Florida CDL Requirements

Florida CDL Classes

      You must be at least 18 years old to operate a commercial motor vehicle within the state of Florida (intrastate) and at least 21 years of age to drive a commercial motor vehicle across Florida state lines (interstate). You need a Florida CDL to operate either commercial or non-commercial motor vehicles that fall into the following categories:

Class A
      Any combination of vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 26,001 pounds or more, provided that the gross vehicle weight rating of the towed vehicle is in excess of 10,000 pounds.  

Class B
      Any single vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 26,001 or more pounds, as well as any vehicle towing another vehicle that does not exceed a weight of 10,000 pounds. 

Class C
      Any vehicle or combination of vehicles that does not meet the criteria of either Class A or Class B, but is designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver), or is used in transporting materials classified as hazardous in the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act. Each applicant must also have a passenger or hazardous materials endorsement in order to obtain a Class C commercial driver’s license. 

Applying for a Florida Commercial Learner’s Permit

      You must already possess a Florida commercial learner’s permit before you can take the CDL Skills Test. Before applying for a Florida commercial learner’s permit, you must already possess a valid Florida operator’s license. You will be issued a Florida commercial driver’s license when you pass both the written general knowledge test and the CDL Skills Test.

      In order to obtain a Florida commercial learner’s permit, you must:

  • Provide a valid Florida operator’s license.
  • Prove that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Provide proof of your legal U.S. status.
  • Provide valid proof of your identity and age of birth (i.e., a certified birth certificate, valid U.S. passport, State I.D. card, etc.).
  • Provide valid proof of your Social Security number.
  • Provide proof of your current Florida residency that shows your name and current address (i.e., a utility bill, vehicle registration, etc.).
  • Provide your current DOT medical examination (cannot be more than 2 years old).
  • Pass the CDL general knowledge test.
  • Pay the $10 knowledge retest fee if you are required to retake any knowledge tests.

      All CDL written knowledge tests are offered at the Driver License Service Centers. You must pass the general knowledge test to obtain a Florida commercial learner’s permit. All knowledge tests are administered in both written and oral form.

      The oral tests can be administered in English, Spanish or Haitian Creole upon request but, the CDL Skills Test and the Hazmat endorsement knowledge test are only administered in English. Interpreters may not be used during any of the knowledge exams or the CDL Skills Test.

      Over 60% of first time CDL applicants fail the written test! Be sure to download and study the Florida CDL Handbook 2013, as it contains the information you need to pass the CDL knowledge tests, including some sample test questions. The Manual de la Licencia de Conducir Comercial de la Florida 2013 is also available for download in the Spanish language.

      Our Free CDL Practice Tests will help prepare you for the actual CDL knowledge tests administered by the DMV.

      Once you obtain a Florida commercial learner’s permit, the permit will be valid for six months from the date it is issued. If you are unable to take the CDL Skills Test to obtain your commercial driver’s license within the six month period, then your commercial learner’s permit may be re-issued for one additional six month period.

      You are only allowed to drive a commercial motor vehicle under the supervision of a front seat passenger who is at least 21 years of age and carries a valid Florida CDL of the same class as the vehicle you are operating. You may not operate any vehicle that is transporting materials deemed hazardous.

      Click here to find a Florida Driver License Service Center where you can take the CDL knowledge tests. You can use the Online Appointment Service and Information System to schedule an appointment to take your CDL written knowledge tests at a Driver License Service Center.
Florida CDL Requirements

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Florida CDL

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Applying for a Florida Commercial Driver’s License

      You will need the following in order to obtain a commercial driver’s license in the state of Florida:

  • A valid Florida commercial learner’s permit or a valid commercial driver’s license from another state.
  • A current completed and signed Medical Examiner’s Certificate.
  • Proof of vehicle insurance and vehicle registration (must be verified before you can take the test).
  • A front-seat passenger with a valid Florida CDL to ride with you to the test site.
  • Proof of your current Florida residency that shows your name and current address (utility bill, vehicle registration, insurance card).
  • $75 to pay the commercial driver’s license fee (the fee for an Original School Board CDL is $48).
  • $7 to pay for each CDL endorsement.
  • $20 for the CDL Skills retest fee if you are required to retake the Skills Test.

      The CDL driving skills test consists of a Pre-trip inspection, a Basic Vehicle Control test, and an On-Road Driving test and must be taken in the same class and type of motor vehicle you plan to drive once you obtain your CDL.  You cannot use an interpreter to translate scored parts of your CDL Skills test. If they are capable, the testers themselves are permitted to test you in your own language.

      If you plan to drive a commercial motor vehicle equipped with air brakes then, the vehicle you use to take the CDL Skills Test must be equipped with air brakes.

      If you plan on operating Class A tractor/semi-trailer combinations when you obtain your Class A CDL then, you must take the CDL Skills Test in a truck tractor with full-size fifth wheel hitch and the trailer must be a full “semi”.

      Vehicles driven during the CDL Skills Test must be unloaded during the test.

      Be sure to download and study the Florida CDL Handbook 2013, as it contains pertinent information that will help you pass the CDL Skills Test. The Manual de la Licencia de Conducir Comercial de la Florida 2013 is also available for download in the Spanish language.

      Click here to see the map and clickable list of state certified CDL Third Party Testers and the Jackson County Driver License Service Center where you can take the CDL Skills Test. You can use the Online Appointment Service and Information System to schedule an appointment to take your CDL Skills Test at the Driver License Service Center.

Commercial Driver Self-Certification

      In the state of Florida, all commercial driver’s license holders must self-certify as to what type of driving they will be doing (intrastate or interstate), and whether they meet or exceed the medical and physical standards put forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to legally and safely operate a commercial motor vehicle. All CDL applicants must self-certify once they obtain their commercial driver’s license.

      You are required to self-certify whenever you:

  • Apply for a commercial driver’s license.
  • Renew a commercial driver’s license.
  • Apply for a higher class of commercial driver’s license.
  • Apply for a new CDL endorsement.
  • Transfer a commercial driver’s license from another state.

      All commercial drivers who intend to operate a commercial motor vehicle for the following purposes only, do not require a commercial driver’s license and are considered “exempt” and therefore are waived from self-certification:

  • Fire and emergency vehicles used to preserve life and property or to carry out governmental operations.
  • Vehicles operated by non-civilian operators of military equipment.
  • Recreational vehicles that are being used for personal recreational use only.
  • Any farm vehicle used to transport agricultural products, farm machinery, or farm supplies within 150 air-miles of the owner’s farm and not used in the operation of a common or contract motor carrier.

      If you intend to operate a commercial motor vehicle for any other purpose than those listed above, then you are considered “non-exempt” and are required to hold a valid CDL and must self-certify. You may also need to provide a current Medical Examiner’s Certificate.

      If you operate a commercial motor vehicle in either intrastate or interstate commerce solely for the following purposes, then you are under “excepted” status, and therefore do not need to provide a Medical Examiner’s Certificate, but may need to undergo a medical evaluation:

  • Transporting school children and/or school staff members between home and school.
  • Operating any vehicle as an employee of either Federal, State, or Local government.
  • Operating fire and rescue vehicles for emergency purposes and other related events.
  • Transporting sick, injured, or deceased persons.
  • Primarily transporting propane heating fuel when responding to an emergency condition requiring an immediate response.
  • When responding to a pipeline emergency requiring an immediate response such as a pipeline leak or rupture.
  • When custom harvesting on a farm or to haul farm machinery and supplies to and from a farm or when transporting crops between a farm and a market or storage facility.
  • When operating a farm vehicle that is not a combo vehicle (power unit and towed unit), and is used to haul agricultural products, farm supplies (cannot be materials deemed hazardous), or farm machinery to and from a farm and within 150 air miles of the farm.
  • Transporting bees as an apiarist during beekeeping season.
  • When transporting migrant workers.
  • As a private motor carrier of passengers for non-business activities.

      If you intend to operate a commercial motor vehicle for any other purpose than those listed above, then you operate in either “non-excepted” intrastate commerce, “non-excepted” interstate commerce, or both. “Non excepted” interstate drivers and “non-excepted” intrastate drivers must provide a current Medical Examiner’s Certificate and must self-certify using the online Florida CDL Self-Certification System. The Medical Examiner’s Certificate cannot expire within 60 days from the date of submission.

      Any commercial drivers who self-certify as “excepted” interstate or “excepted” intrastatemust self-certify online using the Florida CDL Self-Certification System. “Excepted” drivers do not have to submit any medical documents or waivers but, may have to undergo a medical evaluation. You can submit your medical documents by mail, no matter what your self-certification status is.

      If you have any questions regarding self-certification, you can speak to a customer service representative at the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles CDL Helpdesk by calling (850) 617-2606 during normal business hours. Please have your commercial driver’s license number readily available when you callThe Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is closed during all state holidays.

      For more information about the Medical Examiner’s Certificate, please continue reading below.

Medical Examination Report for Commercial Driver’s License

      All CDL applicants must have the Medical Examiner’s Certificate and the Medical Examination Report completed by one of the following:

  • Licensed U.S. doctor of medicine (M.D.)
  • Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O)
  • Licensed physician assistant (P.A.)
  • Advanced practice registered nurse
  • Chiropractor

      The Medical Examiner’s Certificate must be attached to the Medical Examination Report and dated within the previous two years if you are renewing your commercial driver’s license. If you are a first time CDL applicant submitting your Medical Examiner’s Certificate, then the certificate must not expire within 60 days from the date of submission.

      The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will only accept your medical forms if they have been completed by a qualified physician who has been certified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You can search for a FMCSA certified physician by using the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

      The FMSCA requires you to have at least 20/40 vision in each eye and a field of vision of at least 140 degrees (70 degrees in each eye) in order to be certified to operate a commercial motor vehicle. Under certain conditions, you may be able to be waived from these and other medical requirements. 

      Once you have completed and signed the Medical Examiner’s Certificate, the Medical Examination Report, and any applicable medical waivers, you can submit your documents by doing the following:

  • Mail your completed and signed documents to:

                              Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
                              Division of Motorist Services
                              CDL Helpdesk
                              2900 Apalachee Pkwy, MS 91
                              Tallahassee, FL 32399

      Please include your name, address, and contact number on all mailings. Make sure your information is legible and be sure to double check and, if needed, correct any errors before submitting your documents. All CDL applicants are advised to keep copies of these documents for their own records. Failure to comply with state and federal self-certification regulations will result in a suspension, downgrade, or cancellation of your commercial driving privileges.

      If you have any questions regarding medial documents submission, you can speak to a customer service representative at the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles CDL Helpdesk by calling (850) 617-2606 during normal business hours. Please have your commercial driver’s license number readily available when you callThe Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is closed during all state holidays.

Hazmat Endorsement

      Any person that is applying for a Hazardous Materials CDL endorsement is required to undergo a federal background check and federal fingerprint check according to guidelines set by the Transportation Security Administration. All applicants must also provide the required documents to verify their identification and legal U.S. status. For more information, check out the Transportation Security Administration’s F.A.Q. page.

      You can apply for the security threat assessment on the TSA Hazardous Material Endorsement Enrollment Website. You must begin applying at least 30 days before the expiration of your CDL. You can start the application process on the HTAP Online Application Website. To apply by phone call (855) 347-8371. Use the TSA Enrollment Center Locator to find the nearest TSA approved fingerprint office.

Military Drivers

      In the state of Florida, if you are currently serving in the military or have been honorably discharged within the last 90 days, and you have driven military vehicles that would require a CDL to operate as a civilian with a 2 year safe driving record, then you qualify for the waiver of the CDL Skills Test and are exempt from taking the commercial driver skills test. You will still be required to take the written test. Certain restrictions apply. Download, print, and complete the Certificate for Waiver of Skill Test for Military Personnel form to start the process.

Florida CDL Endorsements

      H      Placarded Hazmat      Required to transport hazardous materials under DOT regulations. 

      N      Tank Vehicles      Required to transport liquids in bulk containers of 1,000 gallons or more.

      X      Tanker/Hazardous Materials Combination   Required to transport hazardous materials in tank vehicles   

      T      Double/Triple Trailers      Indicates CDL holder is certified to operate multiple trailer haulers. Triple trailers are prohibited on Florida roads.

      P      Passengers      Indicates the CDL holder is certified to operate passenger vehicles.

      S      School Bus      Indicates the CDL holder is authorized to operate a school bus. The “P” endorsement is also required.

Important Florida Commercial Driver’s License Resources

Florida CDL Handbook 2013
Manual de la Licencia de Conducir Comercial de la Florida 2013
Florida CDL Practice Tests
Florida Driver License Service Center Locations
CDL Learner’s Permit Brochure
Certification of Address Form
Certification for Waiver of Skill Test for Military Personnel
Online Appointment Service and Information System
Online Driver License Check
Florida CDL Self-Certification System
Medical Examination Report Form 649-F
Medical Examiner’s Certificate
National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners

 

      Check out our list of truck driving schools in Florida that will provide you with the necessary skills to obtain your commercial driver’s license and start your career in the exciting field of commercial truck driving! You may also want to check out our nationwide list of truck driving schools. 

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Map of Florida CDL Skills Test Locations 

TitleAddress
1. National Business Institute of Florida, Inc.* 4950 Recker Hwy, Winter Haven, FL 33880
2. South Florida Community College* 600 W. College Drive, Avon Park, FL 33825
3. American Trucking* 12805 NW 42nd Avenue, Opa Locka, FL 33054
4. Flagler County Adult Education* One Corporate Drive, Palm Coast, FL 32137
5. Washington-Holmes Technical Center* 757 Hoyt Street, Chipley, FL 32428
6. S.M.G. Incorporated* 6730 N. Citrus Avenue, Crystal River, FL 34428
7. Spring Lake Fruit Company, LLC 37648 Lock Street, Dade City, FL 33523
8. Walton County School Board 145 Park Street, DeFuniak Springs, FL 32435
9. Suncoast Beverage Sales, Ltd. 2996 Hanson Street, Fort Myers, FL 33916
10. Fort Pierce Utilities Authority 206 S. 6th Street, Fort Pierce, FL 34950
11. Sage Technical Services* 5900 Tedder Road, Suite 139, Fort Pierce, FL 34947
12. National Training, Inc.* Training Complex, 5600 County Road 209 South, Green Cover Springs, FL 32043
13. Huss Drilling, Inc.* 35920 State Road 52, Dade City, FL 33525
14. CDL Technical & Motorcycle Driving School, Inc.* 14420 NW 107 Avenue, Hialeah Gardens, FL 33018
15. Roadmaster Drivers School* 1409 Pickettville Road, Jacksonville, Fl 32220
16. Florida Community College at Jacksonville* Cecil Center CVD Facility, 5640 New World Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32221
17. Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority* 1100 Kennedy Drive, Key West, FL 33041
18. Key Power Driving School, Inc.* 250 E. Cowboy Way, LaBelle, FL 33935
19. City of Lakeland* 520 N. Lake Parker Avenue, Lakeland, FL 33801
20. All American Concrete, Inc* 8770 Somerset Dr, Largo, FL 33773
21. Madison County School Board 210 NE Duval Avenue, Madison, Florida 32340
22. A & D Trucking 8000 NW 74th Street, Medley, FL 33166
23. Key Power Driving School, Inc.* 3790 NW 11th Street, Miami, FL 33126
24. Metropolitan Trucking, Inc.* 398 NE 79th Street, Miami, FL 33138
25. The CDL School, Inc.* 7751 NW 27th Avenue, Miami, FL 33147
26. Truck Driver Institute, Inc. 5750 E. Milton Road, Milton, FL 32583
27. Roadmaster Drivers School* 6000 Cinderlane Pkwy, Orlando, Florida 32810
28. USA CDL Driving School* 7133 S. Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32809
29. Sarasota County School Board 301 Old Venice Road, Osprey, FL 34229
30. Bay County School Board 1311 Balboa Avenue, Panama City, FL 32401
31. Buffalo Rock Pepsi 2377 Sherman Avenue, Panama City, FL 32405
32. Sheridan Technical Center* 20251 Stirling Road, Pembroke Pines, FL 33332
33. Buffalo Rock Pepsi* 8801 Grow Drive, Pensacola, FL 32514
34. Taylor County School Board 318 N. Clark Street, Perry, FL 32347
35. Gulf County School Board 150 Middle School Road, Port St. Joe, FL 32465
36. Charlotte County School Board 1026 Carmalita Street, Punta Gorda, FL 33950
37. Suncoast Trucking Academy, Inc.* 28040 Airpark Drive, Punta Gorda, FL 33982
38. Truck Driver Institute, Inc. 3700 St. Johns Pkwy, Sanford, FL 32771
39. Sarasota County Technical Institute Suncoast Public Works Academy, 4748 Beneva Road, Sarasota, FL 34233
40. First Coast Technical College 2980 Collins Avenue, St. Augustine, FL 32084
41. Pinellas Technical Educational Center* St. Petersburg Campus, 901 34th Street S, St. Petersburg, FL 33711-2298
42. Bradford County School Board* 609 N. Orange Street, Starke, FL 32091
43. Lively Technical Center 500 N. Appleyard Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32304
44. Roadmaster Drivers School* 5025 Orient Road, Tampa, FL 33610
45. Indian River County School Board 1990 25th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960
46. Metropolitan Trucking, Inc.* 199 Pike Road, West Palm Beach, FL 33411
47. Ridge Vo-Tech Center* 7700 State Road 544, Winter Haven, FL 33881
48. Marianna DMV* 3613 Hwy 90, Mariana, FL 32446

 

*Testing location provides a test vehicle.

Some CDL testing locations require you to set up an appointment. CDL testing hours may vary. Please call the testing location for more information. 

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Florida CDL Requirements
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