If you are planning to be a forklift driver or work at a construction site or warehouse where you will be operating a forklift, you will need a forklift license before you are permitted to get behind the wheel. This license is different from a truck driver's license or other vehicle license, and is only given to those who have completed specialized training in topics including operating, safety and maintenance. The guidelines for forklift training are set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and apply to all forklift drivers and operators at all times.

Getting a Forklift License after Certification

Forklift certification and training programs are designed to prepare you for an exam and testing that is completed by your employer. Once you complete this training program, you may be eligible to receive your forklift license or forklift truck license.

In order to get your license, you will need to:

  • Complete an OSHA-approved training course
  • Learn about all OSHA standards and protocol
  • Successfully pass a written test and hands-on test
  • Learn about different forklift vehicles
  • Apply for forklift certification through your employer

Reasons to Get a Forklift License

Having a forklift license can make it easier to obtain a job from a different employer that you've trained with in the future, and will also make you stand apart as an experienced professional. Some of the key benefits of having a forklift license include:

  • Job placement opportunities
  • Opens up doors to related careers
  • Proves competency in some important areas of forklift operation
  • Reduces risk of workplace accidents
  • May improve forklift efficiency and reduce operating costs
  • Improves productivity and may help to increase profits for the business

How to Get a Forklift License Online

Some employers allow their employees to complete an online forklift operator course or training session. These online courses are designed according to OSHA standards and provide training the form of online lectures and simulations, DVDs and test questions that can be completed in an online format.

When you are looking at different online training schools, it's important to make sure that the training is compliant with OSHA law and will give you a permit to operate a forklift.

If you decide to get a forklift license online, you may receive the following items:

  • Permit to operate
  • OSHA Compliance Forklift Certification Training materials
  • Wallet card
  • Access to online testing dashboard
  • Daily inspection checklist
  • Certificate of achievement
  • PowerPoint presentation or access to online tutorials
  • Written test
  • Driving test

Keep in mind that even though you may be completing training to get a forklift truck license online, you will still need to complete a hands-on driving portion at an approved site or facility. All forklift license holders need to prove that they understand all safety protocol and procedures, know how to maintain their vehicle, and understand how to handle emergency situations. These processes are all taught in formal forklift certification and training programs, and you may be required to prove competency in each of these areas during the testing phases.