Who issues forklift licenses?

In order to operate a forklift in the United States, OSHA requires that operators are certified to show that they know how to run these machines safely. Many people think that in order to drive a forklift one must attain a special forklift license, but that is not the case. Instead, it is only necessary to have the certification. Getting the certification will require some time and effort on the part of the person getting trained, but it is well worth it in the end.

Training Options Available

When someone needs to become licensed or certified to operate a forklift, there are a couple options as to how the training will be provided. The first option is to have the employer provide the training. In this case, the employer will need to offer a formalized training program, typically on site. This is most often done when an employer has one or more experienced forklift operators who can conduct this training.

The other option, which is more common in most areas, is to have a third-party training provider teach the employee. In this case a third-party company that specializes in providing this type of training will work with the person who wants to operate a forklift.

Either way, the person must complete classroom training, hands-on training, and then demonstrate that they are able to operate the forklift safely in a supervised area. Once all of this is done, the employee will be certified (or licensed) to operate the forklift.

Who Issues the Forklift License?

As far as OSHA is concerned, a forklift certification is given through the employer. They are the ones that vouch for the fact that the operator has been properly trained. Practically speaking, however, it will be whoever provides the training to the person. If it is a third-party company, they will give the individual a certification, which they can show the employer, which will then honor that certification.


View all Forklift Safety Q&A

Free E-Book

Forklift Safety

Important tips to help keep you and other employees safe while operating forklifts.

Other FREE Resources:

Helpful Resources