How to get a CDL in Florida


If you are thinking about getting your CDL to drive commercially, there are qualifications you must meet. The following are the guidelines and requirements according to the State of Florida.

Qualifications to Apply

All applicants for a Commercial Driver License are required to have an Operators License and pass the vision requirements. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age. If they are under 21, they will be restricted to intrastate operation only.

Conditional Learner’s Permit

Before proceeding to the CDL part of the process all persons seeking a new commercial driver license must obtain a Conditional Learner’s Permit. The CLP allows you to practice driving on public roads with a qualified CDL holder riding with you. To acquire one you need to:

  • Possess a Florida driver’s license.
  • Pass the appropriate knowledge exams.
  • Pass a vision test.
  • Provide proof of identity and residency. This will likely be your current driver’s license, but check with a Division of Driver Licenses office to be certain of what they require.
  • Pass the Division of Driver Licenses medical exam.
  • Submit to a driving record review. Your driving record for the past 10 years will be up for examination.
  • Pay the appropriate fee.

Following satisfactory completion of all the requirements for the CLP and a 14-day waiting period you can obtain your CDL by taking the vehicle driving skills test; which comprises:

  • Vehicle inspections tests.
  • Basic controls testing.
  • A commercial driving road test.

***Go to the State of Florida CDL Skill Sites page for a list of test sites.

Classifications and Exam Requirements

Class A Exam Requirements – To operate trucks or truck combinations weighing 26,001 lbs or more, and towing a vehicle/unit over 10,000 lbs, then a Class A license is needed. The following tests are required:

  • General Knowledge test
  • Combinations vehicle test
  • Air Brakes
  • Pre-Trip
  • Basic Skills
  • CDL Road Test
  • Applicable exams for desired endorsements

Class B Exam Requirements – To operate straight trucks and buses 26,001 lbs or more, then a Class B license is needed. The following tests are required:

  • General Knowledge test
  • Air Brakes (if applicable)
  • Pre-Trip
  • Basic Skills
  • CDL Road Test
  • Applicable exams for desired endorsements

Class C Exam Requirements – To operate vehicles transporting placarded amounts of hazardous materials, or vehicles designed to transport more than 15 persons including the driver with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of less than 26,001 lbs, then a Class C license is needed. The following tests are required:

  • General Knowledge test
  • Air Brakes (if applicable)
  • Pre-Trip
  • Basic Skills
  • CDL Road Test
  • Applicable exams for desired endorsements
  • Endorsements are required for driving doubles/triples, tanks, passenger and hazardous materials.

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