There is a federal requirement that each state have minimum standards for the licensing of commercial drivers.
The State of Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides driver license testing information for drivers who wish to have a Commercial Drivers License (CDL). The information provided here is intended to be an introductory guide to the federal and state requirements for obtaining a commercial drivers license (CDL) and operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Information on CMV operation requirements may be obtained from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
You must have a CDL to operate:
- Any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more.
- Any combination vehicle with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
- A vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver).
- Any size vehicle that requires hazardous material placards or is carrying material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR part 73. Federal regulations through the Department of Homeland Security require a background check and fingerprinting for the Hazardous Materials endorsement.
To get a Florida CDL, you must hold a Florida Class E license and pass knowledge and skills tests. Formal training is the most reliable way to learn the many special skills required for safely driving a large commercial vehicle and becoming a professional driver in the trucking industry. Be prepared to have your photo taken and your vision checked. If corrected lenses are required, please have them with you.
Entry-Level Driving Training (ELDT):
Skills Testing Prerequisite
Applicants for a Commercial Driver License (CDL) must successfully complete a mandatory theory (knowledge) and behind-the-wheel (BTW) training program prior to taking the CDL skills testing. This includes:
- Obtaining a Class A or Class B CDL for the first time;
- Upgrading an existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL; or
- Obtaining a school bus (S), passenger (P), or hazardous materials (H) endorsement for the first time.
- Applicants with a CLP issued prior to February 7, 2022, who obtain a CDL before the CLP expires are not subject to the ELDT requirements.
- Individuals who hold a valid CDL, including those with an S, P, or H endorsement, are not required to complete additional ELDT training unless upgrading or adding endorsements as indicated above.
- Any individual who meets one of the exceptions for taking a skills test is also exempt from the ELDT requirements.
Hazardous Materials Prerequisite
Applicants for a hazardous materials (H) endorsement must complete mandatory theory training provided by a training provider listed on FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry prior to taking the knowledge test for the H endorsement.
Hazardous materials endorsement testing, as well as fingerprinting services, are provided at the Marcus Pointe location.
CDL Medical Card Information:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations require all Commercial Driver License (CDL) holders to certify with the State’s driver license agency in one of the four categories below prior to the issuance or renewal of a CDL. Those certifying in non-excepted interstate or non-excepted intrastate commerce (Category A or C) must also ensure their medical examiner certificate (Med Card) is on file with the state issuing agency and that it remains current. Failure to present a valid Med Card when required will result in the denial of the issuance or renewal of the CDL. Failure to maintain current a valid Med Card on file may result in CDL disqualification. Visit https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/medical to learn more about medical requirements.
- Non-excepted Interstate – I operate or expect to operate in interstate commerce and am required to maintain federal medical certification. (Med Card Required).
- Excepted Interstate – I operate or expect to operate in interstate commerce but engage exclusively in operations that qualify me for exception from the requirement to maintain federal medical certification.
- Non-excepted Intrastate – I operate or expect to operate only in intrastate commerce and am required to meet State of Florida medical certification requirements. (Med Card Required).
- Excepted Intrastate – I operate or expect to operate only in intrastate commerce but engage exclusively in operations that qualify me for exception from State of Florida medical certification requirements.
CDL holders can no longer claim exemption from medical certification requirements because they are not currently operating in non-excepted interstate or intrastate commerce. If not specifically included in Category B or D above, they must maintain their medical certification or downgrade to a non-commercial license.
Note: If you self-certify in a category exempt from medical certification requirements (Category B or D) and later change to a non-exempt type of operation (Category A or C), you must recertify in the appropriate category and provide proof of valid medical certification to avoid potential enforcement actions.
CDL Residential Address Requirements:
Customers applying for an original CDL or CLP must present two required residential address documents showing a Florida address in their name from the lists below:
1. A lease or rental agreement for the residence with a term of six months or greater
2. Current Florida voter registration card
3. Florida vehicle registration or title
4. Florida boat registration or title
5. Current homeowner’s insurance policy or bill
6. Current electricity or water bill
7. Cellular or landline telephone bill
8. Recent internet service provider bill
9. Latest property tax bill
10. Declaration of Domicile*
At least one of the following documents from the list below (must be a Florida address in the name of the driver):
1. W-2 form or 1099 form
2. Bank statement
3. Credit card statement
4. Military orders or documents
5. Pay stub
*If the driver cannot provide one of the above documents LISTED IN 1-9 in their name, the customer must provide the following:
Proof the customer has made a declaration of domicile filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court pursuant to Florida Statutes, Section, 222.17 and one of the 5 items listed immediately above.
The Certification of Address Form 71120 will no longer suffice for proof of residential address for the issuance of a CDL or CLP.