COMMERCIAL DRIVER LICENSE
Drivers who wish to obtain a commercial driver license (CDL) for the first time in Florida are required to have a valid Class E Florida driver license and pass vision requirements. All applicants must be at least 18 years old. CDL drivers under 21 years of age will be restricted to intrastate only, meaning they may only drive commercial vehicles within the state of Florida.
First Time Applicants (CDL Learner's Permit):
After passing the required written exams for the class of commercial license desired, first time applicants will be issued a six month (180 days) permit. This permit allows for practice in a commercial motor vehicle that would be legal to drive with the CDL class, endorsements and restrictions as shown on the permit. Vehicles with lower licensing requirements may also be driven. All Commercial Learner permit recipients must hold their Commercial Learner permit for 14 days before taking a driving skills exam.
When driving a commercial motor vehicle with a CDL permit, the permit holder must also carry their Class E license and only drive with another person who is at least 21 years old, fully licensed for that type of vehicle, and occupies the front seat closest to the driver.
Out-of-State CDL Holders:
Customers who surrender a valid commercial driver license from another state can have all exams and endorsements (excluding HAZMAT) reciprocated and will not have to retake any CDL tests. Customers with a hazmat endorsement from out of state will need to complete the required knowledge testing and background check process in the state of Florida. See requirements in the endorsements section below.
Canadian CDL Holders
Canadian CDL holders that wish to reciprocate CDL exams can do so by relinquishing their Canadian CDL. All exams and endorsements (excluding HAZMAT) will be reciprocated. Customers that wish to maintain their Canadian CDL will be required to take all applicable CDL written and skill exams.
Military CDL Drivers:
Customers with military commercial driving experience can request to have driving skills exams reciprocated to obtain a Florida CDL. To do this you must first pass all required written exams for the class of license/endorsements you would like. Then you must present the Certification for Waiver of Skill Test for Military Personnel form completed by your commanding officer or designee while on active duty or within 90 days of separation from service.
Military are only exempt from taking the skills exams. The process must be completed and the CDL issued within 120 days of separation from service.
Commercial Driver License Classes:
There are three classes of commercial licenses in Florida:
Class A – Allows you to operate trucks or truck combinations weighing 26,001 lbs or more and tow a vehicle/unit over 10,000 lbs.
Class B – Allows you to operate straight trucks and buses 26,001 lbs or more.
Class C – Allows you 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.
CDL drivers may choose to take additional testing to have endorsements added to their license. "Endorsement" means a special authorization, which permits a driver to drive certain types of vehicles or to transport certain types of property or a certain number of passengers. The following endorsements can be placed on Class A, B, or C commercial driver licenses.
H. Placarded Hazmat
N. Tank Vehicles
T. Double/Triple Trailers
S. School Bus
X. Placarded Hazmat & Tank Vehicles
We process customers for hazmat endorsement by appointment only at our North and South Fort Myers offices.
Schedule an appointment through Oasis
For more information and definitions on CDL endorsements, visit FLHSMV's CDL endorsement page.
Medical Self-Certification Requirements:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations require all Commercial Driver License holders to certify with the State’s Driver License Agency in one of four categories. CDL holders are no longer exempt from carrying a medical card simply because they are not currently driving commercial motor vehicles. For more information on CDL Medical requirements view our CDL medical certification brochure or visit FLHSMV's CDL medical page.
All DOT medical cards issued on or after May 21st 2014 must be completed by a doctor in the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners in order to be accepted. DOT cards with missing information or cards completed by doctors who are not in the registry cannot be accepted.
There are two options for self-certifying: online or in-office.
Online customers can update their category or medical card for free. Customers who are updating a medical card will be required to upload an image of the card to self-certify online.
Customers who come into an office to update their category or card will be charged a service fee of $6.25.
Written CDL testing is available at all six of our locations from 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM Monday through Friday, excluding Holiday closings. CDL tests are available in English and Spanish.
CDL driving tests are given at certain state offices and approved third party testing sites.
State-operated testing sites
Third party testing sites
Late Fee – An additional $15 fee is charged if you renew your license one day or more after the expiration date. If your license expires on a weekend or holiday, the late fee is waived the next business day only.