The answer depends on what type of conviction you have, and how long ago you were convicted.
You need a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) to drive certain types of vehicles. To see the types of vehicles that you need a CDL to drive, read my earlier blog post here.
Under federal law, you may not receive a CDL, for a specified period of time, if you have been convicted of certain crimes. Some of the crimes on the list, are alcohol- and drug- related offenses.
The federal law, that specifies which types of offenses will disqualify you from obtaining a CDL, is locate at 49 C.F.R. § 383.51, and can be found here.
This law contains a table. Click on this link to see a copy of the table: Table 1. This table will tell you if your conviction will disqualify you from obtaining a CDL, and how long the disqualification will last. In this table, “CMV” stands for “Commercial Motor Vehicle.” “CDL” stands for “Commercial Driver’s License.” “CLP” stands for “Commercial Learner’s Permit.”
In the table, some offenses disqualify you for “life” and other offenses disqualify you for “life-not eligible for ten-year reinstatement.” If your offense disqualifies you for life, but the table does not say “not eligible for ten-year reinstatement”, then you are eligible for a ten-year reinstatement. If your conviction is over ten years old, you may have your CDL privileges reinstated if you enter a rehabilitation program approved by the state. For more information on rehabilitation programs in Oklahoma, contact the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety.
States, and not the federal government, issue CDLs. But, federal law is supreme over state law. Federal law prohibits a state from giving a CDL to a person who has any of the above convictions. If you apply for a CDL, a state must check the “Problem Driver Pointer System”, which is a database that the U.S. Department of Transportation maintains.
Federal law requires all states participating in the National Driver Register, to report certain motor vehicle-related offenses (including DUIs) to the Problem Driver Pointer System. Currently, all states and the District of Columbia participate in the National Driver Register. So the U.S. Department of Transportation has records of DUI convictions of all states.
Thus, if you have been convicted of any of the above offenses in any state or the District of Columbia, you can’t get a CDL in any state, within the time period specified.