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Commercial Driver Licenses (CDL)
See below for new federal and state requirements that apply to all CDL's.
Click here for information on transferring an out-of-state CDL to Florida.
Click here for information on renewing a CDL.
Operator License Upgrade to Commercial License
Our branch offices provide limited driver license services. If you need to upgrade your regular operator license (Class E) to a CDL, you must make an appointment to visit the Specialized Driver License department at our DeSoto office.
Visit our driver license tests page for more information on CDL upgrade requirements.
New Federal and State CDL Requirements
There are new federal and state requirements for all CDL's, even if you already have one.
What are the changes?
Federal and state law requires all CDL holders to:
Failure to follow this law can result in your CDL application being denied.
- Certify your type of commerce (interstate and intrastate, or intrastate only).
- Carry a current medical certificate or card.
Also, you must:
- Visit the Specialized Driver License department at our DeSoto office for all CDL issuances, including replacements, renewals, address changes, or any other changes.
- Complete a driver license application and bring it with you to our office.
Does this apply to me?
Yes, this law applies to all CDL's. You don't have to visit an office right away, but the requirements will be in effect for the next time you renew, replace, change your address, transfer from out-of-state, or any time a CDL is issued.
Are there any exemptions?
There are very limited exemptions for certain categories of operations. Click here and scroll to page 5 for a full list of exemptions on our CDL Questionnaire.
If you claim an exemption, you must be prepared to print and present the specific
exemption for which you qualify. Most commercial license holders are not exempt.
Note: If you are unemployed, you cannot claim an exemption for solely that reason. You must provide medical certification or downgrade to a regular operator license (Class E). If you choose to downgrade, your CDL exams will remain on file; when you choose to change back to a CDL, you will not have to re-take all of your previous examinations and tests.
What if I'm not exempt?
If you are not exempt, federal and state law requires you to carry and present to our office a current medical certificate or card. Your medical certification must be in accordance with § 383.71 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
CDL Federal Vision Waivers
CDL holders are held to a higher standard of vision than that of other drivers. If you do not meet the minimum federal vision requirement of 20/40 or better in each eye with or without best correction (glasses or contacts), you will be restricted to intrastate operation and a "2" restriction will be placed on your CDL license, or a Federal Vision Waiver will be required.
Click here for the Federal Vision Waiver.
Additional CDL information
Click here for a reference chart of CDL classifications, endorsements, and restrictions.