, always make sure to have your and the others’ safety in mind, especially if you’re a truck driver. No matter how easy the job may seem to you, always be extra cautious. We hope this article helps answer all your questions and good luck with getting that CDL!



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