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Commercial Driver’s License Guide: Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina

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If you live in Florida, Georgia, or South Carolina, learn the guideline for getting your Commercial Driver's License (CDL) below. For all other states, TheJobNetwork has published articles on getting a CDL in all states.

Florida

All applicants must have an Operators License, pass the vision requirements, and be at least 18 years old. Anyone under 21 will be restricted to intrastate operation.

Oral exams may be given in English or Spanish, excepting skills test and Hazmat exams. Interpreters may not be used.

Class A Exam Requirements

You need a Class A license to operate trucks or truck combinations weighing 26,001 lbs or more and towing a vehicle/unit over 10,000 lbs. The following tests are required:

  • General Knowledge test
  • Combinations vehicle test
  • Air Brakes
  • Pre-Trip
  • Basic Skill
  • CDL Road Test
  • Applicable exams for desired endorsements
Class B Exam Requirements

You need a Class B license is needed to operate straight trucks and buses of 26,001 lbs or more. The following tests are required:

  • General Knowledge test
  • Air Brakes (if applicable)
  • Pre-Trip
  • Basic Skills
  • CDL Road Test
  • Applicable exams for desired endorsements
Class C Exam Requirements

You need a Class C license to operate vehicles transporting placarded amounts of hazardous materials or vehicles designed to transport more than 15 persons including the driver with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of less than 26,001 lbs. The following tests are required:

  • General Knowledge test
  • Air Brakes (if applicable)
  • Pre-Trip (if applicable)
  • Basic Skills (if applicable)
  • CDL Road Test
  • Applicable exams for desired endorsements

Florida will reciprocate an out-of-state or Canadian CDL. However, an out-of-state applicant with a Hazmat endorsement must reapply and obtain a background check, appropriate exams, and fees.

Georgia

The following require a driver to hold a CDL:

  • Combination of vehicles weighing 26, 001 pounds or more
  • Single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of 26, 001 pounds or more
  • Single vehicle designed to transport more than 15 persons (including the driver)
  • Any size vehicle which requires hazardous material placards
CDL Application

Information about obtaining a CDL can be found at Customer Service Centers. Submit your application and $35.00 fee to any Customer Service Center (except Jackson) and take the required written knowledge exams. A $10 permit fee is paid prior to taking the knowledge exams; the $10 fee pays for the instructional permit if you pass your exams.

Anyone under 21 years of age may obtain a CDL, but will be restricted to drive only in Georgia.

CDL Examination Stations

All Customer Service Centers offer the written knowledge exams. The AlbanyBetweenBrunswickDaltonGainesvilleJacksonMilledgeville, and Thomson examination stations are the only centers that give CDL road tests. Tests are given by appointment only.

South Carolina

Applicants applying for any of the following commercial driver credentials must provide information about any previous out-of-state drivers’ licenses:

  • Obtaining a commercial learner's permit
  • Transferring an out-of-state commercial license to South Carolina
  • Moving from a commercial learner's permit to a first-time commercial license
  • Renewing a commercial license or learner's permit
  • Upgrading or downgrading a commercial license class or endorsement

When you apply for a CDL, SCDMV will run checks against the Problem Driver Pointer System (PDPS) and the Commercial Driver License Information System (CDLIS) databases to check your prior driving history across the country.

The Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act also includes the following 5 offenses that will disqualify you from obtaining a CDL:

  • Driving a commercial vehicle with a revoked, suspended, or canceled CDL
  • Causing a fatality through the negligent or criminal operation of a commercial motor vehicle
  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle without obtaining a commercial driver’s license
  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle without a commercial driver’s license in possession
  • Driving without a required endorsement

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