CDL Endorsements in Florida

Florida CDL endorsements are special permission certifications that can be added to a Florida CDL license. To obtain a commercial drivers license endorsement or multiple CDL endorsements, a Florida CDL holder must undergo extra commercial driver testing. Below, review more information about Florida CDL endorsements, including:

  • What is a CDL endorsement in Florida?
  • Why CDL Endorsements are Necessary in Florida
  • Types of Florida Commercial Drivers License Endorsements
  • CDL Endorsements vs. Permit Endorsements in Florida
  • Where to Get a CDL Endorsement in Florida

What is a CDL endorsement in Florida?

CDL endorsements in Florida must be obtained using specific processes. The basic process involves selecting a CDL license class, first. License for Class A vehicles are for drivers that need to drive trucks or truck combination towing vehicles in cases where the trucks, themselves, weigh more than 26,000 pounds and the vehicles being towed weigh more than 10,000 pounds. License for Class B vehicles are for drivers who intend to operate either buses or straight trucks weighing more than 26,000 pounds with no other vehicles in tow. License for Class C vehicles are for drivers who wish to transport hazardous materials or who are intending to transport passengers in vehicles that weight 26,000 pounds or less.

In addition to those three CDL license classes, drivers can get CDL endorsements that allow them to perform certain other actions or to drive certain other types of vehicles, such as tankers. Florida CDL drivers are obligated to get commercial drivers license endorsements by meeting added requirements. Download our free guide to read about the additional CDL endorsement necessities commercial drivers must address.

Why CDL Endorsements are Necessary in Florida

The need for CDL endorsements exists because drivers will face unusual or difficult challenges when driving the vehicles in question. For example, drivers who intend to transport hazardous materials must be trained in how to properly deal with those materials. And, drivers who plan to drive special vehicles, like school buses or double- or triple-trailers, must also pass extra CDL endorsement exams to prove that they can safely perform those tasks.

Most CDL endorsements are required at the federal level because there is a need for driving skills and certifications to be regulated throughout the country. However, state governments also have the ability to require extra CDL endorsements for drivers who are planning to drive certain vehicles or to perform certain tasks if they choose.

Types of Florida Commercial Drivers License Endorsements

Florida's only required CDL endorsements are the six that are required at the federal level. They are endorsements H, N, P, S, T and X. CDL holders can apply for multiple endorsements if desired or needed. Learn more about how to apply for more than one CDL endorsement by downloading our free guide.

Endorsements H, N, T, and X only require drivers who have their CDL licenses to pass written knowledge tests to acquire them. The commercial drivers license H endorsement is for transporting hazardous materials, the CDL N endorsement is for the ability to drive tank vehicles and the commercial drivers license X endorsement is a single test for the ability to drive tank vehicles carrying hazardous materials (HAZMAT). The CDL T endorsement allows the driver to operate an extra-long truck with up to three trailer sections.

The CDL P endorsement and the CDL S endorsement both require CDL drivers license holders to pass road skills tests in addition to written knowledge exams. The commercial drivers license P endorsement allows the transportation of passengers, and the CDL S endorsement allows the CDL holder to operate a school bus.

CDL Endorsements vs. Permit Endorsements in Florida

Getting a commercial drivers license endorsement is not the same thing as getting a Florida CDL permit endorsement. Only three permit endorsements exist in Florida. They are the P, S and N endorsements.

The CDL P endorsement prevents the holder from driving with passengers who are not the accompanying CDL holder required by law or state or federal trainees, inspectors examiners or auditors.

The CDL S endorsement is a type of CDL drivers license that is for CDL applicants who want to learn to drive school buses, and prevents them from transporting passengers who are not accompanying CDL holders required by law, examiners or other required officials.

The CDL N endorsement is the CDL drivers license that allows the permit holder to practice driving tank vehicles, but stipulates that the tank vehicles must be completely empty. The holder must also drive the tank vehicle with an accompanying CDL drivers license holder in the passenger seat.

Where to Get a CDL Endorsement in Florida

Interested CDL holders can obtain a commercial drivers license endorsement of their choice by scheduling and taking the written knowledge exam for specified CDL endorsements at a Florida testing facility of their choosing. If a practical skills test (road test) is also required, then it must be scheduled separately after the written knowledge test is passed. The skills test will include a vehicle inspection and can be canceled if the vehicle is deemed unsafe. The CDL driver must pay the necessary fees for CDL endorsements for for each exam at the time of testing, including exams that are not completed due to vehicles failing inspections.