forklift license Massachusetts

If you're thinking about driving a forklift in Massachusetts, you're going to need a special kind of driver's license - a forklift license. This might sound a bit daunting, but it's actually a straightforward process that opens up a bunch of job opportunities.

In Massachusetts, just like you need a license to drive a car, you need one to operate a forklift safely and legally. This guide is here to walk you through everything you need to know about getting your forklift license, from what you need to learn and do, to how to sign up for a class.

Whether you're just starting out or looking to brush up on the rules, we've got you covered. So, let's dive in and get you on your way to becoming a certified forklift operator in the Bay State!

What Does The DPS Say About It

That's an important piece of information for anyone interested in operating a forklift in Massachusetts. The regulation by the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety (DPS) underscores the state's commitment to workplace safety and the importance of proper training for forklift operators. Here's how you could integrate this regulation into the article section about legal requirements:

Legal Requirements for Operating a Forklift in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, operating a forklift is taken very seriously due to the potential safety risks involved. To ensure that operators are well-trained and familiar with safety procedures, the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety (DPS) has issued regulation 520 CMR 6.00. This regulation mandates that no individual can operate a forklift without holding a valid license or a temporary permit. This is in addition to complying with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, which are federal requirements.

This state-specific regulation highlights the additional steps Massachusetts has taken beyond federal requirements to ensure the safety and competence of forklift operators. It's not just about knowing how to maneuver the machinery; it's about understanding and respecting the safety protocols that keep everyone safe in the workplace.

Before you can legally operate a forklift in Massachusetts, you must:

  1. Complete a Training Program: Enroll in and complete an approved forklift training program that covers both the OSHA standards and the specifics of the 520 CMR 6.00 regulation.
  2. Obtain a License or Temporary Permit: Successfully pass the training program's examination to receive your forklift license. In certain situations, a temporary permit may be issued under specific conditions until a full license is granted.

The regulation by the DPS ensures that all forklift operators in Massachusetts are adequately prepared to handle their responsibilities safely. By following these requirements, you not only comply with the law but also contribute to creating a safer workplace for yourself and your coworkers.

The new DPS regulation includes two new licenses classes: Class 1D (general industrial warehouse forklift license); and Class 2D (compact hoisting machinery license). Class 2D operator who holds a license with a Class 1 grade greater than 1D is allowed to drive general industrial warehouse forklift.



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Before you can continue reading this guide, CHECK these helpful articles that help you get hold of your forklift certification:



Some words for the employer who are seeking training for their workers, check these useful topics to help you:

Who Should Apply for DPS License?

The operators of hoisting machinery (that includes forklift) with the height of the lift exceeds 10 feet or the weight of the load exceeds 500 pounds, must obtain a license from DPS.

Employers are exempted to apply for the licensing requirements in these following situations:

  • If the employer has training program approved by DPS
  • A supervisor who holds a hoisting license must oversee the operation at all times.
  • All operators must be issued with company license showing photo, type of forklift that the operator is capable to use, name and signature of the operator.
  • Operators can only be certified to operate the specific forklift for which the supervisor possesses a license issued by the DPS.

For more information about DPS regulation, visit:

Getting Forklift License in Massachusetts

Aside from the DPS regulation, the employer must adhere to OSHA standards.

All forklift operators must be trained by their employers or evaluated by an approved trainer. If you’re in the construction industry you must comply with OSHA 1926.602(d), shipyards operators cohere with OSHA 1915.120(l) and for those in general industry is OSHA 1910.178(l) standard to follow.

A new operator may find it difficult where to start and what they need to get their forklift certification, we have arranged this instruction for you to follow to make it easy as possible for you.

Steps to Obtain a Forklift License 

Obtaining a forklift license in Massachusetts involves several key steps, from selecting the right training program to successfully passing the certification exam. Here's a detailed guide to navigate through this process:

1. Forklift Training Programs

Types of Training Available

  • Online Training: Offers flexibility and convenience for theoretical learning. Ideal for those familiar with forklift operations or needing a refresher course. However, it's crucial to complement this with practical training.
  • In-Person Training: Provides comprehensive instruction, including hands-on experience with forklift operation. Best for beginners or those who prefer interactive learning environments.

Overview of Reputable Training Providers in Massachusetts

Several reputable organizations offer forklift training in Massachusetts. When choosing a provider, look for programs that are OSHA-compliant and cover both practical and theoretical aspects of forklift operation. Community colleges, vocational schools, and specialized training centers are good places to start. Researching reviews and asking for recommendations can also help identify the best fit for your needs.

2. Hands-On Experience

Importance of Practical Training

Practical training is crucial for mastering the physical aspects of forklift operation, such as maneuvering, loading, and maintaining balance. It helps build confidence and competence in real-world scenarios.

Where and How to Gain Hands-On Experience

Most comprehensive training programs include hands-on training sessions. Alternatively, some employers may offer on-the-job training for new hires lacking experience. Apprenticeships and internships are other avenues to gain practical experience under the supervision of experienced operators.

3. Passing the Examination

Components of the Forklift Certification Exam

The certification exam typically consists of two parts:

  • Written Test: Assesses knowledge of forklift operation principles, safety regulations, and maintenance.
  • Practical Evaluation: Tests the ability to safely operate a forklift in various scenarios.

Tips for Successful Exam Preparation

  • Study all provided materials and take notes during training sessions.
  • Practice operating a forklift in a safe environment to build confidence.
  • Review OSHA regulations and safety guidelines related to forklift operation.

4. Certification and Renewal

Process for Receiving Your Certification

After passing both components of the exam, you'll receive your forklift certification, making you eligible to operate a forklift legally in Massachusetts. Some programs issue certificates immediately, while others may mail them.

Information on Renewal Frequency and Process

Forklift certifications typically need to be renewed every three years, although employers may require more frequent renewals. The renewal process often involves taking a refresher course and passing an updated examination to ensure skills and knowledge remain current.

Completing these steps will not only help you obtain your forklift license in Massachusetts but also ensure you are prepared to operate a forklift safely and efficiently, contributing positively to your workplace.


Training Centers in Massachusetts

  • Mass Hoisting ConEd, LLC - 60 Cedar Lane, Seekonk, MA
  • Lift Truck Parts and Service Inc. - West Springfield, Brockton, 866-436-7967
  • G Tonucci Crane & Rigging Training - 165 Centre Street, Quincy, MA, Tel: (617) 653-1803
  • United Safety Net International Inc. - 52 Cummings Park Drive, Woburn, MA 01801, (978) 767-0630
  • United Industrial Service Incorporated - 120 Herbert P. Almgren Drive, Agawam, MA 01001-3828, Phone: 413-789-0896, Toll-Free: 800-666-0896
  • Ocean State Forklifts - 22 Hollister Road, Seekonk, MA 02771, 1-800-698-4630, 508-336-4630
  • Brodie Toyota-Lift - 10 Ballard Road, Lawrence, MA 01843, (800) 828 2804, (978) 682 6300
  • Safety Equipped, Inc. - Tel: 508-332-8959, Swansea, MA 02777
  • WD Matthews Machinery Company - 1.866.WDM.LIFT. Training Classes is held in ME, VT, NH, MA, CT
  • NITCO - 230 Cherry Street, Shrewsbury, MA 01545, 800.698.8517 or 508.842.3880
  • Starlift Equipment Company - 36 Roanoke Avenue, West Springfield, MA 01089, (203) 937-8101
  • Summit ToyotaLift - 37 Ramah Circle, Agawam, MA 01001, Phone: (413) 789-4537, Fax: (413) 789-4361
  • Crown Lift Trucks - 2 Presidential Way, Woburn, MA 01801, Fax: 781-938-8155
  • Mass Hoisting Training Inc. - PO Box 1151, Plymouth, MA 02362, 617-875-2381, 774-222-2297
  • NEIT - 220 Ballardvale Street, Suite J, Wilmington, MA 01887, (781) 935-9105
  • Mass Hoisting ConEd, LLC - 60 Cedar Lane, Seekonk, MA 02771
  • Abel Womack - 1 International Way, Lawrence, MA 01843, 888-610-1397
  • OSHA Training Services Inc. - 1441 Main Street, Room 550, Springfield, MA, 1.877.771.6742
  • American Aerial Equipment - 45 Alice Agnew Drive, North Attleboro, Tel: 855-619-LIFT
  • Motive Solution LLC - Offers training in MA, mobile: 207-240-3588
  • Work Opportunity Center - 1666 Main St Suite D, Springfield, MA 01103 1-413-886-0489 x101
  • Massasoit Community College - 1 Massasoit Blvd. Brockton, 508-588-9100
  • Central Mass. Safety Council - Offers Forklift Train the Trainer Certification, 508-835-2333
  • Wise Safety and Environmental - 15 Aegean Drive, Methuen, MA 01844, 877-257-3263 

Forklift Training Requirements for new operator

  • Hiring an individual under the age of 18 is against the federal law, likewise, an individual who’s over 18 who’s unlicensed or untrained is also a violation.
  • An individual must attain high school or possessed GED certificate.
  • An individual who’s a foreigner must understand and can communicate in English.
  • No history of drug abuse
  • Clean background

Other Forklift Licensing Options

Because of the proliferation of online training course, employers are now deciding to acquire this option. Online training has the benefits of on-site training. Operators will be given the specific program based on their need and skill level. They will be certified on topics in accordance with OSHA standards.

Employers can hire safety consultants to conduct the training on-site. This option is the least disruptive to their business production. This option is the most effective way of training because the trainer can offer a course based on the working condition they’re in and types of machines they’re operating. If you want to work in Rhode Island, the neighboring state, you can follow this link.

When to Get Recertification or Renewal

Three years is the validity of the forklift license, the holder must renew it according to OSHA regulations.

Renewal or recertification occurs when operator shifted to another employer. It’s the responsibility of the new employer to provide you the needed training. The training is workplace and machine specific.

You have been involved in an accident or noticed operating the machine is very unsafe manner. The trainer’s role is to make you realize your mistake. The operation of forklift is no joke, lives are at stake. You can harm yourself or jeopardize others.



Do You Need OSHA 10 Construction Training for Yourself or Workers?

If you are individual who is seeking to get certified or an employer who is looking for a training provider to supply the training to workers, here are the training providers in Massachussetts:

  • Greater New Bedford Workforce Board
    1213 Purchase Street, 2nd Floor, New Bedford, MA 02740
    Phone: 508.979.1504

  • AGCMA - Associated General Contractors of Mass
    888 Worcester Street, Suite 40, Wellesley, MA 02482-3708
    Phone: 781.235.2680

  • United Safety Net
    52 Cummings Park Drive, Woburn, MA 01801
    Phone: (978) 767-0630

  • Industrial Safety & Rescue
    387 University Ave • Westwood, Massachusetts 02090
    Phone: 781-908-4291, 781-908-4242

  • HR Training University
    Blandin Avenue, Framingham, MA 01702
    Phone: 800-501-9440

  • Safety Equipped, Inc.
    Swansea, MA 02777
    Phone: 508-332-8959

  • Massachusetts Coalition For Occupational Safety And Health
    42 Charles St., Dorchester, MA 02122
    Phone: (617) 825-SAFE (7233]

  • Fitchburg State University
    Center for Professional Studies
    160 Pearl St, Fitchburg, MA 01420

  • Baystate Education Center (Second Floor)
    361 Whitney Ave., Holyoke, MA 01420

  • Springfield Technical Community College
    One Armory Square, Springfield, MA 01105
    Phone: (413) 781-7822

Online Training Providers:

  • OSHA Campus Online (National Safety Training)
    Phone: 877-590-9133; 800-455-0607

  • ClickSafety
    Burlington, MA 01803
    Contact: 1.800.971.1080

    Sales: 1-800-985-9286
    Support: 1-844-616-4688

  • OshaTrainer.Org
    Phone: 800.971.1080

If you're going to get certified, you need to pass the written test. The passing grade of the test is 70%, depending on the training provider.

Upon succesful completion, students will be given certificate of training completion, and DOL card will be mailed. These are solid evidences that you've completed the OSHA 10 training course.

Construction workers working in this state are required to have this credential because of the inherent danger in construction sites, otherwise, they are not allowed in this type of workplace. The employer may face hefty fines for allowing workers without such credential.

Proofs of completion of OSHA 10 training must be submitted to the contracting agency by each employee. Having this credential is a must-have. Take the training now, it only takes 2 days to complete the course and will only cost a small amount that usually ranges from $120-$200 per person.

Although online training is available, we still strongly suggest to take the course in-person because you can get the best knowledge absorption.

If you would like to learn more about this state requirement, read this Massachusetts Attorney General’s Fair Labor Division on
Chapter 306 of the Acts of 2004.



Forklift Operator Salary in MA

In this state, the salary for a forklift operator can vary depending on several factors such as experience, location, and the employer. Here are some insights into what you might expect to earn as a forklift operator in the state:

  • According to Indeed, the average salary for a forklift operator in Massachusetts is $19.27 per hour, with an additional $5,437 in overtime per year​ (Indeed)​.

  • reports that the average Fork Lift Operator salary in Massachusetts is $45,573 as of February 26, 2024, with the salary range typically falling between $40,949 and $51,652​ (​.

  • CareerExplorer provides a slightly different figure, stating that the average salary for forklift operators in Massachusetts is around $38,640 per year, with salaries typically starting from $31,950 and going up to $54,760​ (CareerExplorer)​.

These figures give a broad overview of what you might expect to earn as a forklift operator in Massachusetts, reflecting the role's demand and the importance of skilled operators in maintaining safety and efficiency in various industries.

To Make a Conclusion

Getting your forklift license in Massachusetts is a smart move if you're looking for a solid job in an important industry. Massachusetts makes sure that anyone driving a forklift is well-trained and has a license to prove it, showing they take safety seriously.

Going through the steps to get certified—like picking the right training, learning the ropes, and passing your tests—might seem like a lot at first. But once you're done, a bunch of doors will open for you in workplaces all over the state.

This isn't just about getting a piece of paper; it's about setting yourself up for a good job, making sure you and your coworkers are safe, and maybe even getting a pay bump. If you're ready for a new challenge, or just want to make yourself more hireable, getting into the forklift game is definitely a step in the right direction.

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