Forklift Certification

A forklift certification refers to the document that proves an operator has completed OSHA compliant forklift training and has been properly evaluated. Every employer is required by federal law to certify each operator – according to section 1910.178(I)(6) of the OSHA standards document.

While there are third party training courses you can take, some of which can be very beneficial if you take them on your own and your employer may even pay for you to attend one, your employer will need to perform an evaluation and they will need to cover workplace specific training such as information related to the truck you will operate, the loads you will carry, and the terrain and hazards of the workplace. To learn what goes into an OSHA compliant program read our forklift training guide.

What a forklift certification looks like:

Forklift Certification Template

Example Forklift Certificate

For your forklift certification document to be OSHA compliant, it needs to include the following information; the full name of the forklift operator, the date on which the training was completed, the date on which the evaluation was held, and the identity of the person or persons performing the training and evaluation.


Other important certification facts:

A forklift certificate is good for 3 years. After which, you will need to be re-evaluated by your employer and issued a new forklift certificate with updated and current dates.

Your forklift certification and training needs to be specific to the type of truck you’ll be operating and to your place of work.

Your forklift training and evaluation needs to be performed by an experienced forklift operator and by someone who is familiar with your place of work including the types of loads you’ll be hauling.

Forklift certification and operation is federally regulated.

If an operator has been trained and certified in a past job they still need to be certified by their current employer.