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How to Get a Forklift License

do you need a license to drive a forklift

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. 

CertifyMe.net can help your employees get the right driver’s license to run your forklifts. We can also answer some of the biggest questions surrounding forklift licenses. 

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.

How Old Must You Be to Operate a Forklift?

You must be 18 years or older to obtain a forklift operator license.

What Types of Forklifts Can a Worker Legally Operate with a 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.

What Are OSHA’s Forklift License Requirements?

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 your employees use on the job, thorough training is required to drive a forklift in the United States. That’s where CertifyMe.net 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, CertifyMe.net is the leader in online forklift certification. 

Is It Possible to Earn a Forklift License 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 Your Workers 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 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?

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. CertifyMe.net has six different training courses and a Train the Trainer program for anyone that needs a forklift license. Our training ensures your workers can earn OSHA certification to legally operate any of the following classes of forklifts:

  • 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 

After a worker completes our training, he or she can print their forklift license right away – there is no need to wait for official documentation to arrive in the mail. An operator’s forklift license is good for three years, at which time he or she can use our free three-year renewal training to re-certify. It’s as simple as that. 

Forklift License FAQs


1. How much does it cost to obtain a forklift driver license?

The cost to get a license to operate a forklift varies. At CertifyMe.net, we strive to make forklift certification training affordable for companies of all sizes. And our training is available for as low as $59.95 per operator

2. Do I need to require a worker to have a forklift license before he or she joins my business?

Not necessarily. In some instances, businesses offer forklift certification training as part of their onboarding process. Or, there may be times when someone has a valid forklift license before he or she joins a company.

3. Is a forklift operator license required for businesses in all industries?

Yes. Regardless of industry, a forklift operator must possess a valid license to use a lift at any worksite in the United States.

4. How long does it take to obtain a forklift license?

CertifyMe.net offers forklift certification training that can be completed in as little as one hour. Our certification training program is available online, so your workers can access our learning materials at their convenience.

5. Is a forklift license valid across the United States?

Yes. A forklift operator license confirms an operator can legally use a lift at any jobsite in the United States.

6. Will my forklift operators need to get new licenses if I move my business to a new state or operate in several states?

No. A forklift operator license works the same way in every state. And OSHA does not require operators to get re-certified if they move to a new state or work in different states.   

7. Will OSHA tell me if any of my forklift operators have a license that is close to expiring?

No. Your business is responsible for ensuring all workers are safe, at all times. As part of this responsibility, you are accountable for verifying all of your forklift operators have a valid license.

8. How does OSHA penalize businesses if they are found to have unlicensed forklift operators on staff?

OSHA penalties can total thousands of dollars. They can also result in brand reputation damage, revenue losses, and other long-lasting business problems. Furthermore, OSHA can levy legal violations against a business if it knowingly lets a worker drive a forklift without a license.

9. Do I need to track forklift operator license recertification across my workforce?

Absolutely. If an operator is found using a forklift without a valid license, your business is subject to OSHA fines and penalties. In addition, this forklift operator can inadvertently put himself or herself and others in danger. The operator can also cause a forklift accident that results in serious injury or death as well.

10. How long should I wait before I enroll my workers in forklift certification training?

If your business wants a worker to earn their forklift license, enroll him or her in certification training today. This ensures the worker can learn about OSHA forklift safety and receive their license. From here, the worker can legally use a forklift and become a key contributor to your team.

11. How long will it take to enroll a worker in forklift certification training?

It won’t take long to enroll a worker in certification training that allows him or her to earn their license. With CertifyMe.net, you can sign a worker up for our certification training in just a few clicks.  

Want to Ensure Every Worker Can Earn Their Forklift License? Partner with CertifyMe.net

Do your workers need a license to drive a forklift? Yes. Is it difficult to obtain one? No. Thanks to CertifyMe.net, the leader in online OSHA forklift training, we’ve made it easier and more affordable than ever before to help your workers become licensed forklift operators! 

Register today with CertifyMe.net. 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% OSHA-compliant forklift training courses, click here. Your workers need a forklift license to legally drive a lift. And CertifyMe.net will help your company in this regard – contact us today! 

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

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