What are the new training rules for drivers with commercial CDL licenses in Florida

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Commercial drivers in Florida must meet new training standards imposed by the FLHSMV.

Photo: Drazen Zigic/Shutterstock

Since February of this year some new regulations around top-tier commercial drivers that have been imposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). According to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), these regulations apply directly to training requirements, which must be assessed before taking a driving test or skills test and, in some cases, before the knowledge test.

In the state, Entry-Level Commercial Drivers (ELDTs) are those who obtain or update a Class A or B commercial license for the first time or those seeking to obtain a school bus, passenger transport, or hazardous materials endorsement for the first time.

What are the new regulations that apply to CDL business licenses in Florida?

Basically, the new regulations require that drivers complete a training program before taking their driving test to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Florida. When such a program is completed, this information goes to the Training Provider Registry (TPR) and can be used by the FLHSMV to process the application. Although this training must be completed prior to the road test, it does not prevent applicants from scheduling the test date while completing the test. In addition to this requirement, applicants must:

1. Have obtained a standard operator’s licenser, that is, the license that every average driver must have in the state in order to operate a motor vehicle.

2. Have fulfilled at least 21 years old. If they are under that age and still want to get a business license (CDL), they must be at least 18 years old. The document they receive will allow them to operate commercial vehicles, but under certain conditions.

3. Must approve vision requirements, a knowledge test comprised of questions based on the state driver’s manual. Also a driving test in which they must demonstrate their skills behind the wheel. The driving test is the most important requirement.

As for the knowledge tests, the FLHSMV offers them in several languages ​​to facilitate the process for the applicant. The road test can only be taken in English and interpreters are not allowed during the process. In this sense, the applicant must prepare himself in the technical language used during the process to familiarize himself with the terms and indications of the evaluator assigned by the FLHSMV.

After obtaining a business license (CDL), drivers are ready to operate commercial vehicles which will be determined by the class of license they have chosen. However, they may also need to pass additional exams to obtain certain endorsements and endorsements that will allow them to perform some much more specific activities such as transporting hazardous materials.

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