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How To Get A Forklift License Or Forklift Certification

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Posted: March 28, 2023
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Forklift certification sometimes referred to as forklift licensing, is a requirement of any operator of forklifts in a given workplace. While it’s an employer’s responsibility to provide training, at Toyota we’ve found that operators are the ones that have the most at stake in forklift training programs. They are often the associates who ask the best questions when it comes to making sure they’re in compliance with OSHA forklift training standards. That’s why I wanted to take the time to provide three short reminders to operators and employers alike about training requirements.

Three Reminders About Forklift Certification

1. The OSHA Certification Standard For Forklift Training Requires Classroom And Practical Training.

There are two required parts to forklift training:


  • Classroom training can be completed online, with educators in the classroom, through video, or a combination of any of these. The intention here is to give operators the knowledge they need about forklifts to successfully (and safely) operate them in a work environment.
  • Practical training is required so that operators demonstrate their ability to operate a forklift before they are authorized to use them in the workplace.

2. You Have To Be Trained On All Equipment Types That You Operate And For Specific Applications.

OSHA requires that training be completed for all “types” of forklifts that an operator uses. For example, if you use a sit-down forklift and operate an order picker, you need to receive forklift certification training to operate both. Do you use a specialized attachment like a paper roll clamp? The use of that attachment needs to be integrated into your training. If you’re operating equipment you haven’t received training on, it’s worth a conversation with your supervisor to get certified ASAP. Training requirements can also vary depending on application (such as in a maritime or construction application).

3. You Have To Be Recertified Every Three Years.

It’s easy to fall out of compliance on this one, especially if you’re a seasoned operator who’s been using similar equipment for years. If your three-year anniversary since training is approaching, make sure you let your supervisor know you need to be recertified.


Toyota dealers across North America provide forklift training for their customer’s operators. If you’re driving an orange lift, give them a call to make sure you’re in compliance.

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