- Location: Florida
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When you apply for a commercial driver license (CDL) in the state of Florida, you might feel as if you're having to jump through multiple hoops to achieve success. The large number of written and driving tests can seem daunting to even the most prepared and eager applicant.
However, there's plenty of help to be found. A number of state-approved third-party companies are available to help you get through the rigorous training process, and can even administer the required tests at the end of your training period.
You can also find the Florida CDL Handbook, a comprehensive manual specifically for CDL applicants, online or at most local driver license offices. This manual spells out all the basic driving rules and regulations, as well as CDL-specific inspection tips and more.
Some local offices also have skills testing facilities. Call the individual office for details on scheduling, pricing, and other information.
Currently, there aren't any requirements for apprenticeship or driver training to obtain your Florida CDL. You'll just be required to pass the applicable tests. The amount of studying and instruction time is up to you.
In 1986, United States Congress enacted the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act (CMVSA), which is a federal legislation requiring that CDL holders across the country be held to national minimum standards of competence. It also made it illegal to hold more than one license and required states to set up their own testing and licensing standards at or above the national minimum requirements.
In addition to passing all the tests and paying applicable fees, you must meet basic eligibility requirements. You will not be eligible for a CDL if one of the following is true:
- You already have a license from another state (illegal to hold more than one license)
- You are under suspension, revocation, or cancellation in Florida or another state
- You are under disqualification in Florida or another state for reasons including alcohol citations and serious traffic violations (see this FAQ for more details)
Drivers of some vehicles are exempt from requiring a CDL. These include:
- Drivers of authorized emergency vehicles
- Drivers of military vehicles
- Farmers transporting goods or machinery within 150 miles of their farms
- Drivers of recreational vehicles
- Drivers of single-unit trucks that are transporting their own goods not for sale
- Employees of public transport systems who move vehicles from one place to another in confined areas belonging to the transport company
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