How to Renew a Commercial Drivers License in Florida
Individuals with commercial driver’s licenses, or CDLs, need to complete a CDL renewal just like any other driver. Commercial drivers can hold their licenses for several years before having to renew. They can get CDL license renewal within 1 year of their license expiration date. Florida drivers are only permitted to renew in person at a local DMV office. They need several valid documents in order to successfully renew. These documents include a current medical examiner’s certificate, background check and proof of residency.
Drivers who need a CDL renewal are sometimes required to pass certain tests if they wish to obtain new endorsements. This is especially true for drivers with HAZMAT certifications. Holders of the HAZMAT endorsement are subject to a background check with every renewal. Drivers applying for new endorsements must take a written and/or skills test depending on the endorsement code. Continue reading below to learn about how to renew a commercial driver’s license in Florida
When to Renew Your CDL License in Florida
CDL renewal in Florida is required for all commercial drivers if they want to continue operating commercial vehicles. All drivers’ licenses have different expiration dates depending on when they acquired their license. CDL licenses with HAZMAT endorsements are valid for up to 4 years. Other endorsements and CDL classes may be valid for longer.
Commercial drivers are mailed notice letters several weeks before their CDL expiration date to inform them of when and how to renew their commercial driver’s licenses.
Drives who do not renew before or on their expiration date have a short CDL expiration grace period before incurring any fees or penalties. Individuals who apply for CDL renewals after their expiration date are subject to a $15 late fee. Those who fail to renew within a certain period may be subject to higher fees, especially if they continue driving with an expired CDL.
CDL Renewal Testing Requirements in Florida
Some commercial drivers are required to take certain a CDL endorsement test exams when renewing their licenses. This is especially true for those seeking a new endorsement. Tests must be completed in person at specific, and approved, testing sites.
Drivers whose Department of Transportation, or DOT, medical certification is close to expiring, or is expired, are required to obtain a physical from an approved physician and acquire a new certification.
Drivers seeking to renew a CDL are not usually required to complete or retake any tests that they took when first applying for a CDL. This includes knowledge, skills and vision tests. These are usually only required if the commercial license has been expired for a certain number of years or if the driver is a certain age, such as older than 80.
What do you need to renew your CDL license in Florida?
New commercial drivers with little experience renewing ask, “what do you need to renew you CDL license in Florida?”
There are several documents that all CDL carriers need to provide to their local DMV when renewing:
- Current CDL medical examiner’s certificate.
- Self-certification documents.
- Proof of residency.
- Social Security Number.
Under certain circumstances and CDL renewal endorsements, drivers are asked to provide other documents:
- Documents verifying the type of vehicle being operated under the CDL to a State or Local Tax Collector Driver License Agency (STDLA).
- National-level background check for HAZMAT endorsement holders.
- Proof of citizenship or immigration status.
- Vision exam results.
CDL Renewal Process in Florida
The CDL renewal process in Florida cannot be accomplished online or by mail. In-person renewal is the only method permitted by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. This is primarily because of the documents that drivers are required to provide for verification. In addition, any exams that drivers need to take must also be completed in person
There are many DMV locations in Florida that commercial drivers can go to when they need to get a CDL license renewal. Most offices take appointments while others allow walk-in hours. It is important to ask the DMV office about hours of operation and scheduling before making the trip. Drivers must bring in their necessary documents such as:
- Social Security Number (SSN)
- Mail from a primary home address
Renewal applicants will receive their updated licenses in the mail, not at the DMV. New licenses take several days to process and ship.
Florida CDL Permit Renewal Requirements
In Florida, drivers cannot receive a CDL permit renewal. This is because CDL permits, or CLPs, do not get renewed. Instead, they are upgraded to full commercial driver’s licenses after the initial period of training. To receive a full CDL license, drivers must pass written and driving exams, inspection tests, vision and physical tests.
New commercial drivers wonder “how long is a CDL permit good for?” Holders of the CLP must possess the permit for at least 14 days before obtaining a CDL.
Hazardous Material Endorsement CDL Renewal Requirements in Florida
There are several additional requirements CDL renewal requirements in Florida for drivers who possess a Hazardous Materials endorsement. That is because this type of endorsement allows individuals to transport dangerous materials, therefore, the Florida DMV must make sure that drivers meet certain qualifications.
HAZMAT certified drivers are also required to undergo background checks with every CDL renewal. Instructions for completing background checks are included within notification letters. In addition, HAZMAT endorsed drivers must submit verification of their U.S. citizenship or immigration status.
CDL Renewal Fees in Florida
The CDL renewal cost in Florida is the same as that required for new commercial driver’s license: a new CDL license costs $75 to acquire. However, drivers trained in school bus driving and are applying, or have applied, for employment by a school system must pay $48 for their CDL renewal.
Individuals who must retake written or driving exams must pay a CDL renewal fee as well. Written exams are $10 while driving exams are $20. Drivers who complete late renewals are required to pay a $15 late fee. CDL holders of HAZMAT endorsements may have to pay additional fees for background checks.
Florida CDL Renewal Forms
- Medical Examination Report Form
- HAZMAT Application Form
- Report of Eye Examination
- Certification for Waiver of Skill Test for Military Personnel
Note: DMV forms change regularly. The forms provided above are current based on the date of writing.
- Florida CDL Handbook from FLHSMV.gov
- CDL Medical Certification Requirements from FLHSMV.gov
- How to Obtain a Commercial Drivers License from FLHSMV.gov
- How to Get a Commercial Driver's License from CMS.FMCSA.DOT.gov