Florida CDL Requirements – How do I get the license?

26 July, 2021

Learn about the requirements to obtain a CDL license in Florida. There are different types of business licenses, each one with different knowledge and skills required. Here we tell you what they are and much more …

Florida CDL requirements

What is the CDL?

The CDL is popularly known as the driver’s license for commercial vehicles such as trucks, buses or tow trucks in all USA. There are different kinds of licenses depending on the commercial activity. Driver’s License is the document required by the CMV (Commercial Motor Vehicle) from 04/01/1992.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles or FDHSMV is the authority on traffic matters, who grants and controls everything related to driver’s licenses.

See: Requisitos CDL Florida – ¿Cómo obtengo la Licencia?

How to get the CDL license in Florida?

The first step to obtaining a commercial license is to study the Commercial Driver’s Manual, which is available in English or Spanish. Find the Florida Driver Manual by clicking here.

  • You must have the complete medical examination by a doctor included in the Registry of Medical Examiners. Once approved, you will be given the Medical Examiners Certificate.
  • The next step is to get the CLP or commercial learning permit, with it, you can practice on public roads with a driver who has the CDL.

See: Licencia de la Florida – Pasos, requisitos, documentos, costos y más

Florida CDL requirements

To apply for the CLP you must meet the following requirements:

  • Florida driver’s license
  • Vision test pass
  • Pass knowledge test (30 questions, 80% correct answers)
  • Prove identity and residency in the state
  • Proof to be able to work in the United States
  • Medical exam
  • Have no disqualifications for CDL
  • Driving history for the last 10 years

With the CLP you will have 14 days to carry out driving practices, then you will be able to request the CDL.

Watch: How to work in Canada as a foreigner?

Florida CDL license cost

The cost of the CDL License in Florida, renewal or first time, is $75 USD.

The FDHSMV notifies drivers 5 business days prior to license expiration. We recommend that you use this time to renew your CDL. Remember that if your license has expired more than 1 year ago, you will have to take all the tests again.

Florida CDL Requirements

  • You must be 21 years old
  • Have a Non-Commercial Driver’s License E issued in Florida
  • Submit the corresponding application with the fee paid
  • Document proving your identity
  • Social Security number
  • Prove to be a resident of the State where you request the license
  • Completed Medical Exam Form signed by Medical Examiner
  • You must pass the knowledge test
  • Pass the travel inspection
  • Full review of driving record from last 10 years

License Types

The different license classes indicate the type of cargo and their weight, as well as the type of vehicle (combined, etc.) to be handled. Each class requires the approval of a series of exams, find out which ones are below:

Class A:

Enables you to drive trucks or combined vehicles up to 26,001 pounds (11,794 Kg) and tow containers or vehicles up to 10,000 pounds (4535Kg)

  • General knowledge
  • Combined Vehicles
  • Air brakes
  • Pre trip
  • CDL Highway
  • Applicable exams for desired endorsements
  • Basic abilities

B class

Required for driving straight trucks or buses of 26,001 pounds or more.

  • General knowledge
  • Air brakes (if applicable)
  • Pre trip
  • CDL Highway
  • Applicable exams for desired endorsements
  • Basic abilities

Class C:

This type of license is required to be able to transport properly marked dangerous products (Chemicals, fuels, waste, etc.) or vehicles to transport 15 or more people including the driver, and with a maximum weight of 26,001 pounds.

  • General knowledge
  • Air brakes (if applicable)
  • Pre trip
  • CDL Highway
  • Applicable exams for desired endorsements
  • Basic abilities

What are license endorsements?

Endorsements are special authorizations to drive certain commercial vehicles such as: school buses, tankers loaded with hazardous materials, etc.

Next, we show you the different types of endorsements that there are, each one is identified by a letter that must be visible on the vehicle.

  1. Hazardous Materials (H) – Allows the transport of dangerous cargo duly marked. Requires a written test.
  1. Tank vehicles (N) – Enables a tank truck to transport liquid or gaseous material with a capacity of 1,000 gallons or more. Requires a written test.
  2. Passengers (P) – Enables its holder to drive public or private buses to transport people, with capacity for 15 or more passengers. You need a written and skills test.
  3. School Bus (S) – Allows you to drive buses to transport preschool, elementary and high school students. You will also need to get the P endorsement. Requires written and skills test.
  4. Double / triple trailer (T) – Authorizes the driver to drive vehicles with double and triple trailers. Requires to be written test.
  5. Vehicles for hazardous materials and tank (X) – The driver may drive any tank vehicle or trailer. It is granted to those who have obtained the H and N endorsements.

Each of the endorsements has a cost of $15 US dollars.

Medical certification for CDL

Within the framework of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, all Commercial Driver License holders are required to certify with the State Driver Licensing Agency one of the four categories described below.

  • A – Interstate without exception: I work in interstate commerce. (Medical card required)
  • B – Interstate with exception: I work or aspire to work in interstate commerce, but I participate exclusively in operations except for the requirement to maintain federal medical certification.
  • C – Intrastate without exception: I drive or want to work only in intrastate commerce and must meet the medical certification requirements of the state of Florida. (Medical card required)
  • D – Intrastate with Exception: I work only in intrastate commerce, but participate exclusively in operations except for the Florida state medical certification requirements.

Remember: Failure to keep current medical documentation on file can result in disqualification from the CDL.

Who is exempt from the CDL requirements?

There are certain occasions when vehicles with CDL characteristics can be driven without the corresponding requirements being imposed on the driver. These are people with prior knowledge, or situations in which vehicles do not interact with general traffic.

  • Drivers of authorized emergency vehicles equipped with audible signals (sirens) and warning lights (red, blue, etc.)
  • Military vehicle drivers within the military sphere
  • People who drive agricultural machinery or transport cargo related to production and who move within a 150 mile (241 km) radius
  • Recreational or recreational vehicle drivers
  • Straight truck drivers to transport your own furniture and belongings that are not for sale.
  • An employee who opportunely drives vehicles to move them within a place closed to general traffic.

Where can I get more information about Florida CDL requirements?

To access all the information and get rid of all your doubts, we recommend you enter Florida Highway Safety And Motor Vehicules.