The business of commercial driving has many Florida job opportunities throughout the state. Commercial drivers must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles issues these licenses. Prospective commercial drivers must first study for and pass a written CDL knowledge test. After passing that exam, applicants must then receive training to take a CDL skills test. Those who pass both portions of the exam can get a Florida CDL license from the local DMV office.
Access the latest version of the “Florida CDL Handbook.” The Florida DMV links to the LowestPriceTrafficSchool website for an online version of this Florida CDL manual. Cick on “DMV Handbooks” in the top menu at the LowestPriceTrafficSchool.com website to find and access the commercial driver’s license handbook for Florida. Note that the state of Florida does not endorse this traffic school. The school is a “sponsor” of the CDL manual.
Note: The location of the online manual could change from time to time. Visit the Department’s website at FLHSMV.gov for the latest information. Optionally, visit the local Florida DMV office and ask for a paper copy of the handbook.
Study the portions of the CDL manual that apply to your situation. All commercial drivers must take some written portions of the CDL knowledge exam. But other portions are designed to test for “endorsements” like hazardous materials and passenger vehicles. You only have to take the portions that apply to the commercial vehicle you intend to drive in Florida. If you do not currently have a Florida CDL job employer, then you should study the entire CDL manual to keep your options open for driving jobs after you get your Florida CDL license.
Note: Several online sites offer free CDL study guides and other resources. For example, CristCDL has a number of CDL practice tests for drivers. Use these resources (search for them in a search engine) in conjunction with the official manual to prepare for your Florida CDL test.
Take your exam at your local DMV. Once you pass, you will receive a CDL permit. A permit is what allows you to train on commercial vehicles on Florida roads. You will almost certainly need some actual practice to be ready for the CDL skills test that is required before getting a license.
Find a training source for commercial driving. One common approach is to attend a Florida truck driving school. You can find certified schools through the Professional Truck Driver Institute. Visit the directory of schools at Ptdi.org/schools/schools.aspx. Unfortunately, there aren’t any Florida commercial driving schools with PTDI-certified programs in Florida. But you can find schools in North Carolina and other states.
You could also look for Florida truck driver’s schools or employer-sponsored programs by asking truckers in your area. However, make sure you find someone who actually recommends a program before you spend your time and money on a CDL training program in Florida.
If you are training to be a Florida school bus driver, then ask your local school district how to train and take the CDL skills test. In the case of other bus drivers such as passenger buses, contact private companies about training programs. Outfits like Greyhound provide free CDL training in Florida to certain applicants for driving jobs.
Complete your training for your CDL skills test. You will also have to drive, so make sure you get ample practice on a real vehicle before your test.
Schedule a CDL skills exam at your local Florida DMV. If you pass this second exam, then you can receive a Florida CDL license if you have also passed a medical exam. Ask your local office about how to take the medical exam before the day of your skills test. Drivers hauling hazardous materials (HAZMAT) must also pass a background check before getting the HAZMAT endorsement.
Florida CDL Handbook
Certified Truck Driving Schools Around Florida