How to get a CDL License in Florida

To obtain a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) in Florida, you must follow the steps outlined by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV).

Here's a general overview of the process:

How to get a CDL License in Florida?: eAskme
How to get a CDL License in Florida?: eAskme

Determine your eligibility:

You meet the basic requirements to apply for a CDL in Florida.

You must be at least 18 for intrastate (within Florida) driving or 21 years old for interstate (across state lines) driving.

Additionally, you need a valid Florida driver's license and a clean driving record.Obtain a CDL manual: Obtain a copy of the Florida CDL Handbook by visiting a local DHSMV office or downloading it from their website.

Familiarize yourself with the content and study the material thoroughly.

Choose your CDL class and endorsements:

Decide which class of CDL you need based on the type of vehicle you plan to operate.

Florida offers classes: Class A, Class B, and Class C. Determine if you require any endorsements for specific vehicle types or cargo, such as hazardous materials (Hazmat), passenger transport, or tank vehicles.

Prepare for the written knowledge tests:

The CDL knowledge tests consist of a general knowledge exam and additional tests for each endorsement you seek. Study the CDL manual and use practice tests to prepare for the exams.

These tests can be taken at a DHSMV office.

Gather the necessary documentation:

Before visiting a DHSMV office, gather the required documents, which typically include your valid Florida driver's license, Social Security card, proof of residency, and proof of citizenship or legal presence.

Visit a DHSMV office:

Locate a DHSMV office near you and visit in person.

Inform the staff that you want to apply for a CDL and provide the necessary documentation.

You'll need to pass a vision test and pay the required fees, which vary based on the class and endorsements you seek.

Take the written knowledge tests:

Once you've submitted your documentation and paid the fees, you must take the CDL written knowledge tests.

Pass the general knowledge exam and any additional endorsement tests you've chosen.

Obtain a Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP):

If you pass the written tests, you'll receive a CLP. The CLP allows you to practice driving a commercial vehicle under certain restrictions.

You'll need to hold the CLP for at least 14 days before taking the skills test.

Practice driving and obtain training (optional):

Consider getting professional training or practice driving a commercial vehicle to gain the necessary skills and confidence for the CDL skills test.

Schedule and pass the CDL skills test:

Contact a third-party CDL skills testing provider approved by the DHSMV to schedule your skills test.

The test includes a pre-trip vehicle inspection, basic vehicle control maneuvers, and an on-road driving test.

Complete the CDL application process:

If you pass the skills test, return to the DHSMV office to complete the CDL application process.

Provide the necessary documentation, pay any remaining fees, and have your photo taken.

You'll receive your CDL once all requirements are met.

Remember to check the Florida DHSMV website or contact their office directly for the most up-to-date and detailed information regarding the CDL application process.

What is required for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Florida?

In Florida, the CDL must drive a commercial vehicle such as a semi-trailer truck or tractor-trailer.

The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) issued the CDL for Florida.

You must be at least 18 to be eligible to apply for an intrastate license (driving within Florida) or 21 years old if you want to drive across state lines.

You must have a valid Florida driver's license, pass a vision test, and pay the required fees.

You must also complete several exams, programs, and a background check. The duration of the course is about 40 hours.

The license is valid for 12 months. The CDL is renewed annually.

Renewing a CDL in Florida:

Generally, only one renewal permit (CLP) is required to operate a truck within Florida, and that CLP expires after three months.

If you want to cross state lines, you must have your CLP valid for at least 30 days before crossing state lines.

You can renew your permit by applying once every three years.

If you don't do so, your CDL will be revoked.

To obtain a CLP, you must go through the same process. In addition, you will require a current medical report from your doctor and a copy of your state-issued birth certificate for non-citizens.

If you want to drive with a passenger, you must obtain a CDL-P.

CDL driving record in Florida:

Before your license is issued, your driving record must be submitted for review.

The Department of Transportation and DMV will not issue a CDL if there is an unresolved violation.

You will have no problem passing the skills test if your driving record shows no or only minor violations.

You will not be allowed to drive large vehicles if there are some violations.

How long is a CDL valid in Florida?

The validity of your CDL is determined by how long you have held the permit. Generally, you can hold your CDL for a maximum of two years.

If you've been driving for three months with a valid permit, that one month will be added to the two-year validity of your CDL.

You can expect to renew your CDL every three years.

If your CDL is up for renewal, it is valid for one year, but you must meet all requirements again. Once your CDL expires, you must apply for a new one.


The main requirement to obtain a CDL in Florida is to be a legal state resident and be over 18.

You must have a valid Florida driver's license, pass a vision test, and pay the required fees to apply for your permit.

If you apply for an intrastate CDL, you must have practiced driving commercial vehicles. If you want to drive across state lines, it is also necessary that you have practiced driving commercial vehicles.

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