Commercial Driving Schools Overview
How Do I Start a Commercial Driving School?
In order to conduct business as a behind-the-wheel driving school for non-commercial vehicles such as cars, small trucks, SUV’s and vans, you must follow the requirements under Chapter 488, Florida Statutes, and be licensed with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). In addition to the school license, a commercial driving school must have a certified instructor.
Requirements to Open a Commercial Driving School
An individual interested in opening a Commercial Driving School must submit:
- An Original commercial driving school application for licensure. (Note: Please type in the form, print it and save a copy for your records);
- A Certified fictitious name or Certificate of Incorporation filed with the Secretary of State:
- Certified fictitious name must have been issued within the last five years.
- Certificate of Incorporation must have been filed within the last year.
- A copy of the student contract to be issued between the school and student;
- A copy of the training curriculum (for classroom instruction);
- A copy of a valid certificate of insurance for each vehicle used for instruction;
- Provide one set of fingerprints for a fingerprint-based criminal background check. Do Not send a fingerprint card with your application. Print the fingerprint card and visit a live scan provider for electronic submission of your fingerprints. Do not send a fingerprint card with your application. There is a 3–7 day waiting period for results. Results are emailed to the DHSMV and are valid for two years.
- Documentation for each certified instructor. (See Requirements to Become a Certified Instructor)
- Print Rule 15A-11 – Driver Training School and keep for your records; and
- A $250 payment ($200 license fee plus $50 non-refundable application fee). There is a $15 non-refundable application fee for every vehicle you register with your school.
Note: If your school would like to register additional vehicles, after the initial license has been issued, please complete Form 77071S.
In addition to the school license, a school cannot operate without an instructor. The owner of the school can also be licensed as a commercial driving school instructor. This is a separate application process.
Requirements to Become a Certified Instructor
To become a certified commercial driving school instructor you must not have any suspensions, revocations, cancellations or disqualifications on your driving record for three (3) years prior to the date of the application. You must also have no felony or misdemeanor convictions, or pled no contest to, or had the adjudication withheld for any of these offenses within five (5) years of application. To become a certified instructor, you must submit:
- A completed commercial driving school instructor application (Note: Please type in the form, print it then, save it.)
- A Certificate of Completion for: 32-hour Driving Instructor Training Course (DITC) for a new instructor, 8-hour DITC Refresher training for a currently certified instructor, or Driver Performance Analysis System (DPAS) for a temporary instructor certification. The DPAS is a test given to potential instructors who have not been able to take the 32-hour DITC because none were scheduled at the time when the instructor application was submitted. (If you submit the DPAS scores and qualify for a temporary instructor certificate, you must enroll and complete the next scheduled 32-hour DITC or lose your temporary instructor certification)
- Provide one set of fingerprints for a fingerprint-based criminal background check. Do Not send a fingerprint card with your application. Print the fingerprint card and visit a live scan provider for electronic submission of your fingerprints. Do not send a fingerprint card with your application. There is a 3–7 day waiting period for results. Results are emailed to the DHSMV and are valid for 2 years; and
- A letter of employment from school owner.
The original instructor application fee is $25 and is non-refundable.
Listing of instructor courses is below. Please contact the school to find dates and times of the courses.
32 Hour Driver Instructor Training Course (DITC) and 8 Hour Refresher Training
|Name||Location||Courses Offered||Contact Information|
|Florida Safety Council (FSC)||1505 E Colonial Drive|
Orlando, FL 32803
|Driver Instructor Training Course, Teach the Teacher||Jen Strombeck: 407-897-4448|
Lisa Rutherford: 407-897-4427
|A Treasure Coast Driving School||941 SE Central Parkway|
Stuart, FL 34994
|Modern Approaches to Traffic Safety |
|John Bolen 772-220-0510|
Driver Performance Analysis System (DPAS) Testing Sites
|Ault's Driver Education Center||941-474-5125|
|Safety Council of Palm Beach||561-845-8233|
|Sunshine Safety Council||800-467-3008|
|Suncoast Safety Council||727-373-7233|
|Tampa Area Safety Council||813-248-3009|
|North FL Safety Council||850-877-5193|
|Florida Safety Council||800-372-3335|
For general information on Driver Improvement Schools, please click here.