Trucking Companies That Hire Felons (Some Requiring No Experience)

There has been a truck driver shortage in the United States for several years, and because of this, more and more trucking companies are making driving jobs available to felons. These are known as “second chance” trucking companies. Felons who have trouble finding jobs elsewhere can often turn to truck driving as a viable option that pays well. It is a chance to have stable and lucrative employment even with a criminal background.

Below, we’ve compiled the list of trucking companies that offer these opportunities. Some companies hire felons with no experience, and others may hire you even if you have a DUI on your record. We have also included information about truck driving schools that accept felons, in case you aren’t sure where to begin.

What You Need to Know Before You Apply to Truck Driving Companies That Hire Felons

No matter where you decide to apply, be sure that you’re upfront and honest about any criminal background during the application process; otherwise, you could be disqualified if something shows up in a background check that you hadn’t previously disclosed. You’ll likely have better luck applying both to truck driving schools and trucking companies if the felony occurred at least five to 10 years ago (instead of more recently).

Different companies will also handle the actual ownership of the truck differently. Some companies own the truck, while others offer an owner-operator model, where the driver owns the truck and pays for maintenance. In our list, we’ve clarified whether the trucks for each business are company- or driver-owned.

Truck Driving Schools

To be a truck driver, you’ll need a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), as regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You can get this license at a private driving school or, with certain companies, you can earn it as part of your training.

There are a few felonies that will immediately disqualify you from earning a CDL at the federal level, including causing a fatality through negligent/reckless driving, misconduct with a motor vehicle, and operating a vehicle with a BAC of .08% or higher. Additional state laws may apply.

If your driving record is clean, many truck driving schools will be happy to accept you if you have a felony (assuming the charge does not bar you from getting a CDL) because as a student, you are paying the school. There’s no guarantee, however, that it will be as easy to find a trucking company that’s willing to pay you.

A typical private truck driving school can cost between $3,000 to $5,000 for a standard course that leads to a Class A CDL. Because it can be so difficult to secure a job with a felony, even in a relatively felon-friendly industry like truck driving, if you’re interested in beginning a career in trucking, you may want to earn your CDL directly through a trucking company instead of a driving school. That way, you can be confident that you’ll have a way to pay for your tuition and you’ll have a guarantee of employment when you’re done.

If you’re worried about spending a lot of money on driving school only to end up without a job, you should know that some schools work closely with trucking companies in the area to offer job placement programs for their graduates. Schools don’t typically disclose their processes for approving or denying students, so it’s a good idea to contact the school and explain your situation to verify that it will accept someone in your position. Here are some resources to help you get started:

  • TruckSchoolsUSA offers a directory of truck driving schools in every state in the country.
  • SAGE is one of the biggest independent truck driving schools in the U.S., with 25 locations nationwide.
  • Help for Felons maintains a list of trucking companies that hire felons, sorted by the age of the conviction.

Many truck driving schools are associated with smaller local community colleges or they have only one or two locations, so you can try a quick Google search for “truck driving school near me” to see all of your options.

What We Recommend

For companies that hire people with a criminal background and offer paid CDL training — meaning no experience is required — you will likely want to look into driving for Maverick Transportation or Prime Inc. These companies are also known to have some of the most competitive salaries and benefits.

If you already have your CDL or you are unable to drive for a company that offers fully paid training, Dart Transit Company is a great option for those who already have professional driving experience. It also offers tuition reimbursement if you recently graduated with your CDL, and it evaluates applicants with a criminal background on a case-by-case basis.

Comparison Table

You can use the table below for a quick comparison of the trucking companies that hire felons, including whether or not experience is required; you can click any company or scroll for more information.

Company Criminal Background Evaluation Experience Required? Pay CDL Training Truck Ownership
Maverick Transportation Case-by-case No $0.38 to $0.45/mile Yes; paid training & orientation Company leasing or owner-operator contracting
Prime Inc. Case-by-case No Varies Yes; fully paid process Company leasing or owner-operator contracting
PAM Transport Case-by-case; no DUI/DWI in past 5 years No Varies; typically around $3,600 per month Reimbursement for CDL school and paid training for new drivers Company leasing or owner-operator contracting
Averitt Case-by-base; no DUI in past 5 years No $0.37 to $0.45/mile Coordinates with trucking schools & offers tuition assistance All trucks are company owned
Dart Transit Company Case-by-case; must disclose 3 years of traffic history Yes; 6 months in the past 3 years Varies; typically around $3,500 per month or more No CDL training; offers tuition reimbursement Company leasing or owner-operator contracting
Covenant Transport No record of positive drug test in past 10 years Yes $0.42 to $0.56/mile; weekly pay guarantee No CDL training; will pre-hire if you are currently in training Company leasing or owner-operator contracting
Carolina Cargo No major violations in past 5 years Yes; CDL Class A required Varies No CDL training Not specified
P&S Transportation Case-by-case; no DUI/DWI in past 10 years and no more than 1 at-fault accident in past 3 years Yes; 1 to 2 years Varies; around $0.56/mile No CDL training Company leasing or owner-operator contracting
Navajo Express Case-by-case; no DUI/DWI in past 5 years or substances convictions in past 10 years Yes; CDL required Around $0.40/mile No CDL training All trucks are company owned
May Trucking Company Case-by-case Yes; CDL required Starting around $0.35/mile and up No CDL training Company leasing or owner-operator contracting

Trucking Companies That Hire Felons With No Experience

Below, we list the trucking companies that will hire people who have criminal backgrounds and who do not yet have a CDL or professional driving history, ordered starting with the best overall options (i.e., the most accessible companies that offer paid CDL training). We verified the information using the company websites and by contacting customer service representatives.

1. Maverick Transportation

  • Evaluation of criminal background: Made on a case-by-case basis
  • Area of operation: Regional — Maverick operates mostly in the eastern, southern, and midwestern U.S.
  • Pay: Around $0.38 to $0.45 per mile
  • Bonuses: Performance bonuses available; introductory/new-hire bonus rate of $0.02/mile; referral bonuses of $1,000 to $2,000
  • Time home: The company’s website says “frequent home time,” but specific schedules may vary
  • CDL training: Paid CDL training and paid orientation
  • Training location: Little Rock, AR
  • Who owns the truck: Options for company leasing or independent owner-operator contracting
  • Find out more or apply

2. Prime Inc.

  • Evaluation of criminal background: Made on a case-by-case basis
  • Area of operation: United States and Canada
  • Pay: Depends on the type of truck (flatbed, refrigerated, etc.) and how much is billed to the shipper
  • Bonuses: Driver referrals, safety bonuses, a million miles program, and other incentive programs
  • Time home: Not specified; schedules vary by driver
  • CDL training: Yes — the company pays you through the process from beginning to end
  • Training location: Springfield, MO
  • Who owns the truck: Options for company leasing or independent owner-operator contracting
  • Find out more or apply

3. PAM Transport

  • Evaluation of criminal background: PAM Transport specifically hires felons on a case-by-case basis, with no DUI/DWI in the past five years
  • Area of operation: United States, Mexico, and Canada
  • Pay: Not specified, but typically around $3,600 per month based on Glassdoor reviews
  • Bonuses: None specified
  • Time home: None specified; schedules vary by driver
  • CDL training: PAM Transport offers reimbursement for CDL school and paid training for new drivers
  • Training location: Tontitown, AR; North Little Rock, AR; North Jackson, OH; and Irving, TX.
  • Who owns the truck: Options for company leasing or independent owner-operator contracting
  • Find out more or apply

4. Averitt

  • Evaluation of criminal background: Made on a case-by-case basis. Drivers must not have had a DUI in the past five years and must meet strict guidelines about your driving record.
  • Area of operation: 15 states, mostly east coast and Canada, with options for regional driving and city driving
  • Pay: Around $0.37 to $0.45 per mile
  • Bonuses: Up to $5,000 depending on location, referral bonuses, safety bonuses, etc.
  • Time home: Regional drivers on the road Sunday night through Thursday night with weekends at home
  • CDL training: Coordinates with local trucking schools and offers a $5,000 tuition assistance bonus for CDL training
  • Training location: Cookeville, TN
  • Who owns the truck: Averitt owns all trucks in its fleet
  • Find out more or apply

Trucking Companies That Hire Felons With Experience

The following trucking companies are willing to hire felons, but only if you already have a CDL and some experience. As above, we’ve ordered the list starting with the best overall options.

5. Dart Transit Company

  • Evaluation of criminal background: Made on a case-by-case basis. The Dart Transit application requires that you disclose your history of traffic accidents, violations, and/or convictions from the last 3 years (including DUI or reckless driving convictions and license suspensions).
  • Area of operation: Nationwide, regional, and local options
  • Pay: Not disclosed on the company’s website, but approximately $3,500 or more per month based on Glassdoor reviews.
  • Bonuses: Sign-on bonuses are available ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. Bonuses are also available for driver referrals and perfect DOT inspections.
  • Time home: No specific average, but the company offers to work with each driver to make a reliable and convenient schedule
  • CDL training: No CDL training offered. You must have a CDL and six months of OTR experience within the past three years to be hired. You can get up to $6,000 in tuition reimbursement if you graduated within the past year.
  • Training location: Orientation in Lancaster, TX (near Dallas); Eagan, MN (near Minneapolis); Sellersburg, IN (near Louisville, KY); or Buford, GA (near Atlanta)
  • Who owns the truck: Options for company leasing or independent owner-operator contracting
  • Find out more or apply

6. Covenant Transport

  • Evaluation of criminal background: Drivers must have no record of a positive drug test with any previous employer within the last 10 years, and they must meet very specific rules regarding driving record
  • Area of operation: Nationwide
  • Pay: $0.42 to $0.56 per mile; minimum guarantees on weekly pay
  • Bonuses: None specified
  • Time home: None specified; schedules vary by driver
  • CDL training: No CDL training offered. You must have already obtained a CDL. The company will pre-hire you if you are currently earning your CDL. Covenant Transport will pay for HAZ-MAT endorsement training
  • Training location: Orientation in Pomona, CA; Chattanooga, TN; or Hutchins, TX
  • Who owns the truck: Options for company leasing or independent owner-operator contracting
  • Find out more or apply

7. Carolina Cargo

  • Evaluation of criminal background: Drivers must have no major violations in the past five years, and clear and current motor vehicle registration history
  • Area of operation: Nationwide
  • Pay: Not disclosed on the company’s website. Pay is raised approximately 10% per year of service until drivers reach 50% over base salary.
  • Bonuses: $2,000 sign-on bonus paid within the first year of employment, plus raises, mileage and safety bonuses, etc.
  • Time home: Five days off after three round trips
  • CDL training: No training offered. You must already have CDL Class A; beginner permits are not accepted.
  • Training location: Company-specific on-site and on-the-road training in South Carolina
  • Who owns the truck: Not specified
  • Find out more or apply

8. P&S Transportation

  • Evaluation of criminal background: Made on a case-by-case basis. Drivers must not have a DWI or DUI in the past 10 years, and no more than one “at-fault” accident on driving record in the past three years
  • Area of operation: Texas, California, and areas of the southeastern, northeastern, and midwestern U.S.
  • Pay: Around $0.56 per mile
  • Bonuses: Sign-on and referral bonuses
  • Time home: The company strives to ensure that drivers are home every weekend
  • CDL training: No CDL training offered. Drivers must have a CDL and one to two years of experience.
  • Training location: Orientation in Birmingham, AL or Emporia, VA
  • Who owns the truck: Options for company leasing or independent owner-operator contracting
  • Find out more or apply
  • Evaluation of criminal background: Made on a case-by-case basis. Drivers must not have had a DUI/DWI in the past five years and no controlled substance charges or convictions within the past 10 years.
  • Area of operation: Nationwide
  • Pay: Around $0.40 per mile
  • Bonuses: No specified monetary bonus, but the company provides new equipment with bumper-to-bumper coverage, mileage incentive pay, etc.
  • Time home: Granted every three weeks for variable amounts of time
  • CDL training: No CDL training offered. You must have already graduated from an accredited driving school.
  • Training location: Orientation at specific sites in Colorado, Arizona, and Idaho
  • Who owns the truck: Navajo owns all the trucks (2014 and newer)
  • Find out more or apply

10. May Trucking Company

  • Evaluation of criminal background: Made on a case-by-case basis
  • Area of operation: Nationwide
  • Pay: Starting around $0.35 per mile and up
  • Bonuses: None specified
  • Time home: One day home for every week on the road
  • CDL training: No CDL training offered. You must have already graduated from an accredited driving school.
  • Training location: Operating centers spread out across the nation
  • Who owns the truck: Options for company leasing or independent owner-operator contracting
  • Find out more or apply

In Summary

While you still have to meet a certain set of requirements to be hired, the truck driving companies we’ve listed will hire you if you’re a felon. Some truck driving companies, such as Maverick Transportation and Prime Inc., will even make an investment in you and cover the cost of your driving training. Additionally, Dart Transit Company does not offer CDL training, but it does offer tuition reimbursement and other competitive employment benefits. These second chance truck driving jobs can get you behind the wheel pretty quickly, even if you have a felony on your record.

Want to consider careers other than in trucking? You may want to check out our list of 11 companies that hire felons.

25 comments

    • Lindsey Desmet says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hello, Tom! This depends on how the question is phrased when you apply. If the application asks whether you have been convicted within a certain number of years, you would consider the time from your conviction date. Hope this helps, and best of luck!

  • I’m in driving school at the moment, and wondering if there are any truck jobs out there for a veteran with two convicted felonies

    • Kathleen Wilson says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Carnel,

      To start, thank you for your service. You’re in luck – the 10 trucking companies on this list will hire people with felonies on their records. Four of them will even hire you without any previous truck driving experience and a few will reimburse you for the cost of driving school. Start by contacting the companies on our list and see if any of them are hiring right now. Good luck in the job hunt!

  • Hi I have 2 current suspensions on my license. I’m almost done with school to receive my cdl. What is the likely hood of finding a driving job? Currently living in AZ

    • Laura Bachmann says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Shelton,

      Unfortunately, I can’t speak to your specific chances given that you have two current suspensions. Companies don’t publish statistics on hiring rates for those with records of any kind. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has some good info on job growth in the industry. You can read more here. The number of jobs for heavy truck drivers is projected to grow 5% between 2014 and 2024, slightly below the 7% average for all industries. But, the Bureau also notes that: “Because of truck drivers’ difficult lifestyle and time spent away from home, many companies have trouble finding and retaining qualified long-haul drivers. In addition, many truck drivers are expected to retire in the coming years, creating even more job opportunities.” It remains difficult for companies to hire truck drivers, and this will help your chances of finding employment. Best of luck!

  • Anastasia Daniel says:

    Hello Everyone,

    I am a recent Cdl (Class A) graduate, so I don’t have any experience. I have a felony from 4 years ago for forgery. I was young, dumb and caught up in the family business. I’m 22 years old my driving record is clean. I’m looking for any company that will hire me

    • Rebecca Turley says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Anastasia,

      Check out our list of companies that hire felons. Most trucking companies consider prior felonies on a case-by-case basis, so your best bet is to contact them so you can learn more about their specific requirements.

  • Cheryl Webb says:

    That’s awesome Conrad, I work with a recruiter there at Western. If I can’t place any drivers, I send them to Western. And David, give me a call, I may be able to help you. 727-848-0269 after 8 am eastern time

  • Hello everyone,

    I wanted to quickly touch bases with some of your readers that may need some help. Since the time I last commented on this thread I have had about 6 offers. I chose to go with Western Express. I’m excited about gaining the experience needed to move forward in this career. I am actually sitting in orientation as I write this. I looked at all the reviews of this company and am asking questions based on what I’ve read and learning as much as I can. If anyone has any questions please ask and I’ll get you an answer if I don’t know it.

  • DAVID JENSEN says:

    I had my cdl but down graded it because of health issues and took a break from driving for 7 years … I have a current felony that im on defer adjuidated probation for is there any company that will help me get my cdl back because i do have 18 1/2 yrs drivibg experiance… Will be off probation this year if i can find a job.. Charges should ve dropped down to misdeminer after its over with..

    • Rebecca Turley says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi David,

      As you are probably aware, most trucking companies will examine your specific felony and make a determination whether or not to accept you. A few felonies — namely those involving DUI or other driving felonies — will prohibit you from being hired by a trucking company. Your best bet is to apply and go through the hiring process to find out whether you can move forward.

  • I disagree Rebecca. I have had many applicants try for another company with a failed urine and it showed up on their DAC report. Most companies will not let you apply for at least 5 – 7 years if at all.

    • Rebecca Turley says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Cheryl,

      You’re right! Thanks for this information. If the failed urine test is on their DAC report, it can have long-lasting repercussions. I verified and found that many failed urine tests did disqualify applicants for as many as 5 years, while some companies did not hire any drivers with past failed urine tests.

  • Redwitch says:

    Hi 3yrs ago I got my class A…Went to Werner had a bad urine test want to drive but don’t know where to look need advice..thankd

    • Rebecca Turley says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi there!

      Use the article to review the companies we listed. A bad urine test through one company will not affect your ability to apply with another company.

  • i have some moving violations from 2011 and 2013 and a suspension .. i just got my cdl class a i have been in trucking before i was born. i just need a chance to prove myself and il be loyal to that company for the rest of my career. any suggestions

  • Cheryl Webb says:

    Rule of thumb for many companies. Felonies, misdemeanors and DUI/DWI’s. They all have to be one of the following from the date of CONVICTION: 5 years, 7 years, 10 years, 15 years. It all depends on the company and the charge. It’s rough for so many, There are very few companies that will hire under 5 years. Also, keep in mind, although a company says “case by case” don’t take it lightly, those companies will probably deny you also. Don’t ask me why they put those on their sites or applications, but I have yet to get a driver hired under the case by case hiring requirements. It would be nice, if some of these companies would re-look their requirements and give people with a “marked” past a chance. I try all the time to get drivers hired under their circumstances and it is hard and disappointing to hear the change in the persons voice on the other end of the line. And the schools that take students that have a record and they tell the students “no problem, we can get you hired” I’d like to punch there lights out. That’s a lot of money for someone to pay back and have no guarantee on a job. Good luck to those trying and congrats to those that have made it…

  • D. Chapman says:

    I have a 3 year old felony for Battery also a 3 year old misdemeanor for DUI in personal vehicle. Is a there a company that will let me in? I have 30 months otr experience.

    • Hillary M. Miller says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi D.,

      Unfortunately, the DUI will significantly limit your options, as numerous companies specifically state that drivers won’t be hired if they have a DUI on their record within the past five years. Your best bet will be a company that has no such explicit rule and instead evaluates drivers with criminal records on a case-by-case basis. May Trucking Company, Prime Inc., and Maverick Transportation would all be companies where you can consider applying. Once your DUI is more than three years old, you can also consider applying with Dart Transit. I hope this helps and best of luck with the job search!

  • Conrad W Callender says:

    I have a conviction for Possession and sale of a controlled substance. The possession is from 2007 and the sale is from 2010. This is NY state that we are talking about. Both were felonies that I served time for. I was released in 2014 and have had a horrible time trying to find employment. That’s when I enrolled with Sage Trucking School. So far I still haven’t gained a truck drivers position but I’m hopeful. My driving record is great either. I have some speeding and a couple accidents. Not at fault though. What do you think my chances are at gaining employment?

    • Hillary M. Miller says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Conrad,

      It’s really very difficult to say what your chances of employment are, since each company can have different policies for reviewing a prior criminal record and each offense is typically considered on a case-by-case basis. Chances of getting hired may depend on the openings at a particular company and the demand for truck drivers in your area overall. The best option is to work closely with your driving school; the teachers there should be able to assist you in finding a job after you graduate with a CDL, and hopefully can provide you with a strong recommendation that can balance out your record. Best of luck finding a job in the trucking industry!

  • David Dutton says:

    I have a cdl and i have two misdemeanors that are not three years old but I have a clean driving record and i am 69 years old and no one will hire me i have my cdl no experience can anyone help

    • Hillary M. Miller says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi David,

      I’m sorry to hear about the trouble you’ve had with finding a trucking job! Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to secure employment with any kind of record, even in an industry like truck driving that tends to be more forgiving than some others. The best advice that most truckers have for people looking to get hired with a CDL is that you just have to apply to a lot of places and brace for a lot of rejections before you find somewhere that’s willing to hire you. If you’ve applied to all the companies on our list and still haven’t had any luck, you can also take a look at this FQF article, which details trucking companies that are known to hire new or inexperienced drivers. Best of luck, and let me know if I can answer any further questions for you!