Limited Time Offer! Free Covid-19 safety course with purchase of any Forklift or Aerial Lift Certification!
Access your free Covid-19 safety course in your members area once you have completed your purchase.

Forklift Driver License: What Is It, and Do You Need One?

do you need a license to drive a forkliftWhy You Need a License to Drive a Forklift (Updated 2021)

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that all forklift operators in the United States obtain safety training before operating powered industrial trucks. This category of industrial equipment includes:

  • Rough terrain forklifts
  • Indoor (standard warehouse) lifts
  • Pallet jacks
  • Order pickers
  • Stand-up forklifts
  • Sit-down forklifts
  • Manlifts
  • Narrow-aisle forklifts
  • And more

Regardless of the type of forklift you use on the job, thorough training is required to drive a forklift in the United States. That’s where helps – we have an assortment of training packages designed to get you certified to operate a forklift – safely, efficiently, optimally. With our affordable prices, comprehensive course content, and outstanding customer support, is the leader in online forklift certification.

Do you need a driver’s license to operate a forklift? Yes, but there’s some confusion as to what type of license is required. will help your employees get the right driver’s license to run your forklifts.

What Is a Forklift Driver License?

A forklift driver license verifies that a lift operator has received OSHA-compliant safety training. The operator has learned how to safely operate and maintain a lift. He or she also knows how to identify and avoid forklift safety hazards and take the necessary steps to minimize risk when using a lift.

Can Anyone Obtain a Forklift Driver License?

Anyone 18 years or older can obtain a forklift driver license.

What Types of Forklifts Can a Worker Legally Operate with a Forklift Driver License?

Various classes of forklifts are used at worksites across the United States. Workers can obtain a license that authorizes them to operate different types of forklifts.

It is an employer’s responsibility to provide its staff with safety training for lifts used at work. This ensures lift operators can use specific types of lifts to safely complete work tasks.

Is It Possible to Earn a License to Drive a Forklift Without OSHA-Approved Safety Training?

OSHA-approved forklift safety training is not optional. Instead, workers who use a forklift as part of their everyday work must get a license. Otherwise, these workers are illegally operating a lift, putting themselves and others in danger.

What Can Happen If Workers Use a Forklift Without a License?

Operating a forklift without a license can increase the risk of lift accidents. Even a single accident can cause serious injury or death. It can also result in costly penalties for an employer.

Will Requiring Workers to Get a Forklift License Stop Lift Accidents?

There is no guaranteed solution to stop forklift accidents. But, requiring workers to get a forklift license can minimize the risk of accidents. Since workers are required to complete safety training to earn their license, they can learn how to identify and address forklift dangers before they get out of hand. Plus, they can use what they learn to contribute to a safe work environment.

What Do I Need to Operate a Forklift?

Per OSHA requirements, a commercial driver’s license (Class A, B, C, etc.) is NOT required to operate a forklift. Many employees think that it’s necessary to first obtain a vehicle driver’s license, but that’s not the case. While most people who work in a warehouse, distribution center, factory, construction zone, and other job site that uses forklifts already have a driver’s license, it’s not a deal breaker for OSHA.

However, just because a regular driver’s license isn’t required to operate to a forklift, there are still OSHA requirements related to driving forklifts.

While a driver’s license is not a prerequisite to operate a powered industrial truck (including regular lifts, heavy duty forklifts, pallet jacks, etc.), another question remains: do you need a forklift license to operate a powered industrial truck?

Do You Need a License To Drive A Forklift?

The question remains: do you need a driver’s license to operate a forklift?

Yes – a forklift license is absolutely required to operate a forklift. But how do you get a forklift license? A forklift license is obtained through your training source. has six different training courses, and a Train the Trainer option, for anyone that needs a forklift license:

  • Class 1: Electric Motor Rider Trucks
  • Class 2: Electric Motor Narrow Aisle Trucks
  • Class 3: Electric Motor Hand or Hand/Rider Trucks
  • Class 4: Internal Combustion Engine Trucks – Cushion (Solid) Tires
  • Class 5: Internal Combustion Engine Trucks – Pneumatic Tires
  • Class 7: Electric and Internal Combustion Engine Tractors

Once you’re complete with the training, you can print your forklift license right away – no waiting for official documentation to arrive in the mail. Your forklift license is good for three years, at which time you can use our free 3-year renewal training to re-certify. It’s as simple as that.

Do you need a license to drive a forklift? Yes. Is it difficult to obtain one? No. Thanks for, the leader in online OSHA forklift training, we’ve made it easier and more affordable to get a forklift license than ever before!

Register today with In just a few minutes, you’re able to login to your training course, keep track of your employees’ OSHA certifications, and much more.

To browse our complete line of 100% compliant forklift training courses, click here. You do need a forklift license to drive a forklift. And will help your company in this regard – contact us today!

For questions about a forklift license from, contact us online or give our OSHA experts a call at 1-888-699-4800. Thanks for visiting!

Click to verify BBB accreditation and to see a BBB report.
McAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams

Get Started Now By Registering Your Company For Free!

  • FREE 3 Year Renewals
  • Print Your Proof of Training
  • Instant Access 24/7
  • OSHA Accepted Nationwide

*If you are an individual not currently employed by a company use your personal name in the 'Company Name' field.


Follow step-by-step instructions to get OSHA compliant!

This low-cost program can be completed anytime, anywhere!

Get Started Now By Registering Your Company For Free!

  • FREE 3 Year Renewals
  • Instant Access 24/7
  • Print Your Proof of Training
  • OSHA Accepted Nationwide

*If you are an individual not currently employed by a company use your personal name in
the 'Company Name' field.