Requirements for your Commercial Driver’s License in Florida
Obtaining your commercial driver’s license in the state of Florida can lead to a rewarding and secure career in the field of commercial truck driving. It is required in the State of Florida than anyone operating a commercial vehicle obtains and carries a commercial license including any special endorsements necessary for that particular type of driving. In addition, special endorsements may be required for transport of certain types of driving including hazardous materials and particular vehicle types. It is important to know and understand all of the laws and regulations regarding commercial driving in the state of Florida if you wish to avoid serious consequences in the future. In addition, it is essential that you as a new commercial driver have the ability to practice safety while on the road. At first glance, the rules and regulations you must remember can seem intimating but if you remain organized and provide a little effort on your part you will find that you are driving within state requirements in no time. The following guideline provides you with a basic outline of the most important requirements you must understand both during the application process. Find more great tips at DMVCheatsheets.com.
Applying for your Commercial Diver’s License
Before you can apply for your commercial diver’s license in the state of Florida there are certain requirements you must meet. You must be over the age of 21 to drive an interstate commercial vehicle and over age 18 if you plan to drive strictly within state lines. Having a regular license is not required but if you do not currently hold a standard license you will be required to complete additional steps during the application process in order to proceed. New federal laws have added an additional step to the process regarding your medical health. You must first certify with the state of Florida’s Driver License Agency in at least one of four main categories. Keep in mind that if a driver can no longer prove exemption to the medical card requirements, the state of Florida requires that you obtain your medical card or reduce to a non-commercial license. The four categories are:
- Interstate non-exception. This is required if you plan to dive a commercial vehicle outside of the state lines and are not exempt from the medical card.
- Interstate exception. If you can prove exemption from the medical requirements and are intending to drive outside the state this is your certification. However, keep in mind that other states may not have the same exemption.
- Intrastate non-exception. If you will be driving strictly within the state of Florida and are required to carry your medical certification you must certify this with the Agency.
- Intrastate exception. In the case that you can prove exemption from the medical card and plan on driving a commercial vehicle only in Florida you will need to certify this with Driver’s License agency.
During the application process, commercial driver’s licenses are divided into categories or classes that include the class A, B and C types. Each category has its own set of regulations and requirements but in general you will be required to follow these general steps:
- A Medical form filled out by your physician (unless exempt) must be provided at the time of the application in addition to a photo ID, birth certificate and social security card.
- You are required to pass a vision test at the time of application and register the need for glasses or contacts while driving.
- You must take and pass all of the tests within your class and the road test which is mandatory for all types of commercial licenses.
Each Class has its own unique requirements so it is important to have an idea of what you plan on doing with your CDL. The following requirements for obtaining your commercial driver’s license are broken down into classes:
- Class A. The subsequent tests are mandatory including the general knowledge test and combinations vehicle test. For this license testing in air brakes, pre-trip and basic skills are also required. The final test will be the road test.
- Class B. This class is for straight vehicles only so the combination vehicles test is not a requirement. You will be required to pass the general knowledge test; basic skills and air brakes test only if applicable to your type of vehicle. As with the class A license you will have to pass your final road skills test.
- Class C. This is similar to the Class A license with the addition of special endorsements required by the state of Florida. Particular types of materials require addition knowledge and testing in order to assure that you can safely transport those including hazardous materials.
In some special circumstances you may already hold a CDL from either another state or from the Military. The state of Florida will allow you operate a commercial vehicle within state lines with another state commercial driver’s licenses however if you are planning to transport hazardous materials you will be required to re-test for this endorsement. Military CDL’s will be required to retake the tests in order to operate a commercial vehicle within state lines.
Knowing these regulations will assist in making the application process go smoothly and save you valuable time and effort. In addition you will assure that you do not have any negative consequences in the future and most importantly that you are a safe driver while on the road.