Commercial Driver License
If you have recent experience driving large trucks in the military, you may be eligible to obtain a Florida Commercial Driver License (CDL) without retaking the skills tests normally required. You may do this if:
- You are still in active service in any branch of the military, or are within 90 days of separating from the service.
- For the past two years at least, you have driven vehicles in the military that would require a CDL to operate as a civilian. Civilian commercial motor vehicles requiring a CDL are generally large straight trucks with a manufacturer’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) over 26,000 lbs., and truck-trailer combinations where the combined GVWR is over 26,000 lbs. and the trailer itself has a GVWR over 10,000 lbs. Experience driving vehicles designed to carry more than 15 people, including the driver, may also count.
This is the procedure to follow:
- Download and print the “Certification for Waiver of Skill Test for Military Personnel.” This form may also be obtained from any Florida Driver License Office. You and the responsible person in your military chain of command will need to complete and sign this form attesting to your driving experience. The form also provides a way for your commanding officer or transportation officer to state what types of military vehicle(s) you were qualified to drive, in terms that translate to the comparable civilian CDL class, endorsements, and restrictions.
- Study the Florida CDL Handbook, available online or in any Florida Driver License Office. You will need to know the information in this book to pass the required knowledge tests.
- While you are still in the service or no later than 90 days from separation, go to any Florida Driver License Office with your present driver license and military active duty identification card, reservist identification card, guard identification card or DD-214 (military discharge papers). You will be given the CDL knowledge tests needed for the class of license and endorsements you wish to obtain, as described in the handbook. If you pass and have brought your fully completed Certification for Waiver of Skill Test for Military Personnel form, you may be issued your Florida CDL in the same visit. If you pass the knowledge tests but did not bring your completed Certification for Waiver of Skill Test for Military Personnel form, you may return with it later for issuance of your CDL, so long as no more that 120 days have passed since your separation from the military.
Remember these time limits – To have your military driving experience accepted as a replacement for passing the regular CDL skills tests, you must begin the application process while on active duty or within 90 days of separation from the service. You must meet all requirements including presenting your properly completed certification of experience within 120 days after separation.
Click here for more information about Military Servicemembers and Family.