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:
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.
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.
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.
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” intrastate, must 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 call. The 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
- Licensed U.S. doctor of medicine (M.D.)
- Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O)
- Licensed physician assistant (P.A.)
- Advanced practice registered nurse
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.
- Mail your completed and signed documents to:
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
Division of Motorist Services
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 call. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is closed during all state holidays.
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.
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
1. National Business Institute of Florida, Inc.* 4950 Recker Hwy, Winter Haven, FL 33880 Phone: 863-294-1112 2. South Florida Community College* 600 W. College Drive, Avon Park, FL 33825 Phone: 863-453-2250 3. American Trucking* 12805 NW 42nd Avenue, Opa Locka, FL 33054 Phone: 305-681-2025 4. Flagler County Adult Education* One Corporate Drive, Palm Coast, FL 32137 Phone: 386-447-4345 5. Washington-Holmes Technical Center* 757 Hoyt Street, Chipley, FL 32428 Phone: 850-638-1180 ext. 306 6. S.M.G. Incorporated* 6730 N. Citrus Avenue, Crystal River, FL 34428 Phone: 352-795-7170 7. Spring Lake Fruit Company, LLC 37648 Lock Street, Dade City, FL 33523 Phone: 352-567-5669 8. Walton County School Board 145 Park Street, DeFuniak Springs, FL 32435 Phone: 850-892-3360 9. Suncoast Beverage Sales, Ltd. 2996 Hanson Street, Fort Myers, FL 33916 Phone: 239-334-3520 10. Fort Pierce Utilities Authority 206 S. 6th Street, Fort Pierce, FL 34950 Phone: 772-466-1600 11. Sage Technical Services* 5900 Tedder Road, Suite 139, Fort Pierce, FL 34947 Phone: 772-462-4255 12. National Training, Inc.* Training Complex, 5600 County Road 209 South, Green Cover Springs, FL 32043 Toll Free: 800-488-7364 13. Huss Drilling, Inc.* 35920 State Road 52, Dade City, FL 33525 Phone: 813-781-5047 14. CDL Technical & Motorcycle Driving School, Inc.* 14420 NW 107 Avenue, Hialeah Gardens, FL 33018 Phone: 305-822-0666 15. Roadmaster Drivers School* 1409 Pickettville Road, Jacksonville, Fl 32220 Phone: 904-783-3333 16. Florida Community College at Jacksonville* Cecil Center CVD Facility, 5640 New World Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32221 Phone: 904-779-4056 17. Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority* 1100 Kennedy Drive, Key West, FL 33041 Phone: 305-296-2454 18. Key Power Driving School, Inc.* 250 E. Cowboy Way, LaBelle, FL 33935 Phone: 863-675-0755 19. City of Lakeland* 520 N. Lake Parker Avenue, Lakeland, FL 33801 Phone: 863-834-6796 20. All American Concrete, Inc* 8770 Somerset Dr, Largo, FL 33773 Phone: 727-798-1496 21. Madison County School Board 210 NE Duval Avenue, Madison, Florida 32340 Phone: 850-973-5022 ext. 239 22. A & D Trucking 8000 NW 74th Street, Medley, FL 33166 Phone: 786-357-9467 23. Key Power Driving School, Inc.* 3790 NW 11th Street, Miami, FL 33126 Phone: 305-649-5344 24. Metropolitan Trucking, Inc.* 398 NE 79th Street, Miami, FL 33138 Phone: 305-756-4235 25. The CDL School, Inc.* 7751 NW 27th Avenue, Miami, FL 33147 Phone: 305-638-2200 26. Truck Driver Institute, Inc. 5750 E. Milton Road, Milton, FL 32583 Toll Free: 1-800-848-7364 27. Roadmaster Drivers School* 6000 Cinderlane Pkwy, Orlando, Florida 32810 Phone: 407-532-3619 28. USA CDL Driving School* 7133 S. Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32809 Phone: 407-826-0755 29. Sarasota County School Board 301 Old Venice Road, Osprey, FL 34229 Phone: 941-486-2141 30. Bay County School Board 1311 Balboa Avenue, Panama City, FL 32401 Phone: 850-872-4855 31. Buffalo Rock Pepsi 2377 Sherman Avenue, Panama City, FL 32405 Phone: 850-763-8458 32. Sheridan Technical Center* 20251 Stirling Road, Pembroke Pines, FL 33332 Phone: 754-321-3900 33. Buffalo Rock Pepsi* 8801 Grow Drive, Pensacola, FL 32514 Phone: 850-723-4200 34. Taylor County School Board 318 N. Clark Street, Perry, FL 32347 Phone: 850-838-2505 35. Gulf County School Board 150 Middle School Road, Port St. Joe, FL 32465 Phone: 850-227-1204 36. Charlotte County School Board 1026 Carmalita Street, Punta Gorda, FL 33950 Phone: 941-575-5432 37. Suncoast Trucking Academy, Inc.* 28040 Airpark Drive, Punta Gorda, FL 33982 Phone: 941-347-7445 38. Truck Driver Institute, Inc. 3700 St. Johns Pkwy, Sanford, FL 32771 Toll Free: 1-800-848-7364 39. Sarasota County Technical Institute Suncoast Public Works Academy, 4748 Beneva Road, Sarasota, FL 34233 Phone: 941-924-1365 ext. 62473 40. First Coast Technical College 2980 Collins Avenue, St. Augustine, FL 32084 Phone: 904-824-4401 41. Pinellas Technical Educational Center* St. Petersburg Campus, 901 34th Street S, St. Petersburg, FL 33711-2298 Phone: 727-893-2500 ext. 1053 42. Bradford County School Board* 609 N. Orange Street, Starke, FL 32091 Phone: 904-964-5932 43. Lively Technical Center 500 N. Appleyard Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32304 Phone: 850-487-7463 44. Roadmaster Drivers School* 5025 Orient Road, Tampa, FL 33610 Phone: 813-626-2400 45. Indian River County School Board 1990 25th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960 Phone: 772-978-8820 46. Metropolitan Trucking, Inc.* 199 Pike Road, West Palm Beach, FL 33411 Phone: 561-753-7667 47. Ridge Vo-Tech Center* 7700 State Road 544, Winter Haven, FL 33881 Phone: 863-419-3060 48. Marianna DMV* 3613 Hwy 90, Mariana, FL 32446 Phone: 850-482-9602
*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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