Florida Commercial Driver License Requirements

Florida Commercial Driver License Requirements

February 07, 2023

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to the new law passed back in February of 2022 on who needs a CDL and who does not. This struck home when a close personal friend of mine was pulled over by Florida Highway Patrol for towing a skid to clear a lot on a jobsite.

Basically he was pulled over because the equipment he is hauling was over the weight limit to operate on public roads. He was cited, forced to leave the skid and trailer at a truck stop, had to appear in front of a judge and pay a fine. 

Above is an example of the equipment he was hauling to the jobsite. As you can tell it is nothing out of the ordinary. I see contractors all the time hauling equipment like this to different construction projects. But under new State of Florida law you must have a CDL to transport that type of equipment.

In Florida you must have a Class A CDL license when the combinations of 26,001 lbs or more and towing a vehicle, unit or equipment over 10,000 lbs. 

So if the Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) meaning…the value assigned by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and the weight rating of the trailer exceeds 26,001 lbs must be operated by a Class A CDL.

Funny thing is I live on the Gulf Coast and see trucks pulling boats that exceed this new law all summer long.

Now that we know the new laws and who has to have a CDL license, What is the process?

Step 1 - Get a Conditional Learner’s Permit

  • Must have a current Florida driver license 
  • Pass the knowledge exams
  • Pass a vision test
  • Pass a Medical Exam
  • Submit a driving record review with a look back of 10 years
  • Pay a Fee of $75.00

Step 2 - After completing the above you have a 14 day waiting period before you can obtain your CDL after you complete the following.

  • Vehicle Inspection Tests
  • Basic Control Testing
  • Road Test 

You are going to need some Training!

CDL school can be expensive, but the costs can be less expensive if you attend a Community College over an Independent CSL School. Independent schools can cost upwards of $7,000 where a Community College in your local area can be less than $3,000. All training can be completed in 3 weeks.

And there it is! Everything my friends need to know about the new Florida Law and how it obtain a CDL in less than 450 words.